Could probiotic face care be the solution to all skin issues? The question was raised by the writer Eva Jost in a contribution to the website of InStyle, a beauty and fashion magazine. From pimples to redness, sensitive or dry skin – in many cases, the author says, probiotic face care promises a change for the better.
It should be noted, however, that probiotics for a healthy skin are completely unrelated to what the author calls “bizarre skin care ingredients”. Rather, we have to realise that, after years and decades of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics based on chemical-industrial processes, people are increasingly rediscovering more organic products: with regard to both shopping for food and when choosing the right cosmetics and skin care.
Calling probiotic or organic skin care a “beauty hype”, as the article hints, would hence be erroneous. Rather, it is a trend evident across many industries and economic sectors: greater emphasis on organic sources, more renewables, fewer fossil-based plastics. An additional factor in personal hygiene is that a higher share of organic ingredients not only helps to reduce resource use but also benefits our health.
It used to be that we removed bacteria on our skin and in our environment to the best of our abilities. However, we have known for the longest time that only few bacterial species are pathogens and that healthy skin is not germ free, but rather downright colonised by bacteria – bacteria that do not harm us but rather strengthen the skin’s protective acid mantle and natural barrier and in this way protect us from pathogens. The fewer good bacteria we have on our skin, the more likely we are to suffer from redness or inflammations.
Lactic acid bacteria in probiotic cosmetics – in parts obtained as extracts – promote the growth of good bacteria on the skin. The result is a well-balanced mix of healthy and less healthy bacteria in the skin flora which can help to contain the spreading of harmful pathogens. This is not a solution to all (!) skin issues, but there is no doubt that some probiotics are able to help with many of the skin diseases and unpleasant symptoms common today.