Pre- and probiotics automatically allude to gut health and are most commonly associated with foods. However, you may not be aware of the benefits adding topical probiotics to your beauty regimen can have on your overall health. Keeping your body’s microbiome healthy is critical. But what exactly is the microbiome, and why should you care?

The microbiome is, “the ecosystem of microorganisms that live on the skin [and] play a crucial role in how our skin looks, feels, and acts” according to Jasmina Aganovic (President of Mother Dirt).

Chicago-based dermatologist Toral Patel, M.D., explains how vital the skin microbiome is, not only for skin health, but overall wellbeing. “A healthy microbiome can protect against skin infection by preventing the overgrowth of pathogenic organisms,” Patel says. “It can also help keep inflammation in check, promote wound healing, and act as a barrier to some allergens and environmental toxins.”

Conversely, skin related issues, such as acne, may be the direct result of an unhealthy skin microbiome. Holistic beauty nutritionist Paula Simpson explains, “Clinical research has shown that blemish-prone skin has a less-diverse skin microbiome, over-populated with pathogens and damaging stressors—compared to those with healthy skin.” Dr. Whitney Bowe, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, believes there is compelling evidence that probiotics may treat acne and rosacea due to their ability to introduce healthy bacteria and create a barrier to reduce inflammation. If you suffer from acne or rosacea, probiotics may be the ticket to clearer skin!

The power of probiotics has led to the development of topical probiotics, which can be applied directly to the skin. These healthy cosmetics are making their way into skin care products, including moisturizers, cleansers, peels and lotions. According to some of the top skincare experts, probiotics really are the future of not only our internal gut health, but beauty and overall well being.