Probiotics are live, friendly microbes that are present throughout the body but are more commonly known to be found in the stomach and intestines. They are consumed through food and supplements to balance the microbial flora in the body, boost gut health, and support the immune system of the body. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are the two common bacteria that are beneficial to our health. However, applying these live bacteria to our skin may prompt uneasiness in our face, yet they also have beneficial effects on the topical application.
How Do Probiotics Work?
If an individual is under stress or anxiety, there is an alteration in the gastrointestinal tract where unhealthy bacteria build-up leading to inflammation which in turn induces breakouts in the skin and hair. However it may sound unbelievable, gut health actually influences skin and hair health. This is the situation where probiotics are essential. These probiotics inhibit the toxins from being absorbed into the blood. It is proven to have benefits on the topical application too.
Work of Probiotics on the Skin: If any skincare product with irritating synthetic ingredients is applied to the skin, it may lead to an alteration in the pH of the skin, promoting the growth of bacteria and leading to skin issues. In this case, topical application of probiotics reduces the pH of the skin and induces the growth of healthy bacteria, thereby balancing the microflora in the skin.
Work of Probiotics on the Hair: Using harsh shampoos and residue-building haircare products may cause an increase in the growth of scalp bacteria which results in reduced, slow hair growth with breakage and split ends. In this situation, probiotics balance the bacterial environment, add nourishment to the hair, and flourish hair growth.
What Are the Sources of Probiotics?
Probiotics can be taken through diet and supplements. The dietary sources of probiotics are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, nutrition bars, juice, cereals, soy-based products, kimchi, and kefir. Probiotics are also taken as supplements, and they are regulated by Food And Drug Administration (FDA) for medical purposes but are not prescribed as medications as such.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics on the Skin?
Treats Skin Conditions: Probiotics have a calming effect on your skin. It helps treat inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, acne, rashes, and psoriasis by inhibiting the harmful bacteria in the gut. Thus, altering the gut microflora enhances skin conditions. To improve the health of your skin, it is recommended to take probiotics topically and orally.
Reduces the signs of aging: When probiotics are applied topically, they promote collagen production in the skin, thereby enhancing the strength and elasticity of the skin. It reduces the inflammation of the skin and makes the skin resistant to damage from the sun and thereby reducing the signs of aging. It keeps the skin moisturized, and lactic acid aids in reducing wrinkles and pores and has exfoliating properties.
Strengthens the Skin Barrier: Probiotics help strengthen the skin barrier, thereby preventing any harmful microbes from entering and preventing water loss, thus sealing the moisture content in the skin and maintaining the skin healthily and hydrated. They produce antimicrobials that alter the pH of the skin and protect the skin from pathogens, thereby reducing the threat of infections.
Repairs Skin and Reduces Sensitivity: Skin conditions result in symptoms like itching, burning, sensitivity, and redness. These symptoms may resolve later, but the discoloration and scars formed always remain active. These can be treated by topical application of probiotics.
Prevents Breakout of the Skin: Certain food we take regularly can lead to increased sebum production in our skin and result in acne and clogged pores. These acne-prone individuals show increased inflammatory response, so they are recommended to use probiotics regularly to get relief and to visualize changes in the skin.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics on Hair?
Stops Hair Loss: Probiotics inhibit hair loss by reducing inflammation and stress levels. It promotes the sustainable growth of the hair follicles and has anti-inflammatory properties, thereby producing hormones to disrupt the inflammatory cycle. Usually, increased stress levels lead to hair loss because any traumatic event leads the hair follicles to shift from the growing phase to the shedding phase, thus leading to hair loss. However, recovery to your hair growth phase occurs after five to six months; there is an instant idea of taking probiotics that help to balance the stress and anxiety levels, thereby reducing hair loss.
Balances Hormone Levels: As we know, changes in hormone levels also contribute to hair loss. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are the hormones responsible for hair growth. It is also the thyroid hormones that are responsible for normal metabolic functions and hair growth. So if the individual suffers from a thyroid disorder, it can lead to a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, thereby leading to hair loss. So to be exact, probiotics promote hair growth by maintaining a balance in these hormone levels.
Provide Thick and Shiny Hair: Studies have shown that probiotics have an influence in increasing the number of cells on the scalp and so provide thick hair, and they also add shine to the hair.
Facilitates Proper Digestion: Unhealthy hair is a sign of poor digestion. We know that hair is made up of protein. The protein is gained through the diet. But if the protein is taken excessively, it can turn into a toxic product that has to be digested. Unfortunately, if it is not digested properly, it can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients. Thus probiotics have a role in regulating the stomach acids to digest the diet and absorb nutrients and finally nourish the hair.
Our body consists of millions of healthy bacteria, which combats the unhealthy bacteria, thereby preventing them from inhabiting the organ systems and causing infections. To balance the levels of good bacteria, a correct balance of probiotics is necessary. It is recommended to take probiotics both orally and topically to reap their benefits. Adding probiotics to the beauty routine and using them consistently will show the best results.