Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 31

familiar? These types of good bacteria are added to drinks and supplements to help balance your gut, and the same principle applies to topical formulas; “Probiotics are another name for good bacteria. A prebiotic is the name for their nutrients,” explains Dr Drago, “A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome, so try to feed your gut bacteria with a lot of diverse food, and lots of fibre.” Think of your microbiome as your personal rainforest: lush, unexplored and vital for your wellbeing When it comes to skin care, products infused with pre-and-probiotics are still relatively new, like Medik8’s Balance Moisturiser which selec- tively feeds only the good bacteria to maintain a healthy surface environment. To encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, using products that contain probiotics, prebiotics or both can help to preserve the amount of microorganisms living on your skin and their diversity. It’s even thought that applying new good bacteria to the skin in this way can kick-start your existing microbiome into action. However, the research into the impact of topical ingredients on the skin’s microbiome is still pretty basic, but it’s starting to become a primary focus for many beauty brands. According to Dr Drago, science is already showing a clear link between micro- biome imbalance and inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and acne, so don’t be surprised if more probiotic products enter the market over the next 12 months. But for now, the key is to be gentle with your skin, whether you are using probiotic formulas or not: “Don’t over wash the skin, use hot water or rub your skin too much. Avoid products with alcohol, perfumes or a high pH (such as normal soaps) too,” advises Dr Drago. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but the trick is to remove only the bad bacteria not wipe out the entire bacterial population because without the ‘bacterial’ you, there is no ‘you’ you. ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 31