Remember in the '90s when we worked so hard to wipe out all the bacteria on our faces (thanks, Neutrogena Acne Wash commercials)? We know better now. We know our bodies are hosts to about a trillion microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi—and a lot of these bugs are actually essential to our skin’s health. In fact, on the complexion front, science has shown that probiotics, the “friendly bacteria,” can help combat everything from acne to rosacea. A healthy skin microbiome is also credited with helping heal wounds, protect you from allergens, and Goldilocksing your moisture levels to an ideal balance (not too oily and not too dry).
The problem is that our modern lifestyle isn’t quite favorable to these beneficial probiotics. Everything from using antibacterial cleansers and overwashing to taking antibiotics and a fiberless, candy-filled diet skews your microbiome’s balance toward the bad—and your skin starts freaking out when that happens. The good news is it’s possible to restore your skin’s probiotics by adding them into your skincare routine. Here are three products to check out to keep your skin from buggin’ out.
Mother Dirt centers their formulas on Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB), which is an ultra-sensitive type of bacteria that, ideally, would be colonizing our skin if we weren’t constantly wiping out our good bacteria with harsh soaps and overzealous sanitation habits. According to Mother Dirt, AOB are “peacekeepers for the microbial community,” and are “literally incapable of causing an infection.” In other words, they’re safe to spray on your body. By restoring your skin with AOB, your skin finds itself back in its naturally healthy state not only because its microbiome is balanced, but also because the AOB converts the irritating components of your sweat into beneficial byproducts, notably nitrite, which helps manage bad bacteria, and nitric oxide, which is an antioxidant that helps calm the skin.
AO+ Mist is especially great if your skin is dry, oily, and sensitive. The company says the mist can improve skin clarity by 35% and improve the look and feel of dry and uneven skin by 35% in four weeks, while reducing your dependence on products like deodorants and moisturizers. Sweet!
Tip: Keep your bottle in the fridge so it can last up to about six months. (Probiotics don’t like hot and humid.)
TULA’s probiotics supplements were created with your complexion in mind. Formulated by a gastroenterologist, Dr. Roshini Raj, the Probiotic + Skin Health Complex contains three types of probiotics: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which the company says is the top clinically studied strain that helps with digestive health, Lactobacillus plantarum, a strain shown to deliver anti-aging benefits, and Bifidobacterium infantis, which helps reduce post-nosh bloating. The capsule also contains ceramides, which are essential substances found naturally in skin to help retain moisture and maintain a firm, smooth texture, as well as vitamin C to protect skin from free radical damage. Pop these capsules in to transform your skin’s microbiome, as they say, from inside out.
Tip: Take these probiotics first thing in the morning to maximize effectiveness.
This deliciously whipped moisturizer merges probiotics with plant and flower botanicals to hydrate, soothe, and add radiance to skin. Always protecting and restoring balance to the skin, Aurelia’s signature probiotic ingredients calm the natural immune triggers in your skin which can be overstimulated by pollution and stress and reduce the damage these immune triggers cause to collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for taut, firm, and bouncy skin. The probiotics work in tandem with a bouquet of wonderful botanicals that help nourish and hydrate skin, such as baobab, kigelia africana, hibiscus, borage, mongongo, and argan oils.
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