Probiotics, or “good bacteria” have emerged from the food sphere – usually associated with morning yogurts and intestinal regularization – to become new protagonists in skin care. Global brands such as Clinique, Aurelia, Elizabeth Arden and Jhonson & Jhonson have sought this new path to their  developments for skincare.

The concept of probiotic bacteria has being evolving through clinical and experimental researches documented that proves that in addition to probiotics  influence positively intestinal functions, can exert benefits to the skin, thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties that help eliminate bacteria that cause acne , Rosacea, dermatitis and psoriasis and for helping to reduce redness and inflammation and to combat premature wrinkles in the long run.


According to scientific reports undertaken by Professor Jean Krutmann of the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, evidence-based, reinforce the assumption that certain probiotics may contribute to modulate the cutaneous microflora, lipid barrier and immune system of the skin, leading to the Preservation of skin homeostasis.

The study explains that human skin provides habitat for a variety of microorganisms: the microflora of the skin and that there is a complex network of interactions between microbes and epidermal cells.

Several studies investigated by Professor Krutmann point to an action of probiotics on the skin: “Many evidences indicate that probiotics may be useful as antioxidant agents both in vitro and in vivo (Lin and Chang, 2000) and in some studies, probiotics have been shown to exert systemic protection against oxidative stress and to decrease human oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (Navarro et al., 2008, Bouilly-Gauthier et al., 2010) It was concluded that probiotics represent a useful therapeutic tool for the prevention of epidermal oxidative stress via topical or via ingestion (Cinque et al., 2011 The hability of probiotics to act as an antioxidant can be attributed to the presence of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (Shen et al., 2010) to the release of antioxidant compounds such as glutathione (Peran et al., 2006) and to the production of extracellular polysaccharide biomolecules (Kodali and Sen, 2008).

Good bacteria
The bacterium that preserves the skin is Bifida. It stabilizes the skin’s natural defense system, helping to restore and maintain the natural balance of bacteria and pH on the skin surface. Probiotics help in digestion by ensuring that the intestine is filled with the right kind of bacteria that fight bad bacteria, which is exactly the same way it works for the skin. By maintaining a healthy and natural balance of useful bacteria, the skin is more capacitated to combat bacterial infections such as acne.

Johnson & Jhonson has recently partnered with S-Biomedics, a Belgian biotechnology company specializing in skin care, probiotics and cosmetics, as part of its new JLINX program launched last year and that aims to partner with startups working in fields that align with J & J’s business. S-Biomedics is one of them, due to the development “of a method to directly modulate the microbioma of the skin, with applications in dermatology and cosmetic industry,” according to the press release. The microbioma of the skin is a habitat of billions of good and bad bacteria, thatcontributes to conditions ranging from acne, eczema and rosacea to aging.

J & J and S-Biomedics will be working together on microbiome-based solutions for skin care. S-Biomedic will conduct clinical trials for a product to recover skin with acne. And it should expand its technology platform to generate products for other skin conditions.

The active ingredients manufacturer Sabinsa has developed a probiotic-based ingredient: Lactospora, based on L (+) lactic acid, which is completely metabolized by glycogen.

Some brands have already developed special lines of skin regeneration through the inclusion of probiotics in their formulas, such as Aurelia, a British skin care brand that combines bio-organic botanical formulations with probiotic technology in botanical formulations to stimulate cellular metabolism and to control inflammation, one of the main causes of skin aging. The brand has developed a line with several revitalizing products that use the technology, such as: cleanser, shine serum, day and night moisturizer, night oil, hand cream, cream deodorant, among other products.

Bifidobacterium glycoproteins, the probiotic used by the brand, help repair, protect, monitor and support skin cells acting at the level of cytokines (responsible for inflammatory skin reactions). All other ingredients used by the brand are natural and of responsible and ethical origin or even organic.

Aurelia Probiotic SkinCare – Miracle Cleanser contains a high concentration of probiotics and peptides to support the skin’s natural defense system. Contains 100% pure extracts of plants and flowers including Baobab Kigelia Africana and Hibiscus to revitalize the skin and fight oxidative stress.

Clinic has launched Clinic Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream with Probiotic Technology, a daily relief cream with probiotic technology, whose extra-soft, oil-free formula instantly comforts red and irritated skin. The probiotic technology works to reduce the appearance of visible redness and helps to prevent it. It also helps to reduce the signs of blemishes on the skin, providing gentle hydration and reducing the appearance of split capillaries. It has refreshing texture and provides visible results for irritated and red skin, company says.

Developed by a gastroenterologist, Tula brand launched its Tula Illuminating Face Serum, which contains bifid ferment and yogurt extracts, bacteria that, according to the brand, have proven to be the best friends of healthy skin. Multistrain Probiotic technology has been developed from yogurt, nutritional superfoods and is employed in its wide range of brand personal care products.
Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden has developed the Superstart Skin Renewal Booster Serum, which includes a complex of probiotics to strengthen the skin’s natural ability of recover and renew itself, giving it a more youthful, radiant appearance. Enriched with sea fennel and flaxseed extracts to maintain the skin’s lipid hydro barrier, it acts as a versatile and refreshing serum to be applied before the moisturizer to increase the effectiveness of skincare products.

And the Brazililian Adcos has launched its Hidradefense Solution Acqua Pro-Bio in aerosol form, which is formulated with prebiotic, which exclusively stimulates the growth of beneficial flora naturally found in the skin (good bacteria) and reduces bacteria capable of generating diseases. Protects and stimulates the skin and hair defenses. It restores skin strength and aids in the recovery of its immune protection. The product also contains Ectoína, a molecule synthesized by microorganisms that support extreme conditions and that promotes hydration, among other properties. It also contains Allantoin and Hyaluronic Acid. It is ideal for optimal treatment of sensitive skin, people with atopic dermatitis, post-beard, inflammatory acne, post-operative, post-peeling, post-depilation and hair therapy. However, company clarifies that the name Aqua Pro.Bio refers to the function it performs, of working in favor of probiotics (living microorganisms capable of improving the microbial balance producing beneficial effects to individual skin health) and not by having them in the composition.

“The choice of working with prebiotics is by understanding that skin is constantly exposed to various environmental factors that may affect its barrier function at the physical, mechanical, immunological and microbial levels. These factors have the potential to initiate or exacerbate a variety of inflammatory skin conditions, especially those associated with barrier dysfunction, which detract from skin health and accelerate the aging process. Preserving the cutaneous microbiome is one of the strategies to preserve the health and beauty of the skin, “says Adcos’s pharmacist, Marina Lima.

“While medical tests prove the effectiveness of probiotic-based products, there are still some obstacles for cosmetic manufacturers. The basic challenge is to identify the right microorganism to be used in the formulation. The chemicals used in cosmetic formulations do not always provide the environment adequate to keep the bacteria alive, which may affect the viability and effectiveness of the formulation. To avoid undesirable reactions or overgrowth, most probiotic-based cosmetic ingredients adhere to formulations in which bacteria are present in a latent state, “reveals the study Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Multi-Regional Market Analysis and Opportunities, by Kline, a consulting and market intelligence agency.

According to the agency, biofunctional ingredients such as probiotics already play an important role in the personal care market, with an estimated market in Brazil, China, Europe and the United States of about $ 1.1 billion. The expectance, Kline expects that this market will grow at a compound annual rate of more than 6% during the forecast period from 2016 to 2021.

* With part of the information from Kline