You’ve probably heard the terms “microbiome” and “prebiotic,” even if you’re not sure exactly what they mean. Prebiotics and our skin’s microbiome are at the forefront of cutting-edge skin care, and for good reason. A balanced microbiome is one of the keys to healthy skin – and prebiotics can help you achieve that balance.
How does it all work? Read on for an expert breakdown of how prebiotics and a healthy microbiome can benefit your skin.
what is the microbiome, anyway?
Our skin hosts a wide range of microscopic organisms; these comprise the microbiome. People tend to think of most bacteria as “bad”, but the bacteria that makes up our microbiome plays an important role in overall skin health: a balanced, healthy microbiome physically blocks “bad” bacteria from the skin. Additionally, new research shows that certain bacteria within skin’s microbiome – S.epidermidis, for example – can have a positive impact on skin health.
and what are prebiotics? how are they different from probiotics?
Prebiotics are food for probiotics, which are living microorganisms in the skin’s microbiome (“good” bacteria). The main benefit of prebiotics is to help increase the amount and diversity of probiotics, in turn helping skin maintain a healthy microbiome and lipid barrier. Together, prebiotics and probiotics reinforce skin’s defenses.
okay: is prebiotic skin care right for me?
Since prebiotic skin care products are designed to help skin’s microbiome maintain a healthy balance of bacteria, they can benefit anyone’s skin.
That said, people with oily skin often have an imbalanced microbiome – so they might find prebiotic skin care especially beneficial. This imbalance can happen for a couple reasons. First, sebum (oil) overproduction can increase the number of P. acnes in skin’s microbiome, making oily skin especially acne-prone. Additionally, the harsh cleansers often recommended to people with oily skin actually disturb its natural protective barrier – putting skin at risk for dehydration and changes to the balance of its microbiome.
Prebiotic skin care helps balance the microbiome by nourishing skin’s beneficial bacteria (like S. epidermidis). Active Clay Cleanser and Active Moist deliver powerful prebiotics to help balance and hydrate for healthy skin.