You got the memo linking beneficial gut bacteria to better health and wellbeing, so you’re guzzling Kombucha and kimchi with every meal. But did you know your skin’s also crawling with microorganisms – good and bad – and that keeping these in balance is the key to healthy, happy skin?
We know, we know – the beauty world’s full of fleeting trends and buzzwords. But believe us when we say prebiotics (and probiotics) really do deserve the hype! Restoring balance to the skin microbiome and boosting its barrier, these buzzy, buggy ingredients truly are the real deal. Read on to discover why prebiotic skincare is the hottest trend in beauty – especially for your poor, neglected bod!
Firstly, what are prebiotics?
To understand prebiotics, we first need to talk about the skin microbiome. Keeping it nice and simple, this refers to the EXTENSIVE ecosystem of microorganisms that exists on the skin. Millions of bacteria, fungi and viruses compose the skin microbiota1 – and the health of this ecosystem impacts the way your skin looks and feels, as well as its self-protective mechanisms.
There are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria present, and achieving the right balance is essential for the skin to function at its best. And how can you achieve a state of harmony? By encouraging the growth of beneficial microorganisms, known as probiotics.
While probiotics are essentially good bacteria, prebiotics are the food source for these bacteria. Found naturally in many fruits and vegetables (such as onions, bananas and – you’ll love this one – cocoa), prebiotics are specialised plant fibres2 that help friendly bugs flourish. Applied topically, they promote a balanced microbiome for strong and resilient skin. So, is it any wonder we’re all getting up close and personal with these beauty-enhancing germs?
A healthy skin microbiome should remain balanced despite what is happening in the surrounding environment. When an imbalance occurs, the skin barrier weakens, the acid mantle PH increases, the lipid barrier can't cope with the increased number of bad bacteria present and the result is greater water loss, excessive dryness, inflammation, acne. Image Credit: www.nativessentials.com
What are the benefits of prebiotics?
Boosting the skin’s colonies of good-guy bacteria, prebiotics have multiple benefits for the skin. Firstly they support the skin’s barrier function by replenishing the microbiome and balancing pH levels. Which means? The skin is better able to protect itself against the daily barrage of environmental aggressors (allergens, pathogens etc), while locking the good stuff (water!) in.
Not only does this improved barrier function help reduce dryness, sensitivity, inflammation and irritation, it’s your golden ticket for a more supple, hydrated and youthful-looking complexion.
And if you suffer from acne, skin sensitivity or dry skin conditions like dermatitis? These are common signs your skin microbiome is out of whack, and that you should consider adding prebiotic products to your skincare routine. STAT!
Why are prebiotics important in body care?
While many of us are incorporating prebiotic (and probiotic) skincare into our facial routines, bacteria don’t discriminate – and our bodies deserve the same consideration! From our age to our washing detergents, UV and pollution exposure, hormones, soaps, medications, diet and health, countless factors can negatively impact our body’s microbiota. And many of us have the redness, irritation and body breakouts to prove it.
If you’ve ever been kept awake at night scratching your dry, itchy limbs, you’ll know that
neglecting the skin below your chin can have some pretty annoying consequences. And, let’s face it, with the rough treatment it gets (hello hot showers, sunburns and supermarket soaps), is it any wonder it’s rebelling?
According to Coco & Eve Senior Innovation Manager, Priscilyn Lee, “When there is an imbalance in the skin microflora, our protective organisms are reduced, making our skin feel uncomfortable as it loses some of its natural beauty.
“Incorporating prebiotics in body care is an effective solution to make the friendly organisms stronger against important changes in the skin balance. In the presence of a prebiotic, the friendly bacteria can recover and grow faster than the harmful, for a reduction in skin discomfort, dryness and breakouts.”
Our Prebiotic Shower Gels
With lush, tropical scents you’ll go bananas for, Coco & Eve’s new Smoothie Shower Gels hydrate, cleanse and smooth skin, while giving good bacteria a boost thanks to – you guessed it – prebiotics!
Rich in nourishing coconut oil, moisturising cocoa seed, amino acid-rich coconut water and soothing aloe vera, our sulfate-free, pH-balancing body washes support the skin microbiome and barrier for comfortably cleansed, glowing skin.
With soothing natural prebiotics derived from chicory and agave, our botanical shower gels are ideal for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. The combination of fruit enzymes with prebiotics including biolin is also perfect for those battling bacne. As coconut flower sugar plus papaya and mango enzymes help dislodge dead skin cells and unclog pores, prebiotics get to work to help combat blemish-causing bacteria.
The prebiotics in our Smoothie Shower Gels help to:
- Improve hydration
- Prevent itching
- Reduce redness
- Reduce dryness
- Restore & maintain the skin barrier
- Prevent body odour
- Keep the skin pH in balance
- Reduce body breakouts
- Promote glowing, comfortable and healthy-looking skin!
Levelling up my morning shower routine with @coco_and_eve SULFATE free shower gels >> luuuvv♬ gm to all light stans - sunny
- Nature Reviews Microbiology, March 2018, pages 143-155.
Mayo Clinic, ‘Prebiotics, Probiotics and Your Health’. 27 Feb 2021.
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya