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Unless you have been living under a rock, you will no doubt have heard all about probiotics, and how we should be incorporating them into our daily routine. Probiotics have a whole range of benefits we should be paying attention to, but did you know that they can actually also help with certain skin conditions too?
This is good news for anyone who has been living with a skin problem for many years!
Of course, before you begin to take probiotics, you should consult with your doctor first, to check that they are suitable for you. Whilst there are no real warnings against probiotics, not that much research has gone into the actual potential side effects. As more research is done, we should become more aware of what dosage is actually best, the types of probiotics we should be taking etc, but for now this whole probiotic topic is somewhat largely unknown.
Despite that, many healthcare professionals encourage the use of probiotics to those who are fit and healthy. You can either increase the amount of probiotic content in your diet by eating probiotic rich foods, or you can take a supplement. The choice is yours.
We know that probiotics contain live, ‘good’ bacteria, and these help to balance out the good versus bad issue in your gut, whilst also boosting your immune system, but how does all this work with your skin?
How Probiotics Can Aid Skin Problems
There is some suggestion that probiotics could help to actually prevent certain skin conditions from developing, but the main focus is on anyone who already has a condition. The main explanation behind this is that the healthy bacteria which is introduced into the stomach and general digestive system by using probiotics helps to not only balance, but also reduces inflammation within the entire body. Inflammation can trigger several different skin conditions, including acne. Many studies have shown beneficial results in terms of acne reduction.
Acne is caused by bacteria, so it makes sense that balancing out the good versus bad bacteria in your entire body could help to reduce breakouts. When used in conjunction with prescribed treatments for acne, taking regular probiotic supplements, or increasing the amount of probiotic content in the diet, could help to reduce acne breakouts, reduce soreness and could even help to clear it up completely! The best types of probiotics to try for acne are:
- L. acidophilus
- B. bifidum
The other three skin conditions which may be helped by taking regular probiotics are eczema, rosacea, and ageing in general.
Eczema is exacerbated by inflammation and the inflammatory reduction which comes from taking regular probiotics has been shown to be very useful in reducing the effects, when taking on conjunction with regular treatment. Rosacea is another inflammatory problem on the skin and probiotics have been shown to help reduce redness, dryness, burning, and the stinging sensation that is common within this condition.
Boosting Collagen Production
In addition to all of this, some studies have shown that probiotics could help in the battle against ageing. Further tests are needed, but the idea is that probiotics help to boost collagen production, which therefore gives the skin that youthful, plump appearance. The good bacteria found in probiotics could also help to reduce the effects of skin damage, and aid hydration, as well as reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Great news indeed!
As discussed above, probiotics can help boost collagen production. Collagen has flow on effects on skin elasticity and has been shown to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. Using a probiotic alongside a quality cellulite massager can work wonders for your cellulite.
Of course, you should not rely upon probiotics alone to look after your skin, but these reported benefits give great weight to the claim that taking regular probiotics benefit the entire body, not just the gut! Giving your immune system an overall boost is fantastic for your entire health and wellness, not only helping to look after your skin, but also starving off potential illness and allowing you to heal much faster as a result.
The Best Ways to Take Probiotics
It is up to you whether you want to try and get your probiotic content through your diet alone, or via a supplement. Many people find it difficult to regularly eat the foods which are known to be high in probiotic content, but yogurt is one which you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Be sure to check the label and see that it contains ‘live, active cultures’, as this will ensure a high probiotic content. Overly flavoured yogurts, e.g. Greek yogurts and any yogurts which contain additional extras, are often not the best choices in terms of getting a good amount of probiotic goodness.
Other foods which contain a high probiotic amount include miso, sauerkraut, traditional buttermilk, kimchi, and olives, to name just a few. As you can see, whilst these are widely available, they are not the usual types of foods you would eat every single day. In that case, many people choose to take a supplement on a daily basis, in addition to perhaps having extra yogurt as part of their daily routine.
Supplements are available widely, but the problem is that the supplement industry is not regulated in terms of doses. There is no uniform way to take a supplement and no uniform dose of probiotics. You should also do your research into the best strains to take for you, and have a chat with your doctor if you’re not at all sure. For the best advice is to shop around and read reviews too, and always follow the instructions that are included with the product, as not all probiotics are taken in the same way. You can find some of the best male probiotics (via this review) and female probiotics on Amazon.com (filter by customer reviews).
The good news however is that hope is on the horizon for anyone who has suffered with a skin condition for many years, or anyone who is worried about the possibility of the visible signs of ageing. Probiotics could help you out, give your immune system a boost, and increase your gut health, all at the same time. There are other benefits to look into at the same time, e.g. a link between probiotics and decreased cholesterol, as well as decreased yeast infections in the female genital tracts.
Overall, probiotics have a large amount of benefits, and they seem like they’re certainly here to stay.