What’s good for your gut is great for your skin!

A few years ago, I was the victim of a severe acne attack. I decided to visit a skin specialist, who was also a holistic nutritionist. Her philosophy was simple: ‘If it’s good enough to eat, it’s good enough to put on your face.’ The idea being, the way a certain food works inside your system, is pretty much how it will work on your skin.

Shortly after, a clinical study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science revealed that a solution containing 5% lactobacillus (the bacteria found in yoghurt) could effectively treat acne. Dr Whitney Bowe, a New York-based dermatologist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, too, has published studies in support of this. According to her, probiotics are effective in treating acne, rosacea and eczema, and also work in delaying the ageing process of the skin.

“That’s because they protect the skin against UV rays and also boost collagen production,” says Dr Jaishree Sharad, dermatologist, author of Skin Talks , Vice President, Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India, and Founder-CEO of Skinfiniti, Mumbai. Over the last two years, skincare companies are catching on to this, and what have we! A cosmetic revolution that’s the antithesis of what skincare has, so far, been about—keeping it squeaky clean. No longer. We now want that bacteria to stay; the good bacteria, that is. And that good bacteria are being used to shoo away the bad bacteria, to help keep skin healthy and glowing.

“The good bacteria in probiotics protect the skin from harmful bacteria, thereby preventing infections and boosting skin immunity,” explains Dr Sharad. Remember, skin is the largest organ in the body. “Not only does it form a protective layer on the skin, it also restores the existing natural barriers. When ingested, it does all this, fights inflammation and improves skin elasticity.”

In fact, all experts agree that ingesting probiotics is of far greater value to the skin, than just applying. “Eating probiotics is the best way to look after your skin,” says Dr Issac Mathai, holistic health expert and founder of Soukya International Holistic Health Centre, Bengaluru. Dr Bowe, too, recommends eating curd, drinking kefir (fermented milk) or even taking probiotic supplements. But that is not to undermine the benefits of application. The bummer: Most off-the-shelf products use derivatives, and not live strains, since that would severely restrict the shelf life. You can, however, make the most of this beauty trend. Here’s what you can treat.


First, the probiotics keep the acne-causing bacteria away. In the event that the harmful bacteria do find their way to your skin, probiotics keep them from aggravating the skin and causing inflammation. They also improve acne lesions.

Try: TULA Purifying Face Cleanser with Probiotic Technology, Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer (both available on Amazon.in and eBay.in), or Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser (available through Net-a-porter.com and Aureliaskincare.com).


Preventing inflammation and creating a protective barrier help reduce redness in the skin. They also protect against environmental damage. According toDermatology Times , a cream that contains 10% bifidobacterium longum lysate can effectively treat reactive skin, and improves sensitivity in two months’ time. This also helps with sunburn.

Try: Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser With Probiotic Technology and Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream With Probiotic Technology (both available on Amazon.in, eBay.in, Nykaa.com).

Dry skin

Probiotic products treat dry skin in a double-action manner. One, because they don’t aim for squeaky clean, they don’t strip your skin of its natural oils. And two, topical creams with streptococcus thermophilus (a probiotic strain) increase ceramide levels (that trap moisture), and therefore, skin hydration.

Try: Mother Dirt Cleanser (available on Amazon.in), Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream (available at Sephora and on Amazon.in).

Fine lines and wrinkles

Probiotics hydrate the skin and boost collagen production, both actions that delay the ageing process in the skin. Besides, they fight environmental factors that make the skin age.

Try: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Rose Mask (available on Amazon.in), Gatineau Melatogenine AOX Probiotics Advanced Rejuvenating Cream (available on Strawberrynet.com.

Not only does it form a protective layer on the skin, it also restores the existing natural barriers


Prerna Singh Butalia (Dated: 29th May 2017) THE HINDU