Probiotics and Skin Care: A Clarifying Conversation with the Doctor

There are more than one trillion bacteria living in and on our skin. They are constantly moving, munching, and metabolizing. These necessary microorganisms exist to boost our immunity, fight off infections, thwart damage caused by the environment, and keep our skin fresh and youthful. Thinking about their essential goodness makes one wonder about the overuse of antibacterial soaps and gels and skin care products that contain glycolics and other acids.

 Human beings coexist with microorganisms, which in their entirety are identified as microbiome. To keep this microbiome healthy probiotics have been identified as a beneficial part of our nutrition for some time now. Probiotics have also become a part of the skin care lingo. To demystify this topic, we wanted to share the conversation between Martina Grams, the training manager at KOKO Kosmetikvertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, makers of dermaviduals®, and the head of Research and Development, Dr. Jürgen Kloss.  

M. Grams: Does healthy skin need probiotic skin care?

Dr. Kloss: In the context of the microbiome we differentiate between eubiosis and dysbiosis. In the eubiotic state the epidermis is in balance with its microbiome. In the dysbiotic state the microbial balance went off the rails. With a healthy skin we can presuppose eubiosis, or in other words we can assume an optimal balance in the skin. 
That is why we could also ask the provocative question: "Does the healthy skin need cosmetic skin care at all? " Prevention of dysbiosis is the domain of application for cosmetic products - in other words "Giving the skin what it needs in order to stay healthy." That is why the components and their properties have a major significance for the skin. The preventive skin care concentrates on physiological as well as on microbiome-compatible ingredients.

M. Grams: Exaggerated skin cleansing, stress, pharmaceutical drugs and negative environmental impacts affect the skin flora. Can probiotics have balancing effects?

Dr. Kloss: The above-mentioned conditions suggest a dysbiotic condition. Probiotic products then can contribute their part to normalize a disordered skin flora. It is still more important, however, to change counterproductive habits. Besides the well-founded skin analysis also detailed expertise and attentiveness to the body's needs are required in order to track down individual disorders. The answer to the problem often just consists of reducing the skin care routine to the bare necessities.

M. Grams: Would a yogurt mask solve a dysbiosis problem?

Dr. Kloss: It would probably be beneficial if the mask contains living cultures. It certainly would only be part of the solution since the microflora of the skin is very complex and accommodates a plethora of different microorganisms that react in various ways to external influences. It is still more important to identify and eliminate the triggers of the disorders.

M. Grams: Is probiotic cosmetics suitable for all skin types?

Dr. Kloss: Well, basically yes. However, it should also be kept in mind that even the best products are not suitable for all skin types. There always are exceptions, though. Just think of simple parameters like the lipid content of products. 
Also, the interaction between skin microbiome and endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMP) is an important factor. Further details can be found on our website:

M. Grams: Thank you very much for your estimation, Dr. Kloss!

Yes, thank you Martina Grams and Dr. Kloss. You have encouraged us here at Progressive Esthetics to continue doing what we always do—to remain focused on our number one objective: strengthening the skin’s barrier function. We do this successfully with the fabulous dermaviduals® products, which have ingredients that are not only microbiome friendly but also physiologically similar to human skin. Dermaviduals wins at keeping skin in eubiosis!




Andrea Oismueller