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Are ProBiotics Good for Skin?

Posted Feb 07 2013 1:01am

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Rozy asks…I have seen some skin lotions being sold with probiotics in them. I wonder if it actually improves the skin, maybe you could just put yogurt on your face?

The Beauty Brains respond:

According to a study published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemist certain types of probiotics are good for skin!

Researchers studied one probiotic in particular, Lactobacillus plantarum, a gram-positive bacteria and found that it produces antimicrobial peptides. When used at a concentration of 5% these peptides have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and were shown to reduce skin erythema (redness), repair the skin barrier (help lock in moisture), and reduce bad skin bacteria (that lead to acne.) At a concentration of 1% the probiotic was ineffective so low levels won’t work.

So the good news is that probiotics can really work if you use enough of the right kind. The bad news is that yogurt won’t have the same effect because it contains  Lactobacillus casei a different kind of probiotic.  If you want to get the right kind (Lactobacillus plantarum) from natural food products you’d have to rub sauerkraut, pickles, brined olives,  or sourdough on your face. I say go with the sourdough.


J Cosmet Sci.  2012 Nov-Dec;63(6):385-95.

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