Probiotics for Acne: How does it work?

There has been more research lately on probiotics and the benefits of taking probiotics for acne. This is also related to the research on relationship between gut health and acne. Previously we have covered the topic on Zinc supplement for acne and Pantothenic acid for acne. In this post, we will talk more about probiotics for acne and if you should try taking probiotics to improve your skin conditions.

Skin-gut axis: Gut health and acne

What is happening inside your body is reflected on your skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. You cannot achieve clear skin if your internal body system is not healthy or balanced. A lot of medical research has shown that one important thing to balance in the gut is the microbiome.

There are different types of bacteria in the gut, healthy bacteria and bad bacteria. We need healthy bacteria to have a healthy digestion system. Having said that, one way to ensure we have enough of healthy bacteria is by consuming probiotics. If you do not have enough healthy bacteria, this can lead to many issues like inflammation which can show up on our skin as acne.

probiotics for acne_acne prone skin

Why do you need to take probiotics for acne?

Our microbiome in the body can be tipped off balance and this is when problems like acne can start to occur. The microbiome becomes not balanced if there are more bad bacteria than healthy gut bacteria in the system. The healthy gut bacteria can decrease in number due to many reasons. One is stress, another common one is consumption of antibiotics for a prolonged period and the third one is sugar.

My experience taking probiotics for acne

I have taken probiotics for acne before, be it orally or topically. I will explain a bit later what I meant by topically. 

Taking probiotics orally

Taking probiotics for acne orally is straightforward. You can do it using supplements or by eating probiotics rich food like kimchi or sauerkraut. I also tried to increase my probiotics intake before by consuming more yakult. From my personal experience, it is easier to incorporate probiotics in your everyday life by eating food rich in probiotics like kimchi. I am a big fan of Korean food, so eating kimchi everyday is not a problem to me at all. If you don’t like kimchi or you can’t find kimchi, you can consider incorporating saurkraut instead. These two fermented vegetables are super rich in probiotics. 

If you have acne and would like to test how probiotics for acne works for you, refrain drinking too much Yakult. This is because Yakult is sweet and it contains milk, both of which can worsen your acne. Another option for probiotics that you can take daily is kombucha. A lot of kombucha do not have sugar added so you can safely take them if you have acne.

My experience with taking probiotics for acne orally has been great. It helped to boost my gut health and immunity from within. Moreover, my skin felt more resistant to inflammation, infection or redness. Before, my skin often reacted immediately to some food/beverages that my body did not take very well. However, after taking probiotics, my skin is calmer. Despite whatever negative reaction that my body might have to the new food/beverage, the skin remained clear.

probiotics for acne_kimchi

Taking probiotics topically

Another way I used probiotics for acne is topically. I used to have a lot of forehead pimples. And what really helped to calm down and dry the pimples was yoghurt mask. The lactic acid and probiotics in yoghurt worked really well for my forehead pimple.

Choose full fat, sugar free Greek yoghurt. Then, you can just slather it on your forehead and rinse after 15-20 minutes when the yoghurt mask has dried up. My forehead pimples were literally gone because of this yoghurt mask. No other masks worked this well for my forehead pimples.

How to choose probiotics for acne supplements?

probiotics for acne_probiotics supplement

According to Dr. Axe, a holistic wellness doctor, there are 5 things you should consider before deciding what probiotics supplements to buy:

  1. Brand Quality: look for reputable brands like GNC, Garden of Life, etc.
  2. High CFU Count: choose supplements with high count of probiotics from 15 billion to 100 billion. 
  3. Strain Diversity: choose a probiotic supplement that has 10–30 different strains
  4. Survivability: keep a lookout for strains like bacillus coagulans, saccharomyces boulardii, bacillus subtilis, lactobacillus rhamnosus, and other cultures or formulas that ensure probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize
  5. Research: find probiotics supplements that contain bacteria strains that can help with your conditions. Since many factors can cause acne, most strains will be beneficial for acne. This is because they will promote stronger immunity in the body, which is important to fight the acne infection and inflammation

Are there benefits of taking probiotics for acne?

Yes, definitely a lot of research has shown that probiotics and good gut health in general helps with acne condition. This is something called skin-gut axis. If you have problem with your digestion system, it is not uncommon for symptoms to show up on your skin. Both of our skin and digestion system are important in keeping infectious organisms from our body.

However, if you have existing medical condition you might want to check with your doctor about incorporating probiotics into your diet. This is because there might be adverse effects from taking it initially, or it might conflict with your other medication.

Learn more about acne, skincare and skin health with me!

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