Who knew? (Friendly) bacteria-based skin care may clear complexion

Consuming friendly bacteria known as probiotics in foods like yogurt and cottage cheese restores gastrointestinal tract balance, which may actually be good for our complexions: An unbalanced digestive system can deprive the entire body, including skin, of nutrients. But, as it turns out, we may want to get so chummy chummy with this form of bacteria that we willingly apply it to our skin. After putting aside my initial skepticism/full on disgust, I’ve discovered there may be good reason more and more natural cosmetics companies are launching probiotic-based skin care.

Applying a topical probiotic cream may help alleviate eczema’s itch, according to a recent study from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and skin care companies are using probiotics to help improve a range of skin conditions such as wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, millia, rashes, and dermatitis. SK1N Probiotic Systems is leading the way with its entire probiotic line, while other companies like Natasha and Nude are incorporating the bacteria into individual products. Beyond nourishing your skin, applying probiotics topically may also help your insides by preventing unfriendly bacteria from sneaking through the skin or mucous membranes and traveling into the body, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

It may, at first, seem counterintuitive to put bacteria on your skin. But then again, it fits into the trend of applying something we typically eat and reap its health benefits (like tea or chocolate, for example) externally. As for me? I’m eager to see how skin-friendly bacteria really can be.

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