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What to know about probiotic skincare products

Probiotics have long been extoled for gut health.

“Probiotics have been shown to help reduce duration of pediatric acute diarrhea, decrease symptoms associated with taking antibiotics, manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, reduce crying time in infants with colic and reduce relapses of ulcerative colitis,” says the Dairy Council of California. “Certain probiotics may also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that colonize the stomach and can cause ulcers and stomach cancer.”

As a digestive aid, yogurt is a main source for consumption of probiotics, as are fermented foods and dietary supplements.

Increasingly, however, skincare products with probiotics as a main ingredient have surged in popularity. Forbes, last March, found that probiotic skincare products “deserve to be a part of your daily skin care routine” for these reasons:

1. They build back the skin’s natural defenses against harsh environmental elements.
2. They serve as a protective shield against bad bacteria.
3. They reduce inflammation.
4. They prevent premature aging.
5. They lessen bacteria that cause acne breakouts.

Just like with all skincare lines, there are probiotics-included formulas for dry, oily, combination, aging and sensitive skin types. Forbes recommended consumers interested in purchasing these products look for “ingredients like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Vitreoscilla and prebiotic sugars like xylitol.”

Even though it informs that more effectiveness testing is being done, The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has given its approval regarding product safety: “The rapid increase in the medical use of probiotics and prebiotics in recent years has confirmed their excellent safety profile.”

The drawback of probiotic skincare products is that they have a shorter shelf life than other beauty products. Consumers are advised to look at the expiration date, as most products are not considered viable for more than six months. And, most products need to be stored in a cool space or even the refrigerator (read labels) in order to maintain the health and effectiveness of the probiotic ingredients.

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