Probiotic seemed to be the buzz adjective in 2020. We were introduced to the importance of gut health, probiotic rich-foods, probiotic soap and probiotic supplements. We were even able to dabble in the intricacies of prebiotics and postbiotics. Don’t worry – this isn’t a biology lesson. You’ll be able to derive sufficient meaning from the prefixes if you’re comfortable with the English language.
Why the sudden craze?
We have recently been bombarded (gently) by news articles, health forums and Intsa-gurus about the importance of gut health and supplement-based probiotics. Similarly, as our gut needs a host of good bacteria to function well, our skin needs the same. Our skin microbiome is much like our inner version – a diverse range of good guys keeps the bad guys at bay and prevents illness, discomfort and all-around issues.
Therefore, it’s easy to derive that if your skin microbiome is happy, your skin should follow suit. Your skin is one of the things protecting you from the outside world therefore it needs to have a robust skin barrier to keep things in check. When the skin barrier is not strong, we run into all kinds of issues such as inflammation, acne and sensitised skin.
A healthy skin barrier contributes to regulated sebum production and can fight off free radicals (remember when I said the outside world? Well, it’s full of toxins and free radicals that can hinder your skin’s function and appearance).
What are we doing wrong?
Not only does the outside world burden our skin’s microbiome, but our obsession with over-cleansing strips our skin regularly. Plus, with the rise of COVID-19, sanitisers and the likes are like missiles to our barrier. Unfortunately, these products can’t differentiate between the good and bad guys and end up wiping out the whole lot. Poor bacteria.
What’s the solution?
I’ve recently started dabbling in probiotic skincare that restores the skin’s microbiome in a natural and non-invasive way. After wreaking havoc on my skin by over-cleansing and over-exfoliation, I was in dire need of a bacterial boost.
Here are my favourite products for gently restoring the skin’s microbiome and harvesting a good colony of bacteria.