The global skin care products market is believed to hit $177 billion by 2024, but what if something as simple as taking a probiotic could be all you need for radiant skin? You could ditch the expensive creams, lotions, and potions and save time on your intensive regime every day by going back to a basic cleansing and moisturizing regime while putting the focus on the health of your gut.

What are probiotics and how do they affect the skin?

Probiotics are microorganisms that are similar to the bacteria that naturally occur in your gut. They play an important role in numerous health functions, including aiding good digestion and supporting the immune system to fight off infection and illness. People take probiotics because the more good bacteria you have in your body, the less chance there is of bad bacteria taking over, leading to gastrointestinal problems.

But what’s all this got to do with the skin? Well, you can get skincare products with probiotics in to target specific skin conditions, but research is also showing that an increased amount of good bacteria in the gut supports a healthy immune system, helps to manage weight, improves mental health, and benefits the skin. Not only can probiotics improve the skin’s appearance, but it can also help specific skin conditions and has even been linked to reducing the chance of skin cancer.

How to consume probiotics

Adding certain foods and drinks to your diet for probiotics is fairly easy to do. Foods like yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, and sauerkraut are good options. Fermented protein powders added to smoothies or shakes is an easy and healthy way to add probiotics. Daily supplements can be taken but you should start with low dosages to begin with as they can cause gas when too much is introduced at once.

Look at supplements that contain 10 to 15 billion CFU each day. You can also look for supplements that have certain strains of bacteria in if you’re trying to address a specific health issue, such as acne or eczema, but diverse ones are good for benefitting all areas of health.

Topical probiotics are the future

Topical probiotic skin care products are becoming more widely available, but research is still being done to see just how they benefit the skin. It’s believed that a barrier forms that stops bad bacteria getting into the skin, keeping it healthier, as well as triggering the production of natural moisturizers that are already in the skin. This essentially increases the balance of good bacteria, helping to fight off the bad that can cause things like acne, eczema, rosacea and numerous other common skin problems.

Potential side effects of probiotics

Most side effects of probiotics are minor and only affect a small percentage of the population, but it’s still important to be aware of them, just in case. That being said, some people with pre-existing conditions, such as a compromised immune system, can experience severe complications. The most commonly reported side effect is gas and bloating, which usually only lasts a few weeks at most before subsiding. Some people also experience headaches and migraines, and some strains of bacteria can increase the body’s histamine level, resulting in redness, swelling, and allergy-type symptoms.

Introducing probiotics to your diet is the best way to get all the benefits, but topical probiotics may suit some people better. Always gradually introduce how many probiotics you consume and stop if you get any adverse effects.