Probiotics and Skin: What Skin Concerns Respond Well to Probiotics?

Skin conditions are nuanced and deeply personal, and much of the time, despite society’s obsession with topicals, the solution is an inside job. Start in the gut to pave your way to clearer, healthier, happier skin.

Probiotics and Skin: What Skin Concerns Respond Well to Probiotics?

Skin conditions are nuanced and deeply personal, and much of the time, despite society’s obsession with topicals, the solution is an inside job. Start in the gut to pave your way to clearer, healthier, happier skin.

Our skin is our largest organ – and one of the few organs we can actually see – making it one of our body’s primary messengers. In most cases, breakouts, acne, rashes, and other seemingly random skin woes are not your body giving you a hard time – they are a visual form of communication, a way our body warns us of an imbalance inside. 

What is the Link Between Gut Health and Skin Health?

When acne, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea shows up on the skin, it can often be traced back to an imbalance in the gut microbiome or gut dysfunction. These common skin conditions have all been linked to gut dysbiosis (AKA too little good bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains, and/or too many pathogenic bacteria strains) and increased intestinal permeability (AKA leaky gut). 

Most unfortunately, many things in our modern life can disrupt our gut. Certain foods (sugar and processed foods, we’re looking at you!), smoking, alcohol, medications (including of course, antibiotics, but also other oral acne medications and birth control), environmental pollution, stress… the list is long, and some of these things are impossible to avoid.

So which of these skin concerns can benefit from a regimented and committed use of probiotics? In short, all of them.

Best Probiotics for Acne

There is a super tight connection between gut health and breakouts. Research looking into probiotics and skin health has shown that acne patients typically have less microbial diversity in their gut microbiome, and that they may lack certain beneficial probiotic strains – including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. There is even evidence that acne patients may be more likely to have an impaired intestinal barrier.

If you have acne-prone skin, not to fret, we do have some good news: there is a growing body of research looking into different probiotic strains and their effects on breakouts. There are three science-backed strains that are especially worth adding to your routine if you battle blemishes. 

Note: all three of these strains can be found in Glow Biome, a probiotic supplement formulated specifically for acne-prone skin. 

Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1

People with acne tend to lack beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria. Within the Lactobacillus family, L. rhamnosus SP1 has been found to be effective for battling breakouts. 

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of adult patients with breakouts, researchers had participants supplement with this strain for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, they found that this strain improved adult acne. Researchers attributed the benefits to the probiotic’s ability to mediate the skin expression of the genes associated with insulin signaling – resulting in reduced breakouts.

In another clinical trial including 30 participants who took L. rhamnosus SP1 as part of a blend with 5 other strains in a probiotic supplement that targets the gut-skin connection, 80% of participants had less frequent and less severe breakouts in just 12 weeks. (Check out the before and afters).  

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Another powerful probiotic in the Lactobacillus family is L. acidophilus. In fact, this strain is believed to be one of the first probiotics recommended by dermatologists for acne. Almost 100 years ago, dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald J. Pillsbury (who pioneered the research that underpins what we now call the gut-brain-skin axis) found that L. acidophilus had positive effects on acne-prone skin

Since this early research, there have been numerous follow up studies on L. acidophilus. One placebo-controlled study found that acne patients who took a supplement consisting of L. acidophilus (plus another beneficial Bifidobacterium strain) found that the treatment helped improve breakouts. The strain may also improve skin hydration levels

Beyond the effects on the skin, there is research pointing to this probiotic’s benefits for the gut, immune health, and vaginal health. Basically, it’s a multitasker that’s great for your complexion and your overall wellness. 

Bifidobacterium lactis

Probiotics in the Bifidobacteria family can also be great for acne-prone skin. B. lactis supports clear, healthy skin through its effects on the gut barrier and digestive health. B. lactis has been shown to aid in regularity. While that might not seem like that has anything to do with the skin, this is actually incredibly helpful for acne-prone complexions, as constipation has been linked to breakouts. This is especially true for hormonal acne, as the way we excrete excess hormones is through the stool, and when we don’t eliminate regularly, this can contribute to hormone imbalances. 

Additionally, studies have found that B. lactis supports intestinal barrier health, which is important for acne-prone individuals, as they are more likely to have an impaired intestinal barrier

The best probiotic for acne is one that contains all three of these strains. Glow Biome contains all three, plus three more and a prebiotic, to support clear, radiant skin from the inside out. It was formulated by Acne Nutritionist, Maria Marlowe, based on extensive research on the gut-skin connection.

