Good germs - the role bacteria plays in your skincare routine

Photo: Rudzhan Nagiev/Getty Images
  • Bacteria-based skincare is on the rise.
  • There's an invisible community living on our skin made up of billions of microorganisms, which is known as our 'microbiome'. 
  • But just how much of a role does the balance of good and bad bacteria in our microbiome play in how our skin looks and feels?

We know about the benefits of probiotics for keeping our gut healthy, but did you know the same principles can be applied to our skin? 

From cleansers to face masks, bacteria-based skincare is on the rise.

What is our microbiome? 

There's an invisible community living on our skin made up of billions of microorganisms, including bacteria, which create what is known as our 'microbiome'. 

The latest buzz in skincare circles is just how much of a role the balance of good and bad bacteria in our microbiome plays in how our skin looks and feels.

When it's out of whack, it can affect our skin barrier and can cause a host of skin conditions, including inflammation and acne. It's driving skincare companies to look at using probiotics in their formulations.

Even if you aren't suffering from skin problems, probiotic skincare can help to reduce water loss, increase moisture in the skin, and leave skin looking smooth, radiant and supple.

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How do we keep our skin healthy?

Looking after our skin's natural microbiome also means being mindful of over-cleansing with harsh, stripping cleansers or vigorous exfoliating, and avoiding anything highly fragranced or loaded with alcohol. We don't want to kill off any friendly bacteria!

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Try these products:

1. Skincare meets makeup in Clinique's Redness Solutions Makeup SPF15 with Probiotic Technology, R625. 

It's fragrance- free, and particularly good for calming and strengthening skin that suffers from redness.

2. Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate, R820, feeds the skin with seven pre and probiotics.

3. For a gentle way to remove makeup, Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Cleanser, R867, has a non-drying formula enriched with prebiotic. 

4. Elizabeth Arden was an early starter in the probiotic trend, and the Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocellulose Masks (prices available in store), is the latest in the Superstart range.


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