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Acne affects millions of people worldwide.
It is, by far, the most frustrating skin condition out there. Experiencing acne is highly personal, and there is barely a one-size-fits-all solution for treating acne breakouts.
While there are quick fixes in the form of supplements and skincare products for acne-prone skin, what works with the occasional red bumps is unlikely to be the best solution for hormonal chin and mouth-centric zits.
But don’t give up hope just yet.
There’s been a growing interest in using probiotics as a natural way to improve skin health and manage acne symptoms.
Probiotics are good bacteria that offer us several health benefits. They are known to balance the gut microbiome and boost the immune system when consumed in adequate amounts.
But can they help with acne too?
In this article, we’ll explore the science behind probiotics and acne and recommend the best probiotic for acne to help you achieve healthier skin.
Whether you’re dealing with occasional breakouts or chronic acne, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started!
- 2 billion CFUs
- Chaste tree helps improve acne
- Clean Ingredients
- 50 billion organisms per serving
- 13 probiotic strains
- Delayed release capsule to protect the organisms from stomach acid
Table of Contents
- 1 What Causes Acne?
- 2 How Can Gut Health Affect Your Skin and Why?
- 3 How Can Probiotics Help With Acne?
- 4 Which Probiotic Strains Help Alleviate Acne?
- 5 What Is the Best Probiotic for Acne and Clear Skin?
- 6 Best Budget Probiotic for Acne
- 7 Best Probiotic for Hormonal Acne
- 8 Best Probiotic for Acne and Gut Health
- 9 Best Probiotic for Acne and Weight Loss
- 10 Best Topical Probiotic for Acne
- 11 Potential Risks and Side Effects of Probiotics
- 12 Final Thoughts on Probiotics as Acne Treatment
What Causes Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing inflammation. These form pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on your skin.
Acne is most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back, where the skin has the most oil glands.
While the exact cause of acne is not fully understood, it’s believed to be a result of several factors:
- One of the most common is hormonal changes. These occur during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and the like.
Hormones are also affected by lifestyle choices, health conditions, and certain medications.
Changes in your physiology due to hormones lead to increased oil production and inflammation, contributing to the development of acne.
- Genetics also play a major role in a person’s susceptibility to acne. Some people are more prone to developing the condition because their parents or grandparents had it.
- Your diet plays a crucial role in the health of your skin. Consuming foods high in sugar, dairy, and unhealthy fats can trigger inflammation, leading to breakouts.
On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help maintain healthy skin.
- Some medications (containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium) can also trigger or exacerbate acne symptoms in some individuals.
- Lifestyle can also affect skin health and cause breakouts. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones, which can trigger breakouts and other skin issues.
And when you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol, which can increase oil production in your skin, leading to breakouts.
How Can Gut Health Affect Your Skin and Why?
There is an intimate relationship between your skin microbiome and gut bacteria called the skin-gut axis, which plays a crucial role in regulating your immune system and overall health.
Both organs are also important in keeping the body healthy and in fighting pathogens.
Your gut consists of a community of microorganisms. It is home to trillions of bacteria (both good bacteria and bad bacteria) that keep your digestive tract and skin barrier function in tip-top shape.
Most importantly, your gut microbiome regulates your intestinal barrier. This semi-permeable structure limits toxins, undigested proteins, and bacterial byproducts from entering your blood circulation and reaching your skin.
After eating, your intestinal barrier opens naturally to let nutrients pass.
But when there’s an imbalance of beneficial and harmful bacteria that lives in your gut, called dysbiosis, the barrier is weakened. And that’s when things can start to go haywire.
Dysbiosis can lead to a leaky gut, which means harmful particles that aren’t meant to pass through the gut lining make their way into your bloodstream.
This triggers an immune response and the release of cytokines — the body’s inflammatory messengers.
Since your intestinal barrier is weakened, more toxins will reach your skin, enabling the growth of acne-causing bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes.
Inflammation will then manifest on your skin in the form of redness, puffiness, and even breakouts. It can also cause other chronic skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
To be clear, poor gut health is not the root cause of your acne. However, there is a significant link between gut health and acne.
Furthermore, the same research studies found that digestive issues are found to be more common in those with acne than those without.
The good news is that taking care of your gut health through exercise, probiotics, and a healthy diet can help improve acne and promote glowing, healthy skin too!
How Can Probiotics Help With Acne?
Probiotics are microorganisms you can find in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, or high-quality supplements.
They are known for their beneficial effects on your gut health, primarily in maintaining or restoring the balance of bacteria found in the gut.
When taken orally, they improve the microbiome of your digestive tract, ensuring optimal gut health and, subsequently, reducing inflammation in the skin.
In addition to regulating digestion, probiotics help the body fight potential pathogens or environmental damage and even strengthen our immune system.
This is why taking probiotics is one of the best acne spot treatments. They heal the skin and the body from the inside out!
