Recent research has begun to conclude that probiotics applied to the skin may benefit the skin's natural defences and replenish the good bacteria, repair the skin, and aid in combating acne, rosacea and sun damage. With all of this good news, the skincare industry has been quick on its feet to develop formulations to keep your natural defences at an all-time high, but not stopped to explain the ins and outs as well as we can.
In this article, we will give you some top tips on how to choose the best probiotic skincare in the UK, what to look out for when browsing the many brands such as Aurelia, Zelens and Elizabeth Arden, which probiotic ingredients are commonly found, and most importantly, the retailers that stock them: Amazon, John Lewis and ASOS.
Felipe Partarrieu is a final year dermatology resident, who is GMC registered with a full licence to practise in the UK. Specialising in cosmeceuticals, facial skin care, and hair disorders, we worked with Felipe to bring you top quality information to help you make informed buying decisions and understand more about what goes onto your skin.
Probiotics are usually thought as of a way to treat our inner health, providing a boost in 'good' bacteria, however, probiotics in skincare aim to provide additional support to our skin's natural microbiome and rejuvenation processes. In short, probiotics in skincare are implemented with the intention of improving the body's natural defences against harmful weather, pollutants and irritating substances.
As we know, living in the UK means we are faced with unpredictable weather. This means that our skin can become easily damaged from the magnitude of rapid changes the weather can inflict on us, though, it does not end there. Pollutants and sun damage also play detrimental roles in lowering the quality of our skin, which can become compromised and leave us prone to skin related problems such as acne and rosacea.
Probiotic Skincare is often categorised as advanced skincare, so most brands assume you already understand a lot about your skin. If you are new to skincare in general, it may be worth finding out more about your skin (such as how oily or dry your skin is) before diving into some of these wonderful products! Though, this is a perfect place to start.
Probiotic skincare makes use of a range of probiotics, but the main and most included types are: Bifidabacterium, Lactobacillus and Vitreoscilla. Any probiotic that is in skincare works to benefit the skin's microbiome, but it is always best to find a good blend of other ingredients to accompany the probiotic ingredients.
Probiotics are defined as 'live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts, confer some benefit to the health of the host.'
When applied topically, they restore and maintain the skin microbiota, improving the skin barrier and the appearance of the skin in general. They manage to do so by improving the skin's natural defences promoting the production of antimicrobial peptides and by competing with pathogens for nutrients and adhesion in the skin.
Studies suggest that applying probiotic skincare products may reduce acne outbreaks and manage dry skin and eczema, and several small but promising studies also suggest that probiotics can help battle skin ageing and even skin cancer.
So, your interest is piqued! That's wonderful. Let's get straight on with the buying guide, where we explain all you need to know about what to look out for when looking to buy probiotic skincare, and some of the vital ingredients to ensure that the products you buy will leave your skin replenished and ready to deal with the harsh elements of the world.
A common mistake people make about probiotic skincare is that they may not realise that probiotics in topically applied skincare work slightly differently to their consumable counterparts.
Probiotics are live organisms and work best while alive. Though, due to the careful curation of skincare, preservatives are added into skincare to keep them safe as they deteriorate over time, so try to avoid jar packaging to keep the ingredients stable. This means that most probiotic skincare ranges use ferment or lysate versions.
To support this change, prebiotics derived from plant sugars, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain, are usually added to act as a food source for the probiotics. Ideally, it is best to make sure that the skincare you buy contains a blend of both. Opting for skincare which uses a great accompaniment of prebiotics is paramount to effective probiotic skincare.
It is best to find products that make use of products that contain: oligosaccharide, fructooligosaccharides or glucooligosaccharides. These are found in the extracts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and so on, however may not always be stated as plainly. Finding brands that are open and informative will help you to make informed decisions in regard to what goes on your skin, as well as the benefits it will bring.
Prebiotics are defined as nutrients and molecules that allow the development and growth of probiotics. Applying prebiotics to skin formulations helps probiotics thrive so they can keep the surface of the skin balanced, younger-looking, and strong.
Ingredients you should be looking for on the label if you want to include prebiotics are xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides and glucomannan.
Like most skincare, probiotic skincare can be catered to target specific areas where people may suffer from acne, or more overall protection for those looking to simply provide additional support to their body's natural defenses.
Depending on what you want to achieve from using probiotic skincare, there are two main paths that you can venture down.
Many people opt to use a variety of products to deal with their skin as the needs of our skin can vary greatly from each area. As a result, if you are looking to target a specific issue, using probiotics could be a fantastic way to reduce redness, irritation, acne, rosacea or dryness and help rebalance the skin's microbiome.
Look for specific products such as eye creams, or concentrated formulas to provide additional support to specific areas.
