What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are additional actives or nutrients that promote beneficial bacteria and inhibit harmful bacteria.

Prebiotic skin care can help regulate the skin microbiome and fight microbial resistance. There are more than one thousand different species of microbes just on the skin alone and an unbalanced skin microbiome can cause atopic dermatitis, acne and psoriasis. The skin microbiome cleans and protects our skin by preventing development of hostile bacteria and maintaining an optimum pH. It also boosts the skin’s immune system and increases cell metabolism.

Prebiotics stimulate the growth of good bacteria. Saprophytic (good) bacteria don’t kill pathogenic bacteria but prevent them from growing by eating all available “food” as it is a competitive inhibition mechanism that affects skin conditions such as an unbalanced pH.

New research suggests that some skin diseases may be due to the absence of beneficial bacteria, and not simply due to the presence of a pathogen.  

Two major groups of bacteria

Normally there is a balance of microbes on the skin that protect introduced microbes from harming us. Damaged skin provides opportunities for microbes to invade the blood stream and cause serious illness. 

There are multiple skin environments - oily, dry and moist. Some microbes prefer one over another. The skin has its natural defenses including acidic sweat and antimicrobial peptides. Antiseptic washes and oral antibiotics can disturb the normal balance of microbes on the skin. 

The structure of the skin microbiological barrier

Prebiotics in food for gut

Description

  • Unavailable carbohydrates in our body

  • Non-digestible 

Mechanism in gut

  • Selectively stimulate the growth and / or metabolic activity of one or a limited number of non-pathogenic bacteria

Benefits

  • Help digestion

  • Improve immunity 

Prebiotics in skincare for skin

Description

  • Unavailable carbohydrates in our body

  • Non-irritant

Mechanism on skin

  • Selectively stimulate the growth and / or metabolic activity of one or a limited number of non-pathogenic bacteria

Benefits

  • Help maintain the skin barrier function 

  • Improve immunity 

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