Do you really need probiotics in your skincare?

probiotic-prebiotic-skincare-feed your face-plumstudioGoodbye “anti-ageing”, hello ‘vitality’, as the probiotics trend reveals the desire to ‘glow from within’ as the new way to ‘feed your skin’.

‘Pre & probiotics in skincare purely a trend’? Fact is we’ve become so healthy on the inside by focusing on our ‘gut health’, that it was only a matter of time before the outside began to try to benefit too. So if you’ve yet to catch on to the passion for fermented foods (from kefir to kombucha – my daughter makes her own and fills up our fridge with jars of the stuff – though it is tasty!), why not check out the best topical probiotic skincare to start you off.

Prebiotic or Probiotic? Get what you can, I say! Prebiotics are basically like good food for the skin’s ‘good’ bacteria, the probiotics; so the more you feed ‘the good’ the less room there is for ‘the bad’ that otherwise leads to overly sensitive skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne or inflamm-ageing. Look for prebiotic nutrients such as marine enzymes, antioxidant-rich berries and grapeseed oil, help ensure the growth of probiotics to help make skin more resilient.

Worth checking out why? These skincare puritans are designed to help keep your skin flora as naturally balanced and healthy as your tum: the best recipes contain skin-friendly botanicals to ‘feed’ skin (ooh nourishing then?), boost cell immunity and maintain a healthy barrier function – ah the REAL key to ageless and less acne-prone skin.

Of course, many brands jumping on the bandwagon for what is now a very trendy beauty theme in this new age of wellness…so do read the ingredients ‘as always’: a hot topic is one thing…but find it any further down the ingredient list than say 3/4 and you have to question its efficacy and reason for being there.

A FEW NEW ‘HEALTHY’ SKIN HEROES I RATHER LIKE…

CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP

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THE MASK A bubbling pore-clearing two-minute treatment, Clinique Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask, £24, mixes botanical extracts of grapevine and black mulberry root with coconut oil and hydroxy acids.

THE SERUM Rich in pre-biotic polyphenols with a protective power that’s 20 times greater than Vit E and 50 times greater than Vit C, the new Caudalie Premier Cru The Serum, £90, shaped like a grape, contains super grapeseed and resveratrol for brighter skin and fewer dark spots.

THE RADIANCE BOOSTER Fast gaining momentum as THE skincare brand of the moment, Orveda The Healing Sap, £125 at Harvey Nichols, combines a marine enzyme and natural prebiotic to help the healing of the skin’s natural moisture barrier, as well as bio-fermented Kombucha black tea.

THE SOAP I just love the aroma of The Chuckling Goat Soothing Kefir Cleanser, £5.15 from chucklinggoat.co.uk with rosemary and raw goat’s milk, can be used all over the body, especially on eczema-prone skin.

THE CLEANSER Exfoliating grapeseed, jojoba and coconut oils in Time Bomb Peace & Quiet Coconut Oil Cleanser, £25, gently dissolve makeup and smell suspiciously like a Pina Colada. Roll on summer.

THE FACE OIL …. #GOJOBEAUTY…my fave! Comforting and nourishing in one, Votary Facial Oil, £65 at spacenk.com, is a potent little blend of 21 super seed oils featuring grapeseed oil, apricot, jojoba and meadowfoam. I’m a serious fan of this range after giving to a girlfriend who was on Methotrexate for her cancer and as a result, her skin seemed intolerant to everything: well seriously she tolerated it from day one and absolutely loved it. “Skin meets health” for sure.

THE SHEET This probiotic sheet mask, Prevage Superstart Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocellulose Mask, £40 for four, clings to your face like no other (so you don’t have to lie about for 20 mins) and gives such a radiance boost.

THE PRIMER Last step skincare, this tiny bottle of REN Prime Time Perfect Canvas, £50, silicone-free primer with prebiotic extracts designed to help boost skin’s resilience and skin immunity.

THE FACE CREAM There’s a cult following behind Gallinée La Culture Hydrating Face Cream, £34.90, with antioxidant myrtle and a patented complex combining prebiotics, probiotics, and lactic acid to help rebalance irritated skins.

 

#JOGBLIVING WELL…WITH PROBIOTICS

So, internally,what foods are good sources of probiotics?

The most accessible source of probiotics is in live yogurt with ‘active cultures, but better still are kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso soup, basically fermented vegetables. Fresh ferments made at home are the best way to go, so do check any labels on processed foods for ‘live’ or ‘active’ cultures, as often these are removed through the manufacturing process.

Good sources of prebiotics include: barley, oats, seaweed; inulin-rich foods (ie rich in polysaccharides) such as garlic, onion, asparagus, leeks and artichokes, or resistant starch foods including legumes, seeds, pasta and potato.

FURTHER READING…to convince you that your gut is your intuitive 2nd brain…

I love this brilliant ‘not too serious’ yet thoroughly convincing book GUT by Giulia Enders which has just been updated, or check out Liz Earle’s The Good Gut Guide, full of expert advice and realistic wellness tips.
 

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