Why You Should Add Probiotics to Your Skincare Routine
When you think of your skincare routine, what do you think is most important? Is it the acne-reducing face wash? Is it a mineral sunscreen that keeps sunspots and sunburns at bay? Maybe it's the anti-wrinkle cream you apply every morning and night?
Although skincare products can be valuable assets to keeping your skin looking fresh, they can't tackle the root of your skin concerns. Creams, soaps, and exfoliants might be able to provide some results on the surface, but how can you keep your skin healthy from the inside out?
Healthy Skin Starts In The Gut
You may think your stomach, intestines, or lungs are the largest organ in the body, but actually, it's your skin. Skin is made of more than thin surface cells, as you travel further down into the deeper layers, membranes and other tissues (similar to other organs), are what lay on top of your muscles. So, if skin is an organ, how does it stay healthy?
Like many organs and other systems in the body, the gut microbiome impacts your skin's health. How? There are about 500 million neurons in the gastrointestinal tract, and, like the brain, they send out information throughout the body, which helps regulate bodily functions.
When the microbiota in the gut is imbalanced, it can affect the way your skin looks and feels. Dry skin, conditions like eczema, patches of red skin, and even acne all can be signs that your gut is imbalanced. So, what can you do to balance your gut?
Research into the effects of probiotics on skin has turned up some interesting results.
Can Probiotics Eliminate Menopausal Acne?
Probiotics can aid in the health of a variety of things, but what can they do for menopausal acne? Menopausal acne is multi-factorial and can be exacerbated by many things. However, there is a primary culprit of acne that probiotics may be able to help regulate bacteria.
The skin has both healthy and unhealthy bacteria living within it, just as the gut has good and bad bacteria. By improving and balancing the good bacteria in the gut, you can balance the healthy bacteria in the skin.
Acne is an inflammation of the skin that can be caused by any number of things. More often than not, this inflammation is a result of a buildup of bacteria that clogs pores and settles deep within them. What causes this buildup of bacteria? It can be due to things like an excess of sweat, residual makeup, and other skincare products left in pores. However, the most under looked cause is the imbalance of bacteria in the gut.
The Western diet tends to be high in fat and low in fiber (along with other nutrients). This kind of diet causes significant changes to intestinal microbiota and can trigger inflammatory responses in your skin because there aren't enough good bacteria to counteract the bad. By increasing your intake of probiotics, you help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut that can send information to the skin to reduce inflammation. This, in turn, can help balance the bacteria that live in skin.
What Else Can Probiotics Do For Your Skin?
Probiotics can help address other skin concerns too. Dry skin is another condition that can lead to inflammation, redness, and, if severe enough, eczema. Skin produces natural oils (primarily sebum) that protect the skin and keep it moist. When your skin is stripped of these oils or cannot produce these oils effectively, it begins to dry out. Some probiotics can help decrease skin inflammation, making it easier for hydrating ointments to penetrate the skin and restore some of the lost moisture.
People with sensitive skin could also benefit from taking probiotics. Sensitive skin is a type of skin inflammation that's caused by hyperactivity in the skin's nerves. When nerves in the skin are hyperactive, they respond to things like wind, cold, heat, and texture more intensely. Some probiotic strains, like lactobacillus paracasei (l. paracasei), help reduce the activity of nerves in the skin, which lowers the pain response triggered by the nerves.
How Can You Add To Your Skincare Routine?
Taking care of your skin in menopause can be a challenge. You can try battling acne, dry skin, and other skin conditions through the use of face washes and creams, but they can only help you so much. Remember, your skin's health encompasses more than just the surface level. Take a look at the power behind probiotics. Ask your doctor about how your gut may be impacting your skin's health, and make adjustments to your skincare routine where you need them.