8 products that can help maintain a healthy skin barrier
It’s not just your gut that needs rebalancing and revitalizing in your quest to sport a perfectly dewy glow, your skin barrier is just as important. There’s a new frontier in skincare, and it involves the power of fermentation. Yes, for a truly balanced, well-hydrated and nourished complexion, you need to keep your skin microbiome as healthy as possible. We ask experts to tell us how to do it.
The skin microbiome is a community of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that performs the task of protecting your skin by keeping it healthy and acts as a physical barrier that protects your skin from anything foreign or toxic. Dr. Kiran Sethi, MD, Integrative Skin and Wellness Physician and Author of sense of skin, explains the sudden interest in the beauty industry focusing on prebiotics and probiotics for your outer skin health rather than your inner gut health when she says, “Essentially, we’re learning more and more on the link between the gut and the skin. If your gut is healthy, then your skin is that much healthier. And the health of the gut depends on the microbiome it contains. Our skin is similar. bacteria on our skin can keep it healthy, and when that bacteria is disrupted, you get eczema, acne and rosacea. A whole ecosystem lives inside of us and on our skin!”
Regarding the role that prebiotics and probiotics play, she explains the difference between the two saying, “Prebiotic skincare is the food the good bacteria need to thrive, and probiotics are the real cultures of good bacteria on the skin. They work together to promote a healthy microbiotic ecosystem that reduces acne and sensitivity and improves resilience.” Apart from products with prebiotics and probiotics, you can also make skin-friendly DIYs in your kitchen. Vibhuti Arora, facial yoga expert and founder of House of Beauty, recommends adding sour milk, yeast, and kombucha to your homemade face masks to let your skin benefit even more. “It improves the consistency of your face masks and balances your skin microbiome,” she says.
Even better, almost anyone can use skin products that contain live cultures and fermentation extracts. “Pre and probiotic skincare and treatments can help all skin types, but are especially beneficial for people with acne or skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. They calm the skin and help to control rashes. They are generally safe for most populations and are not related to skin reactions or rashes. Avoid using them if you have any serious illnesses or if you have a weakened immune system. As with everything other skincare, consistency is key for these formulas. Apply twice a day, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen with SPF 50 or above during the day,” advises dermatologist Dr. Nishita Ranka , Medical Director and Founder of Dr Nishita’a Clinic for Skin, Hair and Aesthetics, Hyderabad.