Probiotics are live bacteria that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. They can be found in supplements, topical skincare, or foods like kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha.

Probiotics, while theoretically very intriguing, are very challenging to formulate with when it comes to topical skincare. Skincare products that contain water, including cleansers, creams, serums and lotions, also require preservatives in order to prevent contamination and prolong stability of the active ingredients. Unfortunately, preservatives often kill off both the “good” and “bad” microbes in a bottle. Those preservatives will not affect prebiotics or postbiotics, which tend to be more stable in a variety of skincare formulations.

From a nutritional perspective, probiotics in our diet or supplements do absolutely hold promise for skin health. However, before you invest in expensive probiotic supplements, we recommend starting with a daily dose of plant-based polyphenols. Polyphenols are at the foundation of a healthy gut ecosystem. They can recalibrate the gut ecosystem, tighten up a porous intestinal barrier, and create an environment that is more receptive to probiotics down the line.


Yu Y, Dunaway S, Champer J, Kim J, Alikhan A. Changing our microbiome: probiotics in dermatology. Br J Dermatol. 2020 Jan;182(1):39-46.
Del Bo' C, Bernardi S, Cherubini A, Porrini M, Gargari G, Hidalgo-Liberona N, González-Domínguez R, Zamora-Ros R, Peron G, Marino M, Gigliotti L, Winterbone MS, Kirkup B, Kroon PA, Andres-Lacueva C, Guglielmetti S, Riso P. A polyphenol-rich dietary pattern improves intestinal permeability, evaluated as serum zonulin levels, in older subjects: The MaPLE randomized controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2021 May;40(5):3006-3018.
Peron G, Gargari G, Meroño T, Miñarro A, Lozano EV, Escuder PC, González-Domínguez R, Hidalgo-Liberona N, Del Bo' C, Bernardi S, Kroon PA, Carrieri B, Cherubini A, Riso P, Guglielmetti S, Andrés-Lacueva C. Crosstalk among intestinal barrier, gut microbiota and serum metabolome after a polyphenol-rich diet in older subjects with "leaky gut": The MaPLE trial. Clin Nutr. 2021 Oct;40(10):5288-5297.
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