Probiotic skincare – what is it and what can the products do for my skin?

You’ve heard of probiotics for your gut, but have you considered putting them on your skin? Probiotic-rich skincare formulas are incredibly popular at the moment, with Google noting a 5,000% surge in searches for microbiome skincare.

The main functions of these creams and serums are to restore your skin’s balance, keep the surface clear and reduce inflammation.

What is a microbiome?

The skin microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria found naturally on the skin's surface. When the microbiome is in balance, skin should appear healthy. If it becomes out of balance – caused by reasons such as stripping your skin of its natural oils with harsh skincare products – this can result in too many bad bacteria forming.

This overgrowth of bad bacteria can go on to cause skin problems like dryness, itchiness and inflammatory skin concerns like eczema. Some experts even believe an unbalanced microbiome can lead to acne breakouts.

So what do probiotics do for the skin? 

When applied topically, probiotics have the ability to encourage good bacteria to grow. Over time, this should cause the skin balance to be restored, its barrier to strengthen and the overgrowth of bad bacteria to be kept at bay.

How do I add a probiotic product to my skincare regime?

The easiest way is to just swap out one of your regular skin products for a probiotic formula.

While you can find this skin barrier-strengthening addition in creams, serums and oils, we recommend starting with your cleanser, since a harsh cleansing formula could be to blame for causing an imbalanced microbiome.

Try: Balance Me Pre and Probiotic Cleansing Milk

This lightweight, creamy cleanser gently removes impurities, revealing a brighter, softer complexion. It’s also loaded with probiotics to help you boost your skin barrier. A full size bottle costs £20, but you’ll find a travel size (perfect for taking on staycations), in this month’s Hydration Heroes OK! Beauty Box.

The box – which houses five skincare items to help promote a healthy, glowing base – costs just £7.50 for first-time subscribers, but is worth an impressive £90. For each box thereafter, you’ll be charged a monthly cost of £15.