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Probiotics For Skincare: Benefits, Best Strains and More

The pursuit of clear, healthy skin is a goal for many. However, breakouts and acne can be frustratingly persistent skin concerns. While over-the-counter creams and prescription medications aim to treat acne topically, research increasingly demonstrates the power of holistic, internal approaches for lasting skin wellness.

One burgeoning area of interest is the use of targeted probiotic strains. Studies indicate certain probiotics may help tame inflammation, balance oil production, strengthen skin’s protective barrier, and hinder acne-causing bacteria. Though more research is still needed, probiotics are a promising supplemental treatment combined with lifestyle adjustments.

In this article, we dive into new understandings of the interconnectedness between gut and skin health. We also provide tips for a multifaceted, natural approach to achieve and maintain clear skin.

Understanding the Skin-Gut Connection

Recent scientific advances have illuminated a significant two-way relationship between the gut microbiome and skin microbiome, known as the skin-gut axis. This axis is a key communicator between the gastrointestinal tract and the skin’s immune system.

When the gut microbiome contains diverse beneficial bacteria, the intestinal lining stays strong and regulates inflammation. However, when harmful bacteria overpopulate the gut, the intestinal barrier can become compromised. This enables inflammatory triggers like proteins, toxins, and bacterial byproducts to enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on skin health, potentially resulting in inflammatory skin conditions like acne.

While acne is a multifactorial disease, gut dysbiosis and inflammation are pivotal contributors to many. Therefore, supporting gut health is critical to managing skin from the inside out.

Benefits of Probiotics for Skin

Probiotics are live microbes that offer health benefits when ingested or used topically. They help counteract dysbiosis and restore microbiome equilibrium. Probiotics are found naturally in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir. They also come in oral supplement form.

Specific strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium exhibit clinically demonstrated skin benefits:

  • Lessen inflammation and sensitivity
  • Boost moisture retention and strengthen the skin barrier
  • Regulate sebum and oil production
  • Inhibit acne-causing bacteria like Cutibacterium acnes
  • Enhance the efficacy of acne treatments when used together

While probiotics alone will not eliminate acne entirely, they show significant promise as part of a multifaceted skin care plan.

Adopting a Holistic Routine for Clear Skin

In addition to probiotics, several lifestyle factors affect skin health and acne:

Achieving and maintaining clear skin requires a multifaceted approach beyond any single product or treatment. Your lifestyle choices and daily habits have a major impact on skin health. Optimizing diet, managing stress, exercising, proper skin care, strategic supplementation, and professional treatments can all work synergistically to create an environment for clear, vibrant skin.

Diet – What we eat shows up on our skin. Limit inflammatory foods high in sugar, refined carbs, unhealthy fats, and dairy, which can promote breakouts. Instead, focus on skin-healthy foods like colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and omega-3-rich foods. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Stress Management – Chronic stress raises cortisol levels, triggering excess oil production and inflammation. Make time for relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or soothing nature walks. Get enough sleep nightly, aim for 7-9 hours. Manage commitments to avoid burnout.

Exercise – Regular exercise reduces systemic inflammation in the body. Aim for 30-45 minutes of moderate activity at least 3 days weekly. Choose activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and strength training.

Skincare – Gently cleanse skin twice daily using mild, fragrance-free cleansers. Use oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizers suited to your skin type. Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to remove dead skin cells. Always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Supplements – Besides probiotics, supplements like omega-3s, zinc, vitamin D, and turmeric may support skin health. Consult a doctor before starting supplements.

Professional Care – See a dermatologist or esthetician if breakouts are severe or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments. Prescription medications, light therapies, chemical peels, microneedling, and other procedures can be very effective for stubborn acne.

Creating lasting clear skin requires diligence, consistency, and patience when making lifestyle changes. It may take 6-12 weeks to see improvements. But over time, optimizing your holistic routine can transform your skin and help you achieve a clear, healthy glow. Work closely with healthcare professionals to find the right combination of lifestyle measures, skincare, supplements, and medical treatments tailored to your needs.


A growing body of research demonstrates the benefits of probiotics for acne and overall skin health. When paired with lifestyle adjustments to diet, stress levels, and more, probiotics may help get breakouts under control and reveal a clear, radiant complexion.

While probiotics are not a standalone cure, they are a promising complementary treatment. Work closely with healthcare professionals to create a personalized probiotic and skincare regimen. You can achieve your healthiest, clearest skin with consistency and a holistic approach.

About the author

Holden Desalles is a journalist in the new wellness space, covering topics such as CBD, adaptogens, and nootropics. He was formerly a staff writer at the millennial lifestyle website Thought Catalog.

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