Your skin is the barrier between you and the outside world. It blocks invading pathogens and keeps moisture in.
Your skin can’t perform either of these basic functions without the microbes that live within your skin structure.
Probiotics help us achieve many of our skincare goals. Let’s go over some of the ways microbes help to support your skin…
Probiotics protect your skin through competitive exclusion by forming a living armour on the surface of your skin. Competitive exclusion means that your good microbes occupy the space and eat all the available food so that the “bad guys” can’t grow. This means that your immune system doesn’t need to constantly fight invaders and you avoid sub-clinical inflammation … so your ageing rate decreases.
Probiotics increase the quality and quantity of the “stitches” between your skin cells known as Tight-junctions. These stitches in the Stratum Granulosum join cells together so that they can form a barrier to keep the toxins and pathogens out and the moisture in. Better water retention results in a hydrated skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles.
Signaling from probiotics can encourage your skin cells to produce anti-microbial peptides (AMPs), such as defensins. These are molecules that make life really hard for the “bad” microbes without affecting beneficial microbes.
One of these AMPs is ß-defensin 3. We can boost the production of ß-defensin 3 in skin by 74% with probiotic ingredients. This can shift your microbiome to a healthier, more balanced state.
One enormous benefit of improved barrier function is improved hydration. Moisture is locked in and cells can function optimally – the result – a reduction in your ageing rate.
Another way microbes improve hydration is more direct. Many of the by-products of their metabolism are super-powered moisturising ingredients. Our microbial allies act as living moisturiser factories producing moisturising factors like Hyaluronic Acid and Lactic Acid directly in the skin.
Lactobacillus species are particularly efficient at producing Lactic Acid – hence their name.
By improving barrier function you can reduce the triggers of skin sensitivity.
If you have sensitive skin, your skin’s immune system is easily activated and this can result in inflammation – redness, discomfort and irritation. An intact skin barrier blocks access for these triggers so that they don’t initiate inflammation.
Once the inflammatory cycle is broken, the skin is calmed and restored to a healthy state where sensitivity is reduced, with appropriate responses to stimuli.
Probiotics improve skin firmness & elasticity.
In independent testing by a lab in Bonn, Germany, the Esse Plus Probiotic Serum was shown to improve skin firmness by an average of 16% over 28 days. 100% of the test subjects showed an improvement.
Improvements in skin elasticity are also seen.