Are probiotics for skin care worth the hype?


Manufacturers of probiotics claim a host of benefits to our general health, but studies have shown more moderate ones from these ‘friendly bacteria’:

  • A reduction in diarrhea (infectious and associated with antibiotic use)
  • Certain probiotic strains help in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) and possibly for bloating and gas in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Some strains help improve stool consistency and frequency of bowel movements in people with constipation
  • Probiotics have been linked to enhanced immune responses against colds and the flu but the research is inconsistent.

While considered safe overall there’s not a lot of solid evidence to recommend their widespread use. This doesn’t mean that probiotics aren’t beneficial, just that we need larger, longer and better studies to give them a firm thumbs up.

Probiotics and our Skin

Of late, you’ll notice an increasing number of probiotics for skin treatments in the market. Should you consider using them?

It’s first important to understand a bit about our skin. Our skin hosts a number of bacteria which live in harmony with us when our skin is healthy. When skin is compromised, however, these bacteria can become harmful, as occurs with acne. We can also acquire dangerous bacteria from the environment which can put us at risk from infection. Our normal skin bacteria along with a slightly acidic pH, sebum content, hydration and our skin’s barrier function helps to protect us from external bacteria.

Topically applied probiotics are live bacterial cultures that can influence the composition of skin bacteria. Through a fermentation process, probiotic bacteria produce acidic compounds like lactic acid, helping to maintain an acidic pH, which discourages the growth of most harmful bacteria. However, bacteria are not allowed in skin care! Cosmetics demand testing for bacteria and laws allow for only a few harmless bacteria and NO disease-causing bacteria. So when you see a skin care product advertised as a probiotic one, it most likely contains dead bacteria or extracts that are free from bacteria. You are paying for nothing!

Keep in mind as well, that cosmetic formulas are usually quite complex and contain a number of ingredients, including preservatives to discourage microbial growth. Even if a manufacturer did manage to get away with putting good bacteria into a topical formulation, preservatives that are effective would kill them. An alternative to probiotics in skin care are ‘prebiotics’, non-digestible plant-based carbohydrates that discourage the growth of harmful bacteria while preserving and encouraging the growth of beneficial ones. Prebiotics are easily incorporated into skincare products and make an excellent alternative to live bacteria. You can find prebiotics in our Daily Infusion Moisturizer.Daily-Infusion-Moisturizer-apothekari-skincare

Probiotics for skin care? More misguided marketing. Try a yoghurt mask instead!

★ Reviews

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39 reviews

I'm loving this deodorant from Apothekari! I'm very skeptical about natural deodorants because I perspire a lot and had always used antiperspirants. Wanting to go more natural, I've tried a few natural deodorants and this is by far the best. I can apply in the a.m., go overnight, and work out the next a.m. without having to reapply. I also love the smell. I have scent sensitivities and this citrus-ginger mix doesn't bother me at all. Super-happy with my purchase.

My recent order of apothecary

I’m so pleased with my products! My skin is already more radiant, pores are tighter !

Great deodorant!

I’ve tried many natural deodorants with mixed results. The Apothekari deodorant works GREAT, even when doing intense workouts. I also like the scent of all of the products. The skin of my underarms seems to have improved texture as well. I will definitely repurchase.

It works wonders! But strong scent...

This is the first and only natural deodorant that has kept me fresh for more than 6 hours. I put it on at night after my shower and it keeps me Oder free for around 12 hours. LUMÉ couldn’t do that for me! I wouldn’t buy this particular scent again though, I thought it would have a nice balance between the Neroli and Rose, but I cannot smell Rose at all - in my opinion it comes off smelling very manly. Next time I will order the lavender and bergamot scent.

The deodorant is great, gently shake and roll on. It’s very watery so I rub my arms back and forth to get it applied everywhere and then wait for a second in front of the fan before putting on a shirt. But it sooo worth it!!! Amazing deodorant and no rashes! My skin feels healthy. I have been using it for about a month.

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