While bacteria is typically viewed as a bad thing, it is important to remember that there are actually two types of bacteria that live in and on your body at all times: good bacteria and bad bacteria. Here, we’ll be exploring what probiotics are, how they work and why your skin needs them to thrive.
What Are Probiotics?
Let’s start by defining what a probiotic is. According to Healthline, probiotics are living microorganisms or “friendly bacteria” that provide a health benefit and deliver anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. You can get probiotics from consuming supplements or certain foods (like those that have been prepared by bacteria fermentation such as yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi). What we will be focusing on here though is probiotics that can be applied to the skin topically.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics for your skin work similarly to those intended for gut health by restoring essential bacteria and rebalancing the skin microbiome. Growing research suggests that applying probiotic skin care “helps get healthy microbes back into balance.”
Basically, probiotic skin care aims to put good bacteria back on the skin's surface to help balance and brighten the complexion. It also helps keep pH levels balanced and nurtures the skin microbiome.
“The skin microbiome is still an emerging area of research compared to the gut,” says Lauren Trahan, Director of Product & Innovation. “But, probiotics are impacting your microflora in two key ways: by occupying space on your skin and by excreting metabolites. By taking up space, probiotics prevent pathogenic bacteria from taking over the skin. Additionally, many bacteria excrete enzymes which can protect skin, or anti-bacterial agents which further reduce pathogenic overgrowth.”
What Causes Imbalance In The Skin Microbiome?
There are a variety of factors that can cause imbalance in the skin microbiome -- some of which include chronic inflammation, stress, changes in the skin’s pH levels, and your diet.
Modern hygiene practices are also one of the leading contributing factors. Rather than nourish skin, traditional skincare has worked against it and disrupted its natural biological state by stripping away the good bacteria. Your beneficial bacteria love a natural pH level of 5, but many soaps contain harsh ingredients with a pH of 10. These high levels of alkalinity can both damage the skin barrier and throw off the necessary environment that beneficial bacteria need to thrive.
What Happens When Imbalance Occurs?
When your skin’s microbiome (or natural ecosystem) becomes imbalanced, it can result in infections or skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and rosacea. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, N.D., says an imbalanced microbiome can also be associated with health conditions like psoriasis, contact dermatitis, skin ulcers, dandruff, yeast and fungal infections, rosacea, and accelerated skin aging.
That’s where probiotic skin care comes in...
Why Your Skin Needs Probiotics
So why does your skin need probiotics? According to Mary-Margaret Kober, MD, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist in Naples, Florida, probiotics “may help prevent and treat skin conditions such as eczema, acne, dry skin, and UV-induced skin damage.”
Probiotics in skin care also optimize the healing benefits of our skin’s good bugs, act as a protective shield against bad bacteria, dial down inflammation, and can help prevent premature aging in skin.
Mother Dirt’s Active Probiotic System
From mist and cleanser to serum, body wash and more, there is a host of probiotic-infused skin care products available from Mother Dirt to help support the skin microbiome.
To help you get started, here is a roundup of the products included in our Active Probiotic System:
AO+ Restorative Mist
The patented ingredient in Mother Dirt’s AO+ Restorative Mist, live Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (also known as AOB), interacts with elements naturally found in your sweat to produce two powerful byproducts - Nitrite and Nitric Oxide - that are essential to a balanced skin microbiome.
By restoring this essential component to your skin, the Mist helps to protect and maintain healthy skin in addition to improving skin clarity, tone and smoothness.
The PeaceKeeper: Our Active Probiotics System Starter Kit
The PeaceKeeper features the foundations of our Active Probiotic System to repair the damage caused by traditional skincare and restore the skin microbiome, for your most biologically balanced and radiant skin.
This kit is a great option for all skin types (including dry, oil, normal, or combination skin) and includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Probiotic Moisturizing Serum and patented AO+ Restorative Mist. Together, these three products work together to help restore and maintain your skin’s natural ecosystem.
The Difference: Our Active Probiotics System Acne Treatment Kit
The Difference offers a new and revolutionary way of treating acne. It has been formulated to work together as an Active Probiotic System to restore the skin microbiome for improved clarity and smoother, healthier-looking skin.
This kit is ideal for those with acne-prone skin and uses powerful probiotics and FDA-approved salicylic acid to clarify, clear and smooth problem skin. A complete skin care system that helps treat acne in three easy steps, it includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Daily Acne Treatment Lotion and patented AO+ Restorative Mist.
Probiotic Foaming Cleanser
Mother Dirt Probiotic Foaming Cleanser doesn't just clean skin. It uses a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help balance your skin microbiome. Formulated with prebiotics from chicory root and rose water, it removes impurities and maintains an optimal pH level without stripping your skin of its essential balance, leaving it balanced and refreshed. Our Cleanser is also oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and has been dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Moisturizing Serum
Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Serum is specially formulated to nourish your skin and rebalance your skin microbiome. It contains ingredients like squalane and essential fatty acids to nourish and moisturize while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help balance your skin microbiome. Your skin will feel smooth and nourished, revealing a glowing, healthier-looking complexion. Our Serum is non-comedogenic, has been dermatologically approved and helps soothe dry skin without feeling greasy.
Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash deeply cleanses hair while restoring balance to your scalp microbiome. It is specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to clean dirt, debris and impurities from hair without stripping - leaving hair feeling strong, full and soft.
Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner. This Conditioner has been specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to moisturize hair without weighing it down. Only a small amount is needed for smoother and healthier-looking hair.
Both our Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash and Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner are oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and safe for color-treated hair. Plus, they are dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Body Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Body Wash gently cleanses dirt and oil from skin without stripping or damaging the skin barrier. It contains ingredients like rose water, almond and coconut extracts to refresh and nourish, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help maintain a balanced microbiome. Our Body Wash has been dermatologically tested and is formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.
Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Body Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil. This lightweight Body Oil soothes dry skin without feeling greasy or heavy. It contains ingredients like squalane, almond oil and apricot kernel oil to nourish and replenish dry skin, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help maintain your microbiome.
Our Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil has been dermatologically tested and formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.