I take care of my gut by nourishing it with all sorts of pre- and probiotics: Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic, Xymogen OptCleanse GHI, and that humble kitchen staple, sauerkraut. But it wasn't until recently that I started spraying them into my mouth and all over my face and body. Hear me out.
Essentially, probiotics can trick the body and skin into focusing on good bacteria and not the harmful ones that increase inflammation (dermatitis and leaky gut to name two). These gutsy little microbes have a calming effect on the skin by sending direct messages to cells and telling them to stop their release of inflammatory predators. There's all types of groundbreaking research that's paved the way for this spray onset, most notably the British Journal of Dermatology's 2014 "Clinical evidence of benefits of a dietary supplement containing probiotic and carotenoids on ultraviolet-induced skin damage," and L Di Marzio's pioneering 2008 thesis on the "Increase of skin-ceramide levels in aged subjects following a short-term topical application of bacterial sphingomyelinase from Streptococcus thermophilus," out of the Department of Drug Science, University G. d'Annunzio, in Chieti Scalo, Italy.
And, boy, have skin care companies, most interestingly the smaller/niche ones, taken note. Leading the charge is Tula, an innovative brand from Dr. Roshini Raj, a board-certified gastroenterologist and internist with a medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. She's also an associate professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and an attending physician at NYU Langone Medical Center. If that wasn't impressive enough, her products are so high-tech they've made some of the global beauty companies ingrained in our public consciousness sit up and take note.
The star of the show is Urban Defense Hydrating Mist, a potent combination of bifido ferments and yogurt extract that's in all of Tula's products. Probiotic actives are protein-, vitamin-, and mineral-rich elements that help protect skin against harmful bacteria and negative environmental irritants. They also supply nutrients to restore the skin's balance and stabilize the skin's natural immune system, calming inflammation and redness.
The cult formulator Marie Veronique's Pre+Probiotic Daily Mist is a collaboration between the eponymous founder and her daughter, Jay Nadeau, a physicist and biomedical engineer. Like the small handful of beauty pioneers at the forefront of green and technological breakthroughs, Marie holds a BS in math and chemistry. Motherdirt's AO+ MIST, a live probiotic spray for the skin, contains a strain of Nitrosomonas eutropha live AOB (Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria) that can be sprayed onto itchy scalps and sweaty feet and groins for a healthy bacteria balance. The White House has even jumped on the bacteria bandwagon and launched a new National Microbiome Initiative to increase research in the microbiome field and develop new technologies that can build the industry and infrastructure.
Skin care's new frontier may not be easily pronounceable or even sexy and glossy, but it packs some potent punch. And isn't that all we really care about?
- What's Next For The Microbiome?
- Good News! Taking Probiotics Can Cheer You Up
- Why Prebiotics Are Just As Important As Probiotics For Gut Health