I’ve long been a fan of probiotics — the good bacteria that helps your body stay healthy. In addition to trying to eat foods that contain it naturally, I keep a bottle of a probiotic supplement in my fridge and pop 2 capsules every single morning before I eat anything. I’ve found this helps with digestion, immunity, and overall health.
So, being the product junkie and health nut that I am, when I heard about probiotic skincare, it piqued my curiosity instantly. Not only are there several brands that specialize in probiotic-centered products, there are many brands that have special probiotic lines and products. And many that are, in fact, safe for pregnancy and do wonders postpartum.
Since putting good bacteria on your skin is in, I decided to do a little research and give you the deets on probiotic skincare from the very people who created this new beauty trend.
Here are 5 things you should know about probiotic skincare.
- Probiotics work magic for your skin. You probably know how probiotics work to balance your gut bacteria. Well, the same friendly microorganisms can be beneficial for your skin, too. Whether it’s in a mist form (like True Botanicals’ Nutrient Mist CALM ) or in an oil (like One Love Organics’ Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil ), good bacteria helps your skin battle the bad bacteria that cause breakouts and irritation. The result is more balanced, less inflamed skin, which during pregnancy is no small feat!
- Probiotic skincare products don’t need to be refrigerated to stay potent. Many probiotics require refrigeration to keep their health benefits going (hello yogurt!). For example, many of them are naturally sensitive to heat and moisture. Heat can kill organisms and moisture can activate them within pills, only to die due to lack of nutrients and a proper environment. That said, there are many kinds of probiotics that do not need to stay in the fridge, and thanks to science and technology, beauty companies can keep their probiotics going without having to worry too much about room temperature. Dr. Roshini Raj, co-founder of probiotic-centric brand Tula, says, “probiotic yeast and some of the spore-forming bacteria, such as Bacillus Coagulans (contained in our Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment ), and other naturally resistant strains do not require refrigeration,” says Dr. Raj, who’s also a board-certified gastroenterologist. “While most supplements and probiotic-rich foods contain live bacteria cultures, the probiotics in TULA products have been lysed (broken down) to release only their most useful elements, which means they are no longer living and do not need to be refrigerated.”
- Topical probiotics are safe during pregnancy. Your body goes through so many changes during pregnancy, including your skin. Many pregnant women suffer from skin sensitivities that they've never experienced before. And these problems aren’t always easy to remedy. Thankfully, probiotics can help and, according to current research, are safe to slather during pregnancy. “Probiotics are generally a form of safe bacteria that’s found naturally in our bodies, so [safety is] typically not an issue for pregnant women, especially used topically,” says Tata Harper, founder of the eponymous brand. “However, it’s always best to consult your doctor.” One of my favorite probiotic-centric brands, Mother Dirt, has a simple and light probiotic AO+ Mist that promises to improve skin clarity in just 2 weeks of use.
- Mix yogurt in your probiotic masks for better results. Masks are a great way to add probiotics to your skincare routine. And if you’re looking to boost your probiotic use, some products offer the opportunity to add live cultures to the mix -- yogurt, that is. The mask by RL Linden, a women-owned and operated company out of Colorado, contains yogurt powder and even suggest mixing the mask with organic Greek yogurt instead of just water or honey. Combined with the active cultures in the yogurt, the powdered probiotics in the mask pack a powerful punch, and the rose scent in incredible. If mixing up your own mask feels like too much effort, Tata Harper’s wonderful Purifying Mask is ready-to-use straight from the jar, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It contains Lactobacillus, which is a healthy strain of bacteria that helps balance your skin. “Products containing live cultures, like milk and yogurt, need to be refrigerated while products using freeze-dried organisms like supplements and tablets are generally more stable,” Harper explains. “They, like our Purifying Mask, should still be kept out of extreme heat or moisture.”
- It’s easy to take off the skin. Still nervous about trying something new? One of the best things about probiotic skincare is that it’s pretty easy to try, and even easier to un-do, if you decide you don’t like something about it. “If for some reason you don’t want it on your skin anymore, just wash it off with soap,” says Robin Magnuson, a representative from Probiotic brand Mother Dirt. “AOB are very sensitive to soap so washing will quickly and easily remove it.”