In recent years, they have become a game-changer for those who are struggling with skin conditions like acne and rosacea, and even eczema.
Here are some of the benefits of probiotics for acne-prone skin:
- Calms internal and external inflammation. Acne is often caused by inflammation in the skin. Probiotics can help reduce inflammation by balancing the bacteria in the gut and on the skin, which can lead to fewer breakouts.
- Suppresses the growth of Cutibacterium acnes. Applying topical probiotics can promote bacterial balance in your skin, similar to how oral probiotics increase the diversity of your gut microbiome.
This improves acne as it reduces inflammatory acne lesions and other chronic skin conditions.
- Strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Probiotics increase the production of ceramides, which are natural moisturizers and are vital to reducing redness, inflammation, and irritation in the skin.
- Boosts the immune system. Taking probiotics can boost the immune system, which can in turn help the body fight off acne-causing bacteria and other harmful pathogens.
- Regulates sebum production. Probiotics restore natural hormone levels, which is the key to regulating oil production, leading to clearer skin.
- Enhances the effectiveness of other acne treatments. Probiotics can enhance the effectiveness of topical creams and anti-acne skincare products.
They reduce acne-causing bacteria in the skin and induce the production of ceramides that boosts skin health.
Please bear in mind, however, that probiotics are not a miracle cure for acne, and results may vary from one person to another.
As always, it’s best to speak with your health-care provider before starting any new supplement or skincare routine to ensure it’s safe and effective for you.
Which Probiotic Strains Help Alleviate Acne?
While there are hundreds of probiotic strains, not all will work for acne. This is because probiotics are strain-specific, which means not all of them will deliver the same result.
Thus you want to choose strains that are proven to influence acne or the pathways that drive it.
Currently, there are only a few clinical trials that assess and evaluate the effects of specific probiotic strains on patients with acne.
These are the strains that are clinically researched to address some of the triggers for breakouts and fight acne:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to improve skin hydration and reduce inflammation, making it the best probiotic strain for acne.
- Bifidobacterium bifidum can help restore balance to the skin microbiome. It also boosts the immune system and reduce the severity of acne breakouts and eczema.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and improving the skin’s natural barrier function.
L. rhamnosus can also help protect the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays, as well as improve hydration and overall skin health.
What Is the Best Probiotic for Acne and Clear Skin?
Dealing with acne or other skin issues can be a real struggle. Fortunately, there is still hope for us. Adding probiotics to your daily routine might just be the solution to improve your skin’s health and appearance.
But with so many different types of probiotics available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs.
Worry no more! Here are some of the best probiotics for clear skin that you can buy, how they can treat acne, and what makes them effective.
Best Budget Probiotic for Acne
We love the 10 billion live active cultures of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in Culturelle. It is a clinically studied probiotic strain that supports digestive and immune health.
Primary Benefits: Keeps your digestive system in balance; supports skin health; doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge; works naturally with your body to support your digestion and immune defenses
- Vegetarian and allergy-friendly
- Safe and effective formula
- Only requires one capsule per day
- Comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule form
Imagine our surprise to find Culturelle Daily Probiotic Capsules expertly formulated while still being comparably budget-friendly.
One of the great things about Culturelle Daily Probiotic Capsules is that they are vegetarian and gluten-free, so they’re suitable for a wide range of dietary needs.
Plus it does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors, making Culturelle a natural and wholesome choice for those who are conscious about what they put in their bodies.
Simply take one capsule daily with a glass of water, and you’ll be on your way to supporting a healthy gut and immune system.
Whether you’re dealing with digestive issues, looking for the best probiotic for clear skin, or simply wanting to promote overall wellness, Culturelle Daily Probiotic Capsules are a great option to consider.
Best Probiotic for Hormonal Acne
The unique blend of Love Wellness Clear Skin Probiotic has 15 strains of beneficial bacteria to support skin health.
Primary Benefits: Helps clear acne; supports healthy skin and the gut-skin connection; promotes the look of healthier, more hydrated skin; improves skin complexion
- 2 billion CFUs help support the appearance of healthy skin texture
- Chaste tree helps improve acne
- Clean ingredients
Love Wellness Clear Skin Probiotic is a high-quality and effective probiotic supplement that supports your skin health from the inside out.
Love Wellness Clear Skin Probiotic is designed to support clear and healthy skin.
This probiotic formula contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, which work together to balance your gut microbiome and promote healthy skin from the inside out.
With just two capsules daily, this probiotic supplement is an easy and convenient way to boost your overall health.
Since we’re talking about hormonal imbalance, this probiotic may also be the best probiotic for PCOS acne.
If you want to reduce acne due to hormonal imbalance, Love Wellness Clear Skin Probiotic is for you.
Best Probiotic for Acne and Gut Health
Vitamin Bounty contains a high-potency blend of probiotics and prebiotics that can help support digestive and immune health.
