If you’ve ever pampered your skin with a DIY-yogurt mask, congratulations. You’ve already discovered probiotic skincare!
While the tradition of using yogurt (or rather the ‘good bacteria’ in it) for the skin dates back decades, the past few years have seen skincare brands studying probiotics and including it in products to help the skin remain balanced and strong.
You’ve likely heard of beneficial probiotics aiding digestion in your gut, but it turns out that employing it as part of your skincare routine is also pretty promising. To understand some of the new skincare claims, let’s first understand the skin microbiome and the bacteria that live on our skin.
No need to squirm, it’s actually a good thing!
On top of the skin’s physical barrier is a layer of diverse microorganisms called the microbiome that helps keep our complexion clear and radiant. They work with our natural immune system to defend our skin, so keeping our microbiome balanced is basically the key to great skin.
Daily Vanity hears all about probiotics and how it helps our skin microbiome from a well-known skincare entrepreneur who launched his own skincare line locally and has been expanding the popular brand successfully to multiple countries across the world.
Here’s the scoop on the probiotics trend from the founder of Allies of Skin, Nicolas Travis.
Probiotics are great for gut health, but how do they benefit our skin microbiome?
In probiotics supplement, live bacteria is used. However, in skincare, there’s no way to include live bacteria since we don’t know what other bacteria will grow (think mould and other microorganisms you don’t want living in your skincare products!) Also, preservatives used to keep skincare products fresh will kill any live bacteria.
Hence in skincare, we refer to probiotics as a class of microbiome-boosting actives that promote the growth of natural good bacteria on the skin to help the skin defend itself better so that symptoms like premature ageing, redness, sensitivity, breakouts, and excessive oiliness will all fade.
What is a common mistake people do that destroys the bacterial balance on skin?
Using harsh cleansers with sulfates strip our skin, particularly with products like toners that contain drying alcohol.
We agree with Nicolas on this. Aside from products which dry out your skin, exfoliating daily is a bad idea as it removes natural oils from the skin, which can cause breakouts and irritation. Over time, it can actually thin the skin!
Exfoliating two or three times a week for normal or combination skin is plenty.
Who benefits from probiotic skincare most?
According to Nicolas, people suffering from psoriasis, eczema, redness, acne, and those with highly reactive and sensitised skin benefit the most from probiotic skincare. It’s also great for modern and busy women with dry and stressed skin. We tend to over-clean our skin at times and bringing probiotics into the equation can help rebuild a healthy skin ecosystem, giving you the glowing skin you’re meant to have.
What sets products with probiotics apart from other existing skincare in the market?
Products with probiotics help strengthen the skin over time which makes a strong case. This means that technically even if you stop using the product, your skin will still be better off than it was before!
Probiotic Ingredients and Actives
Nicolas personally prefers Lactobacillus Ferment, Yogurt + Inulin, Manuka Honey (not technically a probiotic but it pairs great with probiotics to keep the skin microbiome healthy) and Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate in skincare with products.
But actives that can help the skin microbiome bounce back quicker from daily stressors like washing and UV light, pollution and domestic chemicals are also great to look out for in future products.
Probiotic Skincare products
A look at Nicolas Travis and you’ll be drawn to his impossibly smooth skin. Well the secret is out on what products this skincare entrepreneur swears by when it comes to probiotics.
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2 years ago, I launched @alliesofskin with 1 product: the world’s first day mask. I packed every order and wrote every Thank You card. — Today, we have 8 products and are the first and only Singaporean beauty brand to be sold at @barneysny @harrods @mrporterlive @netaporter @joycehk @lanecrawford @saks @theofficialselfridges; a feat I would not have been able to accomplish without my brilliant team. — I’m forever grateful to be able to do what I love and for every single customer that gave us a chance and became allies. This is just the beginning of what’s to come and I cannot be more excited for the future ?? #AlliesforLife
Aside from a probiotic supplement he takes daily, he always reaches for the Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Probiotics Mist, 1A All-Day Pollution Repair Mask and Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream.
Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Probiotics Mist
Recently launched, this probiotics mist is a supercharged mist that does way more than just moisturising. It’s extremely nutrient-dense with probiotics, mango cells, silk amino acids, aloe, colloidal silver, and 6 antioxidants. The anti-evaporation base is also designed to cling to your skin cells instead of simply vanishing.
Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Probiotics Mist retails at SGD79 and is available here.
Tula Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum
An important rule of skincare: Always show love to the most delicate part of our skin – the skin around our eyes.
This probiotic-infused brightening eye balm refreshes the look of tired, aging eyes and is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and puffiness. It contains strains of Bifida Ferment Lysate, which is said to fight free radicals and provide an instant burst of hydration. It’s also travel-friendly so you can bring your good bacteria along wherever you go!
Tula Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum retails at SGD68 and is available here.
Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
This iconic anti-aging serum is now given a boost with microbiome science, which accelerates skin recovery for stronger and younger-looking skin. Enriched with a new complex of seven prebiotics and probiotic fractions, it helps strengthen our skin’s fundamental youthful functions, defense and recovery. Don’t be surprised if your skin looks youthfully radiant and smoother in just seven days!
Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate retails at SGD20 and is available here.
Gallinée Skincare Line
With their value of ‘happy skin needs happy bacteria’, Gallinée produced a patented complex of prebiotics, probiotics and lactic acid to help nourish and support the skin’s good bacteria. The products across their line have the same pH as the skin so there definitely won’t be skin-stripping ingredients such as soap or SLS.
Try their founder’s favourite product – the non-soap Cleansing Bar. The gentlest non-soap possible, it’s the perfect product to support your microbiome from head to toe as it is suitable for face and body with its pH of 5.8, respecting your skin’s natural pH levels (most skin types have a natural pH level of 5.5).
Cleansing bar retails at SGD23 and is available here.