Finding Symbiosis From Within

Female Malaysia|May 2020

Finding Symbiosis From Within
The rise of pre- and probiotics in skincare has resulted in a beauty revolution like no other as they support skin's microbiome with their healing and nurturing properties. Take this time of self-reflection to learn which microbes would work well with your skin.
Nabila Azlan

Probiotics are live microorganisms with the ability to improve one’s wellbeing through consumption or topical application. Resembling natural microbes in and on our bodies, they star in dietary supplements, certain fermented food like sauerkraut and tempeh, and today, beauty products! Meanwhile, if a product contains prebiotics, that means it has enough living good bacteria surviving the process of fermentation.

Familiar live species making up prebiotics according to the American National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) include bacteria like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and yeasts like Saccharomyces. Think of prebiotics as ‘microbial veggies’ – high-fibre substances to enhance and support the growth of probiotics. “They are food for the human microflora (a collective of good and bad microorganisms residing in or on our body) as well,” to quote Katherine Zeratsky of Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, and can be found in whole grains, bananas and artichokes.


Pre- and probiotics work best in waterbased formulas and creams. They’re tricky to be included into oil formulations, which is probably why you won’t see any (yet)!

To call the usage of pre- and probiotics in the beauty arena a trend seems inaccurate as it has survived many years and multiple forms of innovation. This technology isn’t new, but over time, it thrives like good bacteria in our systems – more products are formulated with a variety of good-for-skin microbes. They were found abundant in essences, and today, they power up toners, masks and serums too, to enhance our routines.


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May 2020