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Expert Advice | Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Bacteria has long been considered a dirty word, until now…

The use of lactobacillus (a strain of bacteria proven to have anti-inflammatory benefits) in skincare products has grown by 98% in the past five years. A fact perhaps not all that surprising, given that recent findings show that 38% of female skincare consumers are interested in buying products containing probiotic ingredients.

The sudden surge in a desire for a more ‘cultured’ complexion is a natural development from our growing exposure to fermented super-foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, and an awareness of how they can aid a healthy digestive system. It wasn’t long before people began to notice the powerful effects of probiotics on our skin, too.

Break it down

From a scientific perspective, you have a gut microbiome and a skin microbiome (a collection of bacterial organisms). Bacterial imbalance can lead to inflammation , which manifests internally as IBS and various gut grievances, whilst externally it appears as spots, rosacea and dryness. It’s thought that if your bacteria are well balanced, you'll be able to ward off any aggressors that could cause inflammation. The microbiome serves as the eyes and ears of the immune system.

 Many modern hygiene and anti-bacterial products, such as high-alkaline soaps are removing these sensitive micro-organisms and essentially breaking down our protective coating.  Poor diet and harmful lifestyle choices married with the harmful effects of city air pollution and excessively drying skincare products can all kick your bacteria balance off kilter. In addition to this, products loaded with preservatives disturb your skins natural eco system, so be wary of food items with a long shelf-life.

Balance your Bacterias

Instead of annihilating all the bacteria on our skin, we need to find a happy balance of good and bad. That’s where probiotics come in. Not only do they prevent the strains of bad bacteria which cause acne and eczema to flare up, they also work by resetting the skins PH levels- essential for a glowing complexion.

I often advise my clients to use fermentea hombucha - probiotics which help reduce redness and irritation, whilst creating a healthy surface for everything to function properly, whilst inhibiting blemish breeding bacteria.

People often discuss the antioxidant properties of probiotics – they can be extremely beneficial in reducing UV damage, as well as improving skin hydration and firmness. Probiotics also have the potential to improve the texture of our skin to keep it looking younger for longer.

What’s the difference?

Probiotics usually come from live foods, and work to protect the microbiome, whereas prebiotics are non- living ingredients that act as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria, already present on our skin. Prebiotics have excellent moisturising and radiance boosting properties, whilst probiotics keep our skin balanced and youthful and our immune system in check.

Want to see the effects of probiotics for yourself? Try making a DIY facemask at home, mixing natural yoghurt with honey and olive oil to even skin tone and keep your skin taught. For something a little more long term, simply speak to a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team about what products you can pick up in store today.

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