Probiotics as Skin Care. Who Knew?
Photo by Trunk Archive
Doctors, yogurt commercials, and even estheticians have long preached the benefits of adding priobiotics to your diet, but did you know they can also be used topically? Gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, who’s created her own line of probiotic creams, discusses how they work, inside and out.
What are probiotics?
“Probiotics are beneficial bacteria or yeast—organisms that offer [multiple] benefits to the human body,” says Dr. Raj. “When something disrupts the balance of bacteria, it can result in disease or inflammation and probiotics restore that balance. “ In forms like yogurt, Kefir, and supplements, probiotics can reduce gut inflammation, restore the lining of your intestine, and aid with autoimmune diseases and I.B.S. But some studies have noted that ingesting probiotics also reduced skin redness, irritation, and inflammation. Topical application is the new frontier. “The American Academy of Dermatoloy has called probiotics one of the new beauty breakthroughs as they’ve been shown to help with clearer skin, decreased skin sensitivity, redness, and inflammation,” Dr. Raj says. “You may also see a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increased elasticity.”
So can I just put yogurt on my face?
Yep. Though applying probiotics to your face may seem like a new trend, it’s not. “In India for many years they’ve been doing ceremony day before the wedding where the bride and groom apply yogurt and turmeric to the skin to give a healthy glow,” says Dr. Raj. “Yogurt has naturally occurring probiotics, that’s why it’s beneficial when used as a topical mask.” To use yogurt yourself, look for products that contain live and active cultures. She recommends Activia and GoodBelly, a dairy-free option that comes in yogurt shots and juice. You can find it at WholeFoods, Safeway, and natural food stores, and some varieties are gluten-free as well. Probiotics are also found in kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso—great for eating, but perhaps not as nice to apply to your skin.