If you take care of your health, you’ve no doubt heard about the microbiome, the ecosystem of trillions of microscopic creatures, mostly bacteria, that lives in your body and play a huge role in keeping it healthy. The microbiome in your gut, your nose and on your skin can affect everything from disease, weight and skin health to mood and behaviour. It’s important to keep it balanced, nourished and healthy.
Unsurprisingly, what you feed your microbiome has a big impact on its health, whether that’s the foods you eat or the products you put into your skin. And that’s where prebiotics and probiotics come in. But what is the difference exactly? Though they sound similar, they have very different roles in keeping the microbiome healthy. In a nutshell, probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are naturally created by the process of fermentation and add living microbes to directly to your system. Prebiotics are types of indigestible fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. Each plays an important role in your skin health.
A healthy balance
Probiotics, the live beneficial bacteria that add to the microbiome, benefit the skin in three ways. Firstly, they create a protective shield and a calmer environment for the skin by preventing harmful microorganisms from provoking an immune reaction. Secondly, they produce antimicrobial peptides (natural antibiotics) to fight bad bacteria. And lastly, they boost the skin’s functionality in dealing with external damaging factors including free radicals, sun, and pollution. All these factors are key in preventing the inflammation that can lead to skin disease, flare-ups and premature ageing.
Prebiotics, the undigested fibre which acts as a food source for the bacteria, are also beneficial and necessary to recalibrate the skin microbiome. Prebiotics feed probiotics and ensure they thrive and proliferate. Prebiotics also ensure a more diverse array of bacteria, which is key to healthy skin.”
How can products help?
Just as the foods you eat can affect the delicate balance of the microbiome, so can the environment you live in and the products you use on your skin. Our modern day desire to keep squeaky clean means that we often use cleansers and face washes that are too harsh and strip the skin of it’s natural oils, leaving it looking and feeling parched. A prebiotic cleanser, like La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, infused with prebiotic thermal water, packed with trace elements able to drive the growth and development of the 500 species of bacteria found on the skin, will help fortify the skin’s beneficial microflora, and thus, keep the skin’s natural invisible barrier healthy.
Continue the good work with the Toleriane Sensitive range of moisturisers. This range of prebiotic moisturisers, comprising of Toleriane sensitive Crème for sensitive skin, Toleriane sensitive Riche for dry skin and Toleriane Sensitive Fluid for oily skin, hydrate skin for up to 48 hours. Toleriane Sensitive, which contains niacinamide, glycerin and prebiotic La Roche Posay Thermal Water, which helps to preserves the microbial barrier, while intensely soothing, calming and reducing irritations, plus these high tolerance creams are all tested on sensitive skin. So treat your microbiome to a nutrition-packed day, your skin will thank you for it.