Prebiotic vs. Probiotic in Skincare: Which One is Right for You?

prebiotics and probiotics

Try as they might, most skincare products still have to be made from harsh chemicals; even those made from natural products have to go through artificial processing. Even the seemingly simple items like makeup remover and toners are made from processed alcohol.

These unnatural ingredients found everywhere in our essential body care products mess up the skin's natural microbiome. The consequences of this range from skin sensitivity to impaired healing.

Prebiotic and probiotic skin care have emerged to help bring back the lost natural order of our skin — even promising much better results without sacrificing the benefits of maintaining an active skincare routine.

What are prebiotics, and what are probiotics? How do they differ? What can they do for your skin? And how do you decide the right one for you between the two? In this article, we will answer it all.

What is Probiotic Skincare?

Probiotic skin care involves the introduction of live microorganisms that help the skin. Probiotic skincare products restore balance and improve the quality of the microbiome on the skin, helping you maintain healthy skin and an outstanding appearance.

Benefits of Probiotics for Skin

Still skeptical? A more detailed overview of what probiotics do for the skin should help give you a clearer understanding of their value.

1. Strengthen the Skin Barrier

The introduction of these beneficial microbes directly strengthens the skin's natural barrier against the elements and disease-causing microbes. The activities of biotics on the skin work together with the body's natural pore regulation, supporting it, and giving the skin a stronger defense.

2. Reduce Inflammation

Probiotics soothe inflammation while bringing relief to redness caused by forces like acne, eczema, or insect bites. When probiotics reach the skin, they can push out the harmful microorganisms and prevent them from growing.

During the process of competition between these microbes, probiotics synthesize peptides that have antimicrobial effects that can target germs that worsen inflammations. They also help to manage the body’s immune response that causes inflammations by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

3. Boost Hydration

These microorganisms help the body to retain more moisture. Their activities keep moisture on the skin in a stable cycle, helping your skin stay supple and hydrated.

4. Balance PH Levels

Probiotics are vital in maintaining the ideal pH level for the skin. Without them, the body’s pH level would fluctuate widely, leading to all kinds of problems that can affect your health and appearance. They create an environment that buffers the effect of germs and changing environmental factors like heat and humidity.

5. Maintain a Healthy Skin

All these various effects of probiotics ultimately result in clear and healthy skin. As the largest organ in the body, the skin should not be fragile and at the mercy of the slightest change in the environment. Probiotics are vital to keep the skin resistant to germs and the elements and help improve overall health and luster.

What is Prebiotic Skincare?

While probiotic skincare adds new, live, beneficial microorganisms to the skin, prebiotic skincare products only contain ingredients that help to nourish and support the growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin. By helping the beneficial microbes thrive, we can enjoy more benefits from them and check the effects of harmful bacteria.

Benefits of Prebiotics for Skin

Just like probiotics, prebiotics have been proven to be very valuable to skin health. Here are a few ways they complement your skincare:

1. Promote the Growth of Healthy Bacteria

Prebiotics directly but selectively nourish and improve healthy microorganisms in the body, leading to increased efficiency in their ability to maintain clear and resilient skin.

2. Improving Skin Barrier Function

Starting with the skin barrier, prebiotics carry nourishment that supports beneficial and naturally occurring microbes on the skin, helping them to improve the body's defense and prevent unnecessary loss of moisture.

probiotic moisturizer

3. Reducing Sensitivity

With a well-balanced microbiome with thriving beneficial bacteria, the skin gains the ability to withstand changes in the environment. Therefore, probiotics have gained increased recommendations for people with sensitive skin.

4. Enhancing Skin Texture and Tone:

By keeping up with the use of prebiotics you can always be confident that your skin's natural microbiome is always a healthy balance. In time, you will start enjoying the result in the form of a supple and robust skin texture as well as an improved and lustrous skin tone.

probiotics for skin

Prebiotic vs Probiotic

From what we have established till now, it is obvious that while both prebiotics and probiotics contain different ingredients with each having a distinct effect, they still work together to achieve the same result.

On one hand, probiotics add to the quantity of healthy, beneficial bacteria providing a more immediate but less sustainable effect on the skin, on the other hand, prebiotic products contain ingredients that nurture and support their growth while improving their productivity continuously.

In an ideal world, there is nothing wrong with having both products, leaving no room for a gamble. But if you think the addition of two products might overcomplicate your skincare routine, you can prioritize which one works best for your immediate situation.

For example, if your question is do probiotics help with acne or skin inflammation, prebiotics won’t bring you immediate results. But if you are troubled with your skin’s sensitivity, prebiotic skincare is a more worthwhile investment. Moreover, you can alternate between both products over time, rotating them in a complementary cycle.

How to Use Prebiotics and Probiotics in Your Skincare Routine

No doubt, prebiotics and probiotics are recent skincare products and it is easy to be challenged by how to incorporate them into your skincare routine, despite their plenty of benefits. But worry not, we are here to help, below is a step-by-step process that can help you add prebiotics and probiotics into your skincare routine without issue.

1. Start with a Gentle Cleanser

The advocacy for gentle cleansers is not new at all. Mild cleansers that won't totally strip your skin of all its natural oils help to maintain a microbiome-friendly environment in probiotics for the face. Therefore, start by looking into choosing a gentle cleanser if you are dedicated to improving the microbiome of your skin.

2. Incorporate Probiotic Face Cream or Moisturizers

Topical probiotics for skin come in a variety of forms, you will find them as face creams, probiotic serum, or even as probiotic moisturizers, so you always have control over how you want to apply it. Therefore, instead of using multiple products, you simply have to look for ones that are already prepared with live probiotic cultures or extracts.

probiotic skin care

3. Use Prebiotic-Rich Products

The same idea applies to prebiotic products. Find creams, masks, or serums that contain rich probiotic ingredients. For example, many facial masks these days are rich in prebiotics like inulin, beta-glucan, etc — you only have to find those and add them to your regular skincare routine.

4. Avoid Harsh Products

Stay away from skincare products that cause drastic changes to the skin's microbiome. To do this, you have to stay proactive and inspect all the products you use from your bath soap to your moisturizers, and ensure they don't contain harsh chemicals or preservatives that will render the effects of your prebiotic and probiotic skincare useless.

5. Consistency is Key

Consistency remains one of the core tenets of skincare, it is especially important to stay consistent with probiotics and prebiotics to ensure a balanced skin biome and results. Therefore, try and make sure you don’t overwhelm the process. Instead, prioritize products and routines you can manage and stay consistent to without compromise.

Can Probiotics Cause Acne? Yes, while not everyone experiences it, and despite it sounding contradictory, probiotics are known to cause acne. Breakouts like this are only experienced in the initial phase of using the products, however, and are only a part of the process of the body adjusting to the new balance of microbes on the skin. Acne caused by probiotics quickly resolves.

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