Best Probiotics for Psoriasis 

Just like with acne, research has shown a connection between impaired gut health and psoriasis. For anyone suffering with psoriasis, supporting the integrity of your gut barrier and your gut microbial balance and diversity is key.  

By supplementing with beneficial probiotics, you can help improve the diversity and quality of bacteria in the microbiome and support gut barrier integrity. Bifidobacterium strains are especially beneficial. As mentioned above, B. lactis has been shown to support a healthy gut barrier, helping to reduce permeability. 

Best Probiotics for Rosacea

There have been a variety of studies that have uncovered connections between rosacea and gut issues like leaky gut and gut dysbiosis. Research has also revealed that elevated levels of the “bad” bacteria Helicobacter pylori can be an underlying cause of rosacea, as this pathogen can stimulate the immune system and trigger inflammation. This bacteria is also associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) – a condition that is prevalent in rosacea patients

While H. pylori is a powerful pathogen, it can be fought with the help of certain probiotics. Studies have shown that the Lactobacillus strains L. acidophilus and L rhamnosus may reduce H. pylori, which may in turn reduce rosacea if this bacteria is a trigger. Bifidobacterium infantis can also help to eradicate H. pylori infections when used in combination with other therapies. 

Additionally, research has shown that Saccharomyces boulardii (a live yeast used as a probiotic) can fight H. pylori infection. It also has been shown to stabilize gut barrier function and regulate the microbiome, which may help fight gut issues that can trigger rosacea (and other skin conditions) and improve overall gut health. 

Best Probiotics for Eczema

Just like with the other inflammatory skin conditions mentioned above, there is a link between gut dysbiosis and eczema. Research on probiotics and skin care has revealed that people with atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema) typically have less microbiome diversity compared to those without the condition. There is also evidence that an infection of Staphylococcus aureus is often responsible for exacerbating atopic dermatitis symptoms

Numerous studies have found that supplementation with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains can be beneficial for reducing atopic dermatitis. For example, in a small double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers have found that L. plantarum supplementation can help alleviate symptoms connected to atopic dermatitis. They attributed these effects to the probiotic’s positive impact on the immune system. 

L. plantarum is also particularly well known for its ability to improve skin hydration – which can be beneficial given that skin dryness is a common symptom of eczema. Further, the strain has been shown to inhibit S. aureus, which may further explain why it’s effective in reducing atopic dermatitis. 

In addition to L. plantarum, another Lactobacillus strain that can be beneficial for eczema-prone skin is L. acidophilus. Like L. plantarum, it is known for its ability to fight S. aureus. Additionally, one double-blind and placebo-controlled study found that when mothers supplemented with a combination of L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, and B. lactis it helped prevent the development of eczema in infants.

Best Probiotics for Skin Health

If you’re looking to add a supplement to your routine that promotes a clear and healthy complexion, you might be wondering…what is the best probiotic supplement for skin health? 

When it comes to finding an effective probiotic supplement, look for a formula that contains multiple probiotic strains that support skin health, rather than just one or two. So many skin issues are connected to a lack of diversity in the gut microbiome, so it’s no surprise that more strains are better than one. In fact, researchers have confirmed that supplements made with multiple strains are more effective than those made with a single probiotic strain

If you want to add a multi-strain probiotic to your routine, take a look at Glow Biome. This daily supplement contains six clinically validated probiotic strains, including many of the science-backed strains mentioned above (such as L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, and B. lactis) which all target the gut-skin connection. 

Formulated by leading Acne Nutritionist, Maria Marlowe, Glow Biome has been clinically validated to reduce breakouts, normalize sebum production, and increase skin hydration in just 6-12 weeks. 

Glow Biome is not only dermatologist tested and approved, it’s loved by many of the nation’s top estheticians. 

How Long Does it Take for Probiotics to Improve Skin?

As you can probably imagine, a probiotic isn’t going to give you instant results. The good bacteria need time to work in the gut before you’ll see and feel the changes in your skin. In the case of Glow Biome, clinical trial participants saw optimal benefits after 12 weeks. That said, positive changes in the complexion were seen in as little as six weeks. 

With that in mind, it’s important to stay consistent when it comes to taking your probiotic supplement. While you won’t see results overnight, with a little bit of patience, you’ll be on your way to healthy, radiant skin!