What Are Topical Probiotics?

Mother Dirt

For years, people have raved about the effect of oral probiotics and their impact on gut health. But did you know that ingesting probiotics isn’t the only way to obtain their benefits? Research has shown that applying probiotics to your skin directly can improve skin conditions and promote a positive bacterial balance in the skin. Let’s dive into the science behind topical probiotics and why you should include them in your skincare routine. 

All About Your Skin

You may not know it, but your skin microbiome is essentially the vast collection of all the microbes (or skin flora) which live on or within your skin. The bacteria on your skin serves as the first line of defense against toxins and harmful substances that want to enter your body. When your skin’s microbiome is strong and balanced, it can keep pathogens away and appear vibrant and healthy. 

Millions of microorganisms live on your skin. But don’t let that freak you out. Most of them are what’s known as “good bacteria.” Many things can influence the way your microbiome acts, such as temperature, pH levels and genotype. Your skin’s microbiome can be compromised by antibiotics, poor diet, or harsh skincare products. So what can you do to fix it? The answer is topical probiotics. 

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your body. They are often used to keep your gut healthy and can be found in some foods like yogurt, but you can also take them in supplement form. If you struggle with digestive issues, probiotics can help.

When you lose beneficial bacteria after taking antibiotics, probiotics can help replace that good bacteria in your body. This helps to keep your body working the way it should. Probiotics can be ingested, but they can also be applied directly to the skin to provide certain benefits. 

Benefits Of Topical Probiotics

Probiotics in skincare act as a protective shield against harmful bacteria. They can help to bring down irritation, prevent premature aging, among other things. 

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Combat bad bacteria that are trying to penetrate the skin
  • Act as a protective shield to keep more bacteria from entering
  • Repair skin function so that it can deal with pollution and other aggressors better
  • Help improve skin conditions such as acne

Importance Of Bacteria For Your Skin Health

Skin microflora plays a large role in regulating inflammation and immune responses to pathogens. When the bacteria is disrupted, it can cause problems for the skin. The skincare philosophy for many years was about getting skin as clean as possible. 

However, bacteria isn’t something that we should be striving to get rid of completely. Yes, there are harmful bacteria that you don’t want living on your skin, but there is plenty that you do want on your skin that is regulating it. 

Probiotics are occupying space on your skin and excreting metabolites. Bacteria on the skin also often excrete enzymes that protect the skin and reduce pathogen overgrowth. When we kill off beneficial bacteria in our gut or otherwise, unwelcome bacteria move in and cause health problems. 

Mother Dirt Probiotics

Unlike typical skincare brands, Mother Dirt aims to offer probiotic-infused skincare made with naturally derived ingredients. We also utilize a science-first approach to help maintain the microbiome of your skin. All of our products contain live bacteria to help your skin’s microbiome flourish. 

The Mother Dirt Probiotic Foaming Cleanser uses a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help balance your skin. It’s formulated with prebiotics from chicory root and rose water; it helps to remove impurities and maintain the optimal pH level. It doesn’t strip your skin, and it is oil-free and sulfate-free. 

The Mother Dirt AO+ Restorative Mist is made with Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB). It interacts with the elements naturally found in your sweat to produce Nitrite and Nitric Oxide, two powerful byproducts. Both of these together are essential to a balanced skin microbiome. 

Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Serum is formulated to nourish your skin and rebalance it at the same time. It uses ingredients like squalane and fatty acids to hydrate skin, leaving it feeling smooth and glowing. It’s non-comedogenic so that it won’t clog your pores, and it’s been dermatologically tested. 

Mother Dirt also has products with probiotics for your hair needs too. Our Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash deeply cleanses hair to restore balance to your scalp’s microbiome, which is just as crucial as the microbiome on your face. It’s formulated to clean dirt, debris and impurities from your hair without stripping it. This shampoo leaves your skin feeling strong, full and soft.

You’ll get the best possible results when you use our Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner following the wash. It’s formulated to moisturize hair without weighing it down. You only need a small amount to achieve smooth and healthier hair. 

Additionally, Mother Dirt Probiotic Body Wash is specially formulated to gently cleanse your skin without stripping it to maintain a balanced microbiome. Using that combined with our Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil will help to nourish and replenish your dry skin, making for a healthy and rejuvenating skincare routine.

Changing Culture Of Clean

We all know that our hygiene habits have changed drastically over the years. Before the invention of modern plumbing, it was hard to get clean at all. During the early twentieth century, army doctors noticed the connection between hygiene and infections, so modern-day hygiene grew in popularity around the world. 

We’ve been so obsessed with getting clean for the past hundred years or so, we have completely missed the mark. Mother Dirt is changing our attitude on things generally perceived as dirty, as Ammonia Oxidation Bacteria (AOB) is actually found in soil and is a good bacteria for your skin. More and more people are starting to understand the benefits of balancing the skin’s microbiome and adding good bacteria back into your routine. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be clean but beware of overdoing it. We want to raise awareness about the power of the microbiome and encourage people worldwide to get a little dirty. Thanks to technology advancing, we’ve seen a huge increase in research on the microbiome in the last ten years. This has led to many microbiome-friendly products that offer unique benefits for the skin. 

Staying Away From Harmful Ingredients

While we can all agree that probiotics are a great addition to skin and hair care products, there are a lot of ingredients that we’ve done our best to avoid. While common in many skincare products, these ingredients only cause harm to your body in the long run. 

  • Parabens are a common ingredient used in hair care and skincare products in the beauty industry. They tend to have a similar composition to the hormones in your body and can disrupt them.  
  • Triclosan is an agent often added to beauty products to preserve them. It’s been linked with endocrine abnormalities and weakened immune systems.
  • Preservatives are another ingredient to stay away from. These often help products have a longer shelf-life so that they can be sold for a longer period of time. Preservatives have a range of toxicity issues for your body. 

Some preservatives to look out for include the following: 


-DMDM hydantoin

-Imidazolidinyl urea

-Diazolidinyl urea

-Polyoxymethylene urea

-Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate



  • Sulfates are a chemical detergent that can be used to remove dirt and oil from your hair. They’re usually harsh on the skin and can strip away the natural moisture that your hair needs to stay healthy. 

When shopping for beauty products with probiotics in them, look for simple and clean ingredients. This includes coconut, shea butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, chicory root, and vitamins. 

Since we only want the best for your skin, all of the ingredients used in our products at Mother Dirt are listed on our website. Full transparency is essential to us, which is why we provide a full explanation of our ingredients’ functions. 

The Bottom Line

The story behind our journey with probiotic skincare started with the Yanomami Tribe. Their skin was discovered to contain AOB, which we had thought modern hygiene practices had eliminated from our skin. This led us to the realization that live bacteria are the key to balanced and vibrant skin. Our MIT scientists developed a way to source AOB and preserve the bacteria in its live state. 

If you want to experience the benefits of probiotic skincare, try one of our kits today to get started. The Peacekeeper and The Difference are both great places to begin your journey to a balanced microbiome. 



Topical Probiotics May Restore Skin Microflora | Dermatology Times 

The Role of Topical Probiotics in Skin Conditions | NCBI

The Effect of Probiotics on Immune Regulation, Acne, and Photoaging | NCBI 

Probiotics: What is it, Benefits, Side Effects, Food & Types | Cleveland Clinic 







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