Suffering with acne? Your skin may need its own probiotic. Here’s why...

Looking after our digestive health with probiotics has, for many, become a daily protocol, but is probiotic skincare – with its soothing and strengthening properties – the answer for optimum skin health, too? RHEA CARTWRIGHT explores the good bacteria we should be feeding our skin


Our gut and our skin function in a similar way, in that they both have unique ecosystems that need an optimally balanced environment to function at their best. While we know that feeding the good bacteria in our gut with a daily probiotic helps to sustain a healthy immune system, The Nue Co. founder Jules Miller explains how our skin health can also be boosted by a probiotic skincare routine.

What is probiotic skincare?

Found in yogurt, kombucha and supplements, probiotics are live microorganisms that help boost the natural ecosystem of our skin. “Topical probiotics work to actively support your existing skin health,” says Miller. “Our skin is home to trillions of good bacteria, which form part of our skin barrier, helping to maintain pH balance and protect the microbiome.” According to Miller, dermatologists attribute 90 percent of the skin issues they see – such as premature aging, breakouts, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity and dryness – to a disruption of the skin barrier.

No more squeaky-clean

“Healthy skin has a naturally slightly acidic pH of around 4.5, but harsh cleansers push the skin into an alkaline state, which can cause breakouts, sensitivity and irritation,” says Miller. Cleansing your face with good bacteria is an effective yet simple place to start with probiotic skincare, to keep the delicate microbiome balanced for your skin to function at its best. The same principles apply in that you should opt for a texture that suits your skin best, but the addition of probiotics helps to strengthen and boost your skin’s natural flora.

Strengthen your skin’s defenses

“Dermatologists have identified the erosion of our skin barrier as the number-one cause of skin issues, resulting in premature aging, breakouts, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity and dryness,” says Miller. For those with rosacea, acne or a compromised skin barrier, probiotics are hugely effective at soothing and calming chronic inflammation and irritation, but even the most resilient skin types still benefit. “Your skin barrier defends against infection and pollution, locks in hydration and is home to an ecosystem of microorganisms that help to keep skin balanced and healthy,” explains Miller. Keeping your skin barrier in optimum condition should be as important as the health of any other part of your body. Consider using a deeply soothing probiotic mask when your skin needs an intense remedy and support.

Protect against pollution

Free radicals caused by everyday aggressors, such as pollution and stress, actively impair our skin’s microbiome and barrier function. A topical probiotic can help to reset any imbalance, allowing your skin to restore its natural defense. “This leads to increased hydration, reduced inflammation, decreased sensitivity and a reduction in blemishes caused by aggressors to the skin,” adds Miller. As free-radical damage can lead to premature aging, a dull complexion and more complicated skin issues, regular use of probiotic skincare is the ultimate skin shield. Pairing perfectly with other active ingredients, serums deliver ingredients deep into the skin, while a microbiome-boosting mist is a handbag essential for when you’re on the go.


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown