It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to dive into a new skincare subject and write about it here so I thought I’d start off with a short update on my hair and skin health and routine. My skin has completely cleared up and balanced out since I stopped using argan oil as a nightly moisturizer. I have the same morning and night routines every day now and my skin seems happy.
As to my hair, there really hasn’t been any big changes or improvements since my first blog post about it last year. I cut it regularly and wash it no more than once a week and it feels healthy. It’s become quite straight, probably from always being rolled up in a bun and brushed regularly. In summer I usually struggle a bit with my hair being dry so at the moment I’m trying to find a conditioner to prevent dryness that would both work and feel good (meaning be easy to use). I sometimes think finding a perfect haircare routine will be an endless experiment for me, but I’m hopeful I’ll get there one day.
Now, let’s get to the actual business of this post. Probiotics (and pre- and postbiotics) in skincare. Normally we hear about probiotics in foods and as supplements to support a healthy gut that in turn protects the whole body from inflammation, including our skin. Probiotics are now making their way into skincare as well, working the same way as in the gut by making a protective veil, this time on the surface of our skin. Probiotics are the so-called good bacteria that feed on prebiotics to maintain balance and prevent growth of bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria on our skin grows it can lead to sensitive skin, acne or other issues.
Having probiotics in your skincare products can be beneficial if you have sensitive skin, as they speed up the healing process by strengthening the outer barrier of your skin. Because of the strengthened barrier, probiotics can also be good for people who live in cities, where the toxins of pollution can cause your skin to break out as well as age early. There are still quite few studies on probiotics in skincare, but some say probiotics would be a better acne treatment than the typical antibiotics since the probiotics overtake the bad bacteria, while antibiotics kill all bacteria, including the good, leaving the skin vulnerable.
When buying skincare products with probiotics and prebiotics, make sure to buy from good brands that you feel can be trusted. Mixing live bacteria with some preservatives might kill the bacteria, making the probiotic useless. In a lot of skincare products we now find derivatives of probiotics, called postbiotics. They are easier to maintain as they aren’t live bacteria and for example don’t need to be refrigerated like probiotics do to survive.
An easy way to keep the bacterial balance of your skin without specific products containing probiotics, is to avoid any anti-bacterial cleansers or wipes, leaving your skin to balance itself from the inside out. Remembering to moisturize is also important as sufficient moisture also strengthens the top layer of the skin.