The ultimate guide to fighting acne would usually include using acne products such as a deep cleanser, an astringent toner, pimple creams, and oil-free moisturizers. Doctors will usually include a topical antibiotic preparation into the regime, or start their patients on oral antibiotics.
A recent trend in skincare for troubled skin is the use of topical probiotics. Yes, I am referring to applying things like Acidophilus on your skin. In case it doesn’t ring a bell, probiotics contain live bacterial cultures, exactly like those you find in yogurt, or what my 3 year old son likes – Yakult. In fact, people who regularly consume fermented food such as the Japanese natto (really smelly, fermented beans), korean kimchi, kombucha and kefir or those who take probiotic supplements have noted reduction in their acne. The basis for this is that scientists have found that people with healthy, clear skin have antimicrobial peptides that are produced by bacteria which selectively act against acne-causing bacteria.
Why Probiotics Are Good For Acne-Prone Skin
In theory, there is an ecosystem of good and bad bacteria that live on our skin. When this ecosystem is disrupted, bad bacteria proliferates, causing infections which result in inflammatory acne.
Traditional treatments use antibiotics to kill these bacteria and most of the time, they work. But while they may be effective, but it is now increasingly believed by some communities that antibiotics are non-selective i.e. they kill BOTH harmful and beneficial bacteria, leading to more acne in the long run.
When someone speaks of probiotics, oral supplements come to mind. Does eating probiotic supplements work for acne? The answer is Yes! Although the gut is far removed from the skin, taking probiotic supplements have long been associated with the body’s ability to fight infections. Studies are now showing that acne-prone skin can benefit from probiotics.
There are not many skincare lines that offer topical probiotic formulations. One that has been effective is the Epicuren line, which carries the Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream. This inhibits negative bacterial growth and reduces inflammation, resulting in increasingly clarity of skin.
What Else Can You Do?
You can spring clean your gut by cutting down on sugar such as sugared beverages and processed food. Replace these with plenty of plant based foods such as vegetables and fruits.
Include foods rich in probiotics in your diet, such as yogurt and kimchi to add good bacteria directly to the gut, or have a probiotic supplement daily, like what I do.
Does It Work?
I suffered from acne for the longest time. I have tried everything, from over-the-counter drying acne soaps and pimple creams and prescription items such as Differin. I went on antibiotics for a while, but my acne returned shortly after I stopped my antibiotics.
My acne improved dramatically after I bought the Epicuren Probiotic Cream from the SW1 Clinic. Thankfully there is no need for me to try other medications which may have been futile. I made the mistake of stopping the probiotic cream too early and my acne worsened. When I started using the probiotic cream again, my acne subsided. That’s when I realised it really works.
I still have a few zits every now and then, and I have started on the Clarity Program at the SW1 Spa. So far it has been really promising! I will update again after I have tried both Clear Blue and Deep Deep Clean facials of this deep cleansing hybrid facial program.