By now, you’ve most likely heard all about the incredible benefits of probiotics and how important they are to your health. The balance of “good” bacteria in the gut supports immune health, digestion and gut health, and even skin health. In recent years, dermatologists and researchers have explored the benefits of probiotics beyond gut health and as a result, probiotics have become more well-known for their beauty benefits.
Keeping bacteria balanced in the gut isn’t always easy. There are many factors that can disrupt the balance of intestinal bacteria, including a poor diet, taking certain medications (such as antibiotics), and even age. And while you may notice the effects of bacteria being disrupted in your digestion first, signs can also show up on your skin. Eating a diet high in nourishing probiotic foods can support the health and integrity of your skin and its microbiome. This is extremely important because your skin keeps pathogens out and protects everything inside of your body.
One of the best ways to support your skin with probiotics is by eating probiotic-rich foods. To support health, it is recommended to consume between 1 to 10 billion live bacteria cultures per day. One way to do this is to eat fermented foods, which are very high in probiotics. The fermentation process breaks down carbohydrates into organic acids with bacteria. This process is used to make foods that are high in probiotics like the foods below!
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made with salted and fermented vegetables. It is made with the Lactobacillus strain using the Lacto-fermentation process. As a result, kimchi is rich in probiotics.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that is a superior source of the Lactobacillus strain. It is also high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant that is integral to skin health.
Miso is another food high in probiotics. It is a flavorful, fermented paste usually used to make soup or add flavor to Asian cuisine. It is made out of soybeans and is loaded with other skin-loving vitamins and minerals, including choline and Vitamin B-12.
Another traditional fermented soybeans product is tempeh. Tempeh is a traditional Japanese food and in addition to containing probiotics, it is also high in amino acids.
Yogurt is one of the most common foods that contain probiotics. Plus, when you eat yogurt, you’re getting extra calcium for bone health and protein to stay satiated. Kefir is a fermented type of yogurt rich in probiotics.
Science supports the link between probiotics in food and skin health. One study from 2015 revealed that ingesting certain probiotic strains resulted in improved skin hydration and improved skin barrier function. The same study found that probiotics also improved the appearance of photoaging. Several other studies have explored and supported the benefits of probiotics to relieve skin discomfort and conditions caused by allergies.
Unfortunately, using harsh skincare products remove the healthy bacteria that are natural and necessary in your skin’s microbiome. Without these bacteria present, your skin is more prone to issues such as dryness, psoriasis, and even acne. For example, if a harsh cleanser strips away the good bacteria from your skin, it can’t protect the skin from bad bacteria that cause acne.
All Navinka products are made with natural plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals that work to nourish and restore your skin and never strip or damage the microbiome. Using gentle skincare products on the outside of your body is essential to support the probiotics that are hard at work on the inside of your body!
Written by Mellisa Chichester
Staff writer and researcher
Melissa Chichester is a health and wellness writer living in Michigan. She has a passion for skincare and her favorite Navinka product is the Nightly Calibrator.