The Beauty Bar: Probiotics in Skincare

You may already know that taking probiotics helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract and fight myriad diseases (see “Fermented Food Fest,” online). But new research shows probiotics can clear up your complexion, too. When these “good” bacteria enter the body, they strengthen your skin’s acid mantle—a mixture of oil and sweat that sits on top of the outermost layer of your skin, protecting it from pathogens and free radicals, both of which can ultimately lead to acne. What’s more, probiotics applied topically have been shown to soothe inflammatory skin conditions.

What to Take: No official recommended daily dosage exists, but recent research suggests you need at least 1 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of bacteria per serving. To put this in perspective, yogurt products provide 15 to 155 billion CFUs in a 6- or 8-ounce serving, and a daily dose of probiotic supplements contains about 20 billion to 70 billion.

Or Try: Nude Skincare’s Age Defense Moisturizer, Age Defense Intense Moisturizer, and Moisture Balance are pricey, but they’re the first products to contain probiotics for topical use. $100, $100, and $86 respectively; www.nudeskincare.com