You don’t have to look far to see that there is a serious buzz around prebiotics and probiotics at the moment. They're part of a large cultural movement towards understanding the importance of the gut in our immune system functionality and the role that microorganisms play in keeping it healthy.
But do you know exactly what they are? And did you know that they work just as well on the outside for your skin as they do on the inside for your gut?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are found in yeast, fungi and bacteria. We find them in foods like yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. When taken in large doses, they can help to maintain and even improve the health of your gastro-intestinal system.
The value of these tiny warriors was first discovered by Bulgarian Nobel prize winner Elie Metchnikoff who saw that the local peasants who consumed a lot of yoghurt lived longer than those who didn’t. He studied this yoghurt in 1907 and declared that it is possible to use diet to modify the flora in our bodies.
In other words – putting more good bacteria in our body can result in better health.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food fibres (found in lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains) that act as food for probiotics and help create an environment in which probiotics thrive.
Prebiotics stimulate the growth of probiotics and help these good bacteria stick to the walls of your intestine and bowel. This allows the gut to work at maximum efficiency, which means your immune and digestive systems will flow smoothly and your mental health, which is linked to both of these systems, is more likely to achieve equilibrium.
If you don’t have enough probiotics or prebiotics you will probably feel it in your gut first. Symptoms include bloating, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea and general discomfort. You are more likely to get general ailments like colds and allergies if the gut system is out of kilter.
So – obviously it is worth your while getting both of these specialists into your diet as often as possible. And it isn’t very hard. You can find probiotics in yoghurt (make sure it is good quality pot-set Greek yoghurt), kefir, kombucha, miso and fermented veges like sauerkraut. And you can help these out by adding prebiotic rich foods like soy, bananas, oats, barley, legumes and green veges.
The exciting thing is that prebiotics and probiotics don’t just heal from within. A medical study published by US National Library of Medicine studied the role of pre and probiotics with respect to improving skin health.
The study describes the skin as a complex environment with a diverse microorganism community some of which may be there temporarily, and others that live on the skin permanently. Of these, some are beneficial and others are pathogens which might cause illness or inflammation. Exactly what is on your skin will vary according to your environment.
Pre and probiotics can be delivered topically (rubbed onto your skin) to optimise and restore the microbiota- the microorganisms that live in a certain place- of the skin. They can also enhance natural defence barriers and produce antimicrobial peptides that help eliminate potential pathogens.
They can also help the good microbiota flourish. In other words, they help to clean out things that could cause harm to your skin and body and then they help to nourish the skin and keep it working at optimal levels.
THE ULTIMATE SKIN POLISHING POWDER
Your body is home to millions of tiny creatures, both inside and out. Some are working hard for you, others are plotting against you. Feeding the good ones and wiping out the bad ones is an on-going battle that you are in charge of and pre and probiotics are some very powerful weapons of choice.
Now that you understand the process – it might be time for a tub of yoghurt, an iced kombucha and exfoliation... May we recommend our Prebiotic + Skin Polishing Exfoliating Powder?
When we developed this product, we wanted to create an exfoliator that did all the usual things – cleared the skin of debris and revealed the new fresh layers – but we also wanted it to nourish the skin.
We achieved this using a prebiotic called Inulin. Inulin is a vegetable fructose polysaccharide derived from chicory that reduces the growth of pathogenic bacteria and promotes that of friendly micro-organisms that are naturally present on the epidermis. It is gentle and also comes with a dose of vitamins and minerals.
Of course, we didn’t stop there. We also added Grapefruit Powder, which is high in Vitamin C to help break down dead skin cells and retexture the skin. After just one use, your skin is smoother, brighter and touchabley soft. Continued regular use leaves you with a glowing, healthy complexion.