Over the past few years, probiotics have become popular as a supplement for gut health and more recently as an active ingredient for skincare products.
In layman’s terms, probiotics come from the preservation of food and the breakdown of the nutrients of the food which form sugars and acids. Plant nutrients are the most important part of the plant for human health and skin health, so consuming or applying plant material that has broken down or rotted will give no benefit.
Evidence-based reviews indicate that certain strains of probiotics contribute to the microbial balance of the gastrointestinal tract – supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the gut. Health conditions that can benefit from probiotics therapy include diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
The gut, however, must be lacking in these strains for probiotics to be effective. The overuse of probiotics and consumption of fermented foods can cause an increase in lactic acid build up in the intestinal tract which lowers the pH of the body making it more susceptible to disease.
The addition of probiotics to skincare has no benefit to the skin as the microbes from the probiotics only work effectively in the gut. The flora on the skin (microbes) are not compatible. The other issue is that all cosmetics contain preservatives that are used to stop and kill any microbes in the product, thus the inclusion of a living bacteria to a preserved cosmetic will only kill the bacteria rendering the product useless.