Probiotics, particularly those found in food are often at the forefront of health and wellness conversations. You may be aware that they are great for aiding healthy digestion and can be found in your favourite kombucha or yoghurt. However, many studies now show that probiotics and prebiotics when used in conjunction with each other, provide skin health benefits when consumed orally and also when applied topically to your skin.
Pre and probiotics – what they are and what’s the difference?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which can prove beneficial to many bodily processes. To put it simply, they are ‘good bacteria’ and have been used for centuries due to their healing qualities. As well as being commonly found in fermented foods and some yeasts, they also occur naturally in our gastrointestinal system and on the surface of our skin.
Prebiotics while lesser-known and studied than probiotics are substances which promote the growth and stimulation of helpful bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates and are the ‘food source’ of probiotics that keep them active and functioning optimally. Prebiotics are commonly found in fibre dense foods such as bananas, artichokes, garlic and onions.
When probiotics are used in conjunction with prebiotics, they have a synergistic effect and have been shown to have a positive effect on aiding both the gut and skins natural reaction against inflammation and allergens and also increasing skin moisture levels and elasticity.
The Gut Skin Link:
The human microbiome is made up of a combination of microorganisms and genetic material that microbes live on within the body. Both your gastrointestinal system and your skin have their own microbiomes and there is now a strong scientific suggestion of a link between the two.
Gut bacteria within the gut microbiome, has a close relationship with the bodies immune system, inflammatory pathways and response. Acne and rosacea are two dermatological afflictions that are aggravated by inflammation. Therefore, it reasons that when gut bacteria are out of balance, it is commonly reflected in the health of our skin.
As well as existing in your gut, probiotics also live on your skin surface, working to protect your skins microbiome. More traditional, chemical-based skincare and antibacterial products can often throw the balance of your skins microbiome out of sync, killing the necessary good bacteria and stripping the skin of moisture, potentially worsening skin condition. Topical use of products containing pre and probiotics have been shown to restore the balance of good bacteria on the skin’s surface necessary for optimal function. The use of topical prebiotic and probiotic skin-care has shown to decrease acne, rosacea, allergenic and non-allergenic dermatitis and wound healing time.
Prebiotics and probiotics to incorporate into your lifestyle:
When considering your skin health, it is important to bear in mind what products you are using on both the outside and inside.
Foods containing prebiotic microorganisms are fermented foods such as:
- Sauerkraut; and
Foods high in prebiotics are:
- Onion; and
- Honey is also a great source of prebiotics which can be used as a food and topically.
Au Naturals Skinfood’s hero ingredients Manuka and Kanuka Honey have been proven to contain prebiotic potent oligosaccharides, often used in natural skincare, which have been shown to improve the viability of probiotic bacteria. Being the hero ingredients in most of our products, this is the perfect way to control and keep your skins biome healthy. We also have you covered from the inside without as our Hair.Skin.Nails Collagen rich in Manuka honey. Click here for more info on about our Collagen Powder.
I am here to help and want to support you on your journey to healthy skin, please contact me directly through email@example.com. I would love to hear your experience and answer any questions that you might have.
Tracy - Founder, Au Natural Skinfood