Proven probiotic skincare ingredients include the species Lactobacillus, Bifidabacterium, Vitreoscilla, and various ferments. Lysate ingredients are also beneficial to probiotic skincare. As derivatives of probiotics, lysates work in tandem to help reinforce the skin’s microbiome and diminish skin issues.
Probiotic skincare can target a whole range of issues, and many can be blended together to provide a range of benefits to the skin. With this in mind, opting for a moisturiser, facial mist or night serum may provide the best results.
An additional tip to consider is that probiotics are there to help your skin maintain it's health, thus, even if your skin is well maintained, it is never a bad time to add some probiotics as additional support. Probiotics applied topically have not been found to have any notable side effects, but as this topic of research is still new, it is always better to be cautious with any products that you apply directly to your skin.
Several studies have shown that the skin microbiome plays an active role in the maintenance of a healthy skin function, and the origin of many diseases origin can be traced back to dysbiosis (alteration of the normal microbial composition of the individual).
An unbalanced microbiota can lead to the activation of the immune system and compromise the protective function of the skin barrier, resulting in chronic inflammation. The use of topical probiotics improves this barrier and increases in secondary production of antimicrobial peptides. Clinical trials in this field are still scarce, but there are already some favourable results.
If you have allergies or do not consume specific products, it is best to make sure that you remember to read all the ingredients of a product before you buy. A lot of probiotic products make use of lactose, which means that they are not vegan.
Additionally, always be careful to double check that the other ingredients that are also fused with the probiotics are not ones you have previously had bad experiences with. Adverse reactions to skincare can be painful!
Some common fragrances in skincare that are good to watch out for if you are fragrance-free or have sensitive skin are: limonene, lavandula angustifolia oil and citronellol. Skincare products rarely ever smell of nothing, but there is a large difference between the natural smell of a formulated product and the addition of fragrance whether they have been derived artificially, naturally or via essential oils.
Contrastingly, a variety of additional ingredients that, when added to skincare, can provide wonderful benefits. Squalane, glycerin and niacinamide are all ingredients that are great to look out for with skincare. Niacinamide is currently being researched in regard to its role in combating acne prone skin.
When it comes to skincare products, it might seem that the list of ingredients to avoid is growing longer each day, but some ingredients are necessary for a formulation to be stable and can actual offers benefits.
Also, every person is different: what may cause sensitivity for you might work for somebody else. People with sensitive skin should avoid artificial fragrances or 'parfum', Methylisothiazolinone (a preservative), formaldehyde, and phthalates.
Now we have some foundational knowledge of probiotic skincare, it is time to dive in! In this list are some of the best probiotic skincare products currently on the market.
Please be sure to read the buying guide carefully to identify what the products do, what they contain and also whether they are suitable for your skin & lifestyle. Please enjoy this list and happy shopping!
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactobacillus, thermus thermophilus ferment|
|Additional Ingredients||Glycerin, shea butter, glucose, horse chestnut seed extract, wheat seed extract, alpha-glucan oligasaccharide, biosaccharide gum-1|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactococcus ferment lysate|
|Additional Ingredients||Kaolin, glycerin, squalane, lactic acid, lauric acid|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Bifida ferment lysate, lactose, lactis proteinum, milk protein|
|Additional Ingredients||Red algae powder, glycerin, lactic acid, arachidyl glucoside|
|Packaging||Glass bottle (10ml)|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactobacillus ferment, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate,|
|Additional Ingredients||Glycerin, bisabolol, lactic acid, niacinamide, tamanu oil|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactobacillus ferment, lactobacillus ferment lysate|
|Additional Ingredients||Coconut oil, chicory root oligosaccharides, glycerin, roman chamomile, plankton, micro algae, kombu, thongweed, green tea, vitamin e|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Bifida ferment lysate, lactobacillus, lactococcus ferment lysate, lactobacillus ferment lysate filtrate|
|Additional Ingredients||Shiso leaf, glucooligosaccharides from corn and beetroot, fructooligosaccharides from jicama and yacon tubers, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide|
|Packaging||Glass bottle (50ml)|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactobacillus, lactococcus ferment lysate|
|Additional Ingredients||Fern extract, alpha-gluca oligosaccharide, maltodextrin, inulin, lactic acid, yacon root juice|
|Usage||General or Concentrated|
|Packaging||Glass bottle with pipette (30ml)|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Bifida ferment filtrate, lactobacillus ferment, lactococcus ferment, streptococcus thermophilus ferment, lactobacillus/soybean ferment extract|
|Additional Ingredients||Arctium Lappa root extract, artichoke leaf extract, apple fruit extract, glycerin, niacinamide, meadowfoam seed oil, yeast ferment extract|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactobacillus extract filtrate|
|Additional Ingredients||Saccharide isomerate, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, cinnamon extract, beta-glucan, niacinamide, orange peel oil|
|Packaging||Tube & bottle with pipette (60ml)|
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactococcus ferment lysate|
|Additional Ingredients||Squalane, glycerin, red seaweed, bisabolol, lactic acid, swiss garden cress sprouts, ginger root extract|
Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
Balance Moisturiser With Glycolic Acid Activator
Mechnikov's Probiotics Formula Balancing Emulsion
Microbiota P3 Balancing Mist
Seahorse Plankton+ Bright Eyes Probiotic Serum
GOALS Multi Acids & Probiotics Perfecting Night Serum
The Probiotic Concentrate
Superstart Probiotic Cleanser with Whip to Clay Texture
Melatogenine AOX Probiotics Essential Eye Corrector
The Squalane-Plenty Ultra Lightweight Probiotic Moisturiser
A 97% Oil Free Balancing Moisturiser with Gylcolic Acid Activator Boost!
