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Acne is one of the most common yet confusing and frustrating skin conditions out there. It’s highly personal, and there is hardly a practical, one-size-fits-all approach for treating breakouts, even though we’re often offered quick fixes in the form of topical skincare products.

Despite a multitude of blemish-busting products on the market, a small number of them are actually able to tackle the issue. Acne-fighting formulas that contain chemical exfoliants and actives can be too aggravating for those with dry, sensitive skin too, which can trigger a whole host of issues.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. To combat acne in a gentle manner, we dove a little deeper to find out what acne-prone skin is missing in order to heal itself.

The surprising thing that acne-prone skin lacks

what acne prone skin lacks

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You may not be able to see them, but our bodies are home to several hundred species of microorganisms, which live symbiotically to make up our microbiome. Not only is it an essential part of the body’s immune system, but it’s also responsible for the functioning of our skin barrier.

A thriving microbiome is known to prevent a whole host of skin issues, including acne, so the greater the variety of bacterial species we have on our skin, the healthier our skin will be.

In short, a diverse microbiome is the single most important element of skin health, and that is what’s missing in acne-prone skin.

Are there bacteria that are responsible for acne?

acne causing bacteria

Credit: Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels

There are plenty of microorganisms that live on our skin, and one of them is the acne-causing bacteria called Cutibacterium acnes (formerly known as Propionibacterium acnes, a.k.a. P. acnes bacteria).

That’s not to say that Cutibacterium acnes is a “bad” bacteria, as it is one of the most common species found on our skin. In fact, no person is completely free of this bacteria, and Cutibacterium acnes actually plays a role in moisturising the skin. It’s only when there’s an overgrowth of the bacteria do they cause blemishes.

Besides Cutibacterium acnes, our bodies are also home to Corynebacterium, a bacteria that produces toxins, which makes it an unwelcome presence for those who yearn for clearer, glowing skin. When our skin is overwhelmed by Corynebacterium, it can trigger irritation, so it’s important to limit the amount of this bacteria.

By taking care of all 1,000 trillion indigenous bacteria in our bodies from the inside out, you’ll be able to see an improvement in both your skin and overall wellbeing. The best way to do so is by introducing lactobacilli – the “good” bacteria – into our skincare routine and diet.

What lactobacilli can do for our skin and gut health

what lactobacilli can do for our skin and gut health

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Lactobacilli, or probiotics, are essentially living skin- and gut-friendly bacteria that offer both internal and external benefits. Here’s how it can aid our skin and gut health.

  • They calm skin and gut inflammation: Taking probiotics is the best way to keep the lining of your digestive tract smooth and robust, and can normalise the balance of healthy bacteria on the skin to calm inflammation, thereby reducing breakouts.
  • They inhibit the production of Cutibacterium acnes: Probiotics applied to the skin can lead to fewer instances of the Cutibacterium acnes bacteria that cause acne.
  • They protect the skin from environmental damage: Fending off external sources of irritation or damage is easier when there are probiotics to bolster your skincare. Probiotics can help prevent harmful bugs from triggering inflammation in the first place.
  • They strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier: Been a little too harsh on your skin with stripping cleansers and harsh exfoliants? Well, probiotics can help restore your skin’s natural barrier function, which is essential for banishing sensitivity, redness, and breakouts.

Apart from acne, other inflammation-related skin disorders can flare up when something throws our gut’s balance of bacteria off-kilter. This unbalanced ratio could damage our intestinal lining, which then welcomes irritating substances into our bloodstream. One thing leads to another, and it inevitably affects our complexion.

So, now that you have a better understanding of your own microbiome, there’s only one thing left to do: support it and let it thrive.

The best way to support your microbiome and reduce acne

kins booster and supplements 2

Enter KINS, a Japanese skincare and wellness brand established in 2018 by Dr. Yutaka Shimokawa. Through his clinical research and experience, he saw the vital role that probiotics play in improving our skin and health, which is why KINS offers probiotic-infused skincare and supplements for holistic benefits.

KINS BOOSTER

kins booster

A booster that’s made to be applied on your skin right after cleansing, KINS BOOSTER contains over 10% of fermented soymilk to moisturise the skin and increase our levels of “good” bacteria. Its formula is much more concentrated compared to regular boosters, which often only contain less than 1% of extracts.

The booster balances out the Cutibacterium acnes bacteria that cause acne, and it even reduces our skin’s production of glycerin – acne bacteria’s favourite food.