Primary Benefits: Supports overall digestive health; supports your digestive system; nourishes your gut; helps with flatulence, bloating, and constipation
- 50 billion organisms per serving
- 13 probiotic strains
- Delayed release capsule to protect the organisms from stomach acid
Vitamin Bounty Pro 50 Probiotics With Prebiotics is a top-rated product and an Amazon's Choice. It’s a market leader in probiotic supplements for acne and gut health.
Vitamin Bounty Pro 50 Probiotics With Prebiotics is a dietary supplement that contains 50 billion CFUs of 13 different probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
These strains work together to support digestive and immune health.
Plus, each capsule has prebiotics, compounds that help nourish probiotics and promote their growth.
Moreover, the easy-to-swallow pill is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
Best Probiotic for Acne and Weight Loss
Talk about taking the role of probiotics to the next level! In addition to improving gut and skin health, Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics can even aid in weight loss.
Primary Benefits: Supports immune system; helps good bacteria thrive; promotes digestive balance and regularity; helps relieve occasional discomfort
- 30 billion CFU and 14 probiotic strains
- Certified organic and non-GMO verified ingredients
Dr. Formulated Probiotics is a powerful probiotic supplement for anyone who wants to add probiotics to their daily health plan.
According to research, dysbiosis is a common symptom for people who are overweight.
To restore the healthy balance of gut bacteria, Dr. Formulated Probiotics contains specific probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus gasseri, L. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum, which can help promote weight loss.
One capsule per day is all it takes to restore your gut’s natural and healthy flora, reverse dysbiosis, and help regulate body weight.
Best Topical Probiotic for Acne
We love the live probiotic bacteria in OmNutra Topical Probiotic Spray that support the skin's microbiome while reducing inflammation and improving hydration.
Primary Benefits: Rebuilds the skin’s flora and acid mantle to stop pathogens; alleviates skin condition that causes itching, inflammation, and breakouts; hydrates dry skin
- 13 high-potency live probiotics strains
- Organic ingredients
- Naturally safe alternatives for pharmaceutical prescriptions
- 60-day satisfaction guarantee
By incorporating OmNutra Topical Probiotic Spray into your existing routine, you can work toward achieving healthier, more radiant skin.
While its benefits are promising, please note that this spray is intended to be used as part of a comprehensive skincare routine that includes regular cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection.
As with any skincare product, it’s important to consult a health-care provider or skincare professional before use to determine if it’s appropriate for your individual needs.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Probiotics
The use of probiotics for acne and other skin or gut-related problems is a promising option.
By balancing the microbiome of the gut and skin, good bacteria may help reduce inflammation, support skin hydration, and promote overall skin health.
To achieve the best result, we recommend a holistic approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good skincare habits.
While there is a growing body of research supporting the use of probiotics for skin health, more studies are needed to fully understand their potential benefits and risks.
That being said, taking probiotics may also pose certain risks and side effects.
- Digestive symptoms. Some of the most common potential risks associated with oral probiotics include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.
These issues occur especially if you are taking high doses of probiotics or if your gut microbiome is already imbalanced.
The introduction of new bacteria to the gut may cause an overgrowth of one type of bacteria.
- Allergic reactions. Some people may experience allergic reactions to certain strains of probiotics.
These reactions may manifest as itching, swelling, or hives and can be particularly dangerous in individuals with severe allergies.
- Infections. People with weakened immune systems may also be at greater risk for infection as the introduction of new bacteria may disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome and increase the risk of infection.
- Interference with medical treatments. Probiotics may interfere with certain medical treatments, such as antibiotics, immunosuppressants, or antifungal medications, reducing their effectiveness or causing adverse effects.
- Possible effects on pregnancy. Pregnant and lactating women should also speak to their health-care provider before taking probiotics as the effects of these supplements on fetal development and breast milk are not yet fully understood.
Thus, if you’re considering taking probiotics as an oral supplement, it’s important to speak to your physician.
This way, you’ll be guided on the right strain and appropriate dosage for your unique needs.
By prioritizing your skin’s health and considering all available options, you can work toward achieving healthy, glowing skin that you can feel confident in.
Final Thoughts on Probiotics as Acne Treatment
The relationship between probiotics and acne is an exciting area of research that holds promise for those looking to improve their skin health.
Several studies have suggested that certain strains of probiotics may help to reduce inflammation, regulate oil production, and improve overall skin health, potentially leading to fewer breakouts and clearer skin.
However, more research is needed to fully understand which formulations work and to identify the best probiotic strain for acne and other skin- and gut-related problems.
Additionally, while probiotics may benefit some individuals, they may not be the right choice for everyone, particularly those with severe or persistent acne, which may require medical intervention.
If you are considering using probiotics to improve your skin’s health, it’s crucial to consult with a professional.
By staying informed and working with a trusted health-care provider or skincare specialist, you can make informed choices about your skin’s health and work toward achieving your best possible complexion.
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