Niacinamide and Meadowfoam: A Super Moisturising Emulsion That Calms Your Skin
A Probiotic Anti-ageing Serum to Restore Your Natural Glow Formulated With Lactic Acid
A Silky Mist to Refresh and Replenish Your Skin
A Refreshing Eye Brightener Fused With Microalgae
An Inclusive, Cruelty Free Probiotic Night Serum
A Concentrated Booster to Enter Any Skincare Regime!
A Radiating Clay Based Cleanser to Support your Skin
A Luxurious Probiotic Eye Corrector With Wheat Seed Extract
|Probiotics (Ferment or Lysate)||Lactococcus ferment lysate||Lactobacillus extract filtrate||Bifida ferment filtrate, lactobacillus ferment, lactococcus ferment, streptococcus thermophilus ferment, lactobacillus/soybean ferment extract||Lactobacillus, lactococcus ferment lysate||Bifida ferment lysate, lactobacillus, lactococcus ferment lysate, lactobacillus ferment lysate filtrate||Lactobacillus ferment, lactobacillus ferment lysate||Lactobacillus ferment, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate,||Bifida ferment lysate, lactose, lactis proteinum, milk protein||Lactococcus ferment lysate||Lactobacillus, thermus thermophilus ferment|
|Additional Ingredients||Squalane, glycerin, red seaweed, bisabolol, lactic acid, swiss garden cress sprouts, ginger root extract||Saccharide isomerate, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, cinnamon extract, beta-glucan, niacinamide, orange peel oil||Arctium Lappa root extract, artichoke leaf extract, apple fruit extract, glycerin, niacinamide, meadowfoam seed oil, yeast ferment extract||Fern extract, alpha-gluca oligosaccharide, maltodextrin, inulin, lactic acid, yacon root juice||Shiso leaf, glucooligosaccharides from corn and beetroot, fructooligosaccharides from jicama and yacon tubers, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide||Coconut oil, chicory root oligosaccharides, glycerin, roman chamomile, plankton, micro algae, kombu, thongweed, green tea, vitamin e||Glycerin, bisabolol, lactic acid, niacinamide, tamanu oil||Red algae powder, glycerin, lactic acid, arachidyl glucoside||Kaolin, glycerin, squalane, lactic acid, lauric acid||Glycerin, shea butter, glucose, horse chestnut seed extract, wheat seed extract, alpha-glucan oligasaccharide, biosaccharide gum-1|
|Usage||General||General||General||General or Concentrated||General||Concentrated||General||Both||General||Concentrated|
|Packaging||Jar (50ml)||Tube & bottle with pipette (60ml)||Canister (120ml)||Glass bottle with pipette (30ml)||Glass bottle (50ml)||Bottle (30ml)||Bottle (30ml)||Glass bottle (10ml)||Tube (125ml)||Jar (15ml)|
The research into probiotic skincare is limited and the effects are yet to be well documented. Because of this, it is important to remember that skincare is an extremely delicate and personal journey - probiotic skincare is not the answer to everyone's individual skincare problems, but more of an additional protection for your skin's natural barriers.
Every single person will have different experiences with different skincare, so it is important to consult your dermatologist if you are unsure what is best for your needs.
Finally, the inside of your body matters just as much, so make sure you're treating the inside of your body just as much as the outside by maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated!
Skincare is a never ending process of personal discovery. If you're feeling inspired and want to learn more about skincare, try some more of our articles!
Wow! That was a lot of information, so I am sure you may want to spend a while considering what types of probiotics you would like to try. That's great! Hopefully we have helped in letting you make informed decisions and have added one, or two... or ten? to your basket!
With the environment ever changing and many invisible pollutants, there has never been a better time to add probiotics to your skincare regime.
Author: Josh Welch
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