If you have oily skin, you’ll experience fewer blemishes thanks to a decrease in acne bacteria, while those with dry skin will notice more moisturised, plump skin due to the hydrating benefits of fermented soymilk and an incredibly low level of acne bacteria.

KINS BOOSTER fundamentally changes your complexion, leaving you with tighter pores, more even skin tone, and glowing skin. It benefits all skin types too, not just oily, acne-prone skin.

KINS SUPPLEMENTS

kins supplements open tub

To support your skin from the inside out, KINS SUPPLEMENTS contain 22 different types of lactobacilli as well as natural nutrients produced by probiotics to regulate your intestinal environment.

Unlike most probiotic supplements, KINS’ are designed to dissolve in the intestines rather than the stomach. This allows live bacteria to be delivered to the intestines without being affected by the stomach’s acidity, which can impact the benefits of lactobacilli.

Each capsule introduces “good” bacteria to the gut and balances out the “bad” bacteria, creating a healthier gut flora. Once the intestinal environment is regulated, you’ll see an improvement in bowel movement, skin issues, menstrual cramps, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

All you have to do is take two tablets a day, at any time that’s easy to make a habit of.

Editor’s review of KINS BOOSTER and SUPPLEMENTS

As someone with a double whammy of sensitive and acne-prone skin, finding a blemish-reducing skincare product can be tough. An acne treatment could trigger instant irritation and redness, which adds even more issues to my overwhelmed plate. That is exactly what happened before I tried KINS BOOSTER and SUPPLEMENTS.

To see if the duo could reset my skin and undo the damage that had been done, I tested them out for a week.

kins booster texture

KINS BOOSTER’s lightweight, watery texture

Housed in a translucent pump bottle, KINS BOOSTER is a lightweight, water-like formula that’s reminiscent of a toner. Though it doesn’t contain any fragrances or essential oils, the BOOSTER has a faint, pleasant scent.

After cleansing my face, I applied one pump on damp skin, and my skin drank it up within seconds. It felt instantly hydrated without being suffocated by a sticky or greasy layer, and I followed up with a light moisturiser to seal in the goodness.

kins supplements capsules

As instructed, I took two capsules of KINS SUPPLEMENTS during the day. The capsules are tinier compared to other probiotic supplements I’ve tried in the past and they have a neutral taste to them, which made daily consumption a breeze.

kins booster and supplements review before after

After a week, my skin felt much softer. I found it hard to stop touching my face, but I eventually did for the sake of minimising the spread of harmful bacteria on my skin, which would undo the work of the BOOSTER.

The red, irritated bumps on my forehead and nose had smoothed out, my large pores look a little smaller, and the active zit on my chin went away in a couple of days – much quicker than it would usually take to heal.

The KINS BOOSTER was extra gentle on my sensitive skin, yet it worked well to reduce acne and balance my skin. My face doesn’t feel as greasy by midday, and my skin tone appeared more even.

Thanks to KINS SUPPLEMENTS, my bowel movements have been more regular and I don’t experience much bloating after meals now too. Although I haven’t tried both products long enough, my skin and gut have already seen improvements. Incorporating both of them into my routine has really been convenient and fuss-free.

You’ll have to try them yourself to see and feel the difference!

KINS BOOSTER and SUPPLEMENTS retail for S$107 (50ml) and S$127 (60 capsules) respectively, available on KINS official site and Shopee.

Follow KINS on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and promotions.

More skincare tips to increase your microbiome diversity

tips to support microbiome

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  • Don’t wash your skin too often: Cleansing too often can disrupt your skin’s delicate microbiome, so it’s important to minimise the use of soaps and cleansers. Try washing your face with only lukewarm water in the morning and using a gentle face wash only in the evening.
  • Avoid washing your face with hot water: It strips away too much sebum and moisture, so rinse your skin with lukewarm water instead.
  • Exercise and work up a sweat: Sweat is food for your microbiome. Regular exercise also improves your blood circulation, which will make your skin glow.
  • Don’t overuse cosmetics: Makeup products, in general, may contain surfactants and preservatives for better texture and a longer shelf life, but these ingredients often upset the microbiome. If you wear heavy makeup, you’ll also need to double cleanse or use a face wash with better cleansing abilities, which could tip the balance of your microbiome. It’s always best to give your skin a break and go without makeup every once in a while.

This article is brought to you by KINS.