Probiotics and prebiotics may already be on your radar, but what about postbiotics? Relatively unexplored by scientists, postbiotics are next on the list of flora-friendly (microorganisms that reside on your skin to keep it healthy, also known as microbiome) ingredients you should add to your bathroom shelf. Postbiotics are part of a new wave of innovative skincare sweeping the beauty industry focused on nurturing the skin’s microbiome. But, if ‘biotics’ are something you’ve only heard of in your yoghurts, I’ll take you back a few steps…
A balanced microbiome is key!
Just like your gut, your skin needs a diverse array of bacteria to keep it healthy, and functioning at its best. Postbiotic skincare works by topping up your good bacteria (our skin’s natural defence mechanism) to ensure your microbiome doesn’t become overrun with pathogens (pollutants) and bad bacteria (sebum). For me and you, an unbalanced flora can result in dryness, sensitivity, blemishes, and flare-ups of eczema. So, it’s in your skin’s best interests to tend to your flora!
What are postbiotics, and how are they different from probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics are an invisible tag team that live on the skin, working together to maintain its health. Probiotics are living good bacteria; prebiotics is food for probiotics and postbiotics are a bi-product (what they leave behind) of the probiotics, all of which are essential for a balanced microbiome (a.k.a good skin!).
Postbiotics work in a similar way to pre and probiotics in the sense that they support the good bacteria living on your skin’s surface. Your microbiome’s new best friend, postbiotics fight microbial activity (bad bacteria like sebum, pollutants and staphylococcus), boosting skin immunity, as well as soothing inflammation, healing and smoothing skin texture.
1. The Healing Cream
Avene has updated their beloved Avene Cicalfate with the innovative C+ Restore technology centred around postbiotics. Naturally produced in the Avene reservoir, postbiotics give the Eau de Thermal water its unique microflora signature, which is featured in C+ Restore. In layman’s terms, this means the cica cream is packed full of soothing and healing properties that will nurture the skin microbiome during a state repair.
Why I love it…
For fans of Avene’s original Cicalfate, I can understand if you’re worried that it might not have the same incredible healing effects as the original. But you don’t need to worry; Avene Cicalfate+ is 30% more effective at repairing your unwanted cuts, and sore, cracked skin than the original. Nappy rash, sunburn, scars and dryness, are just the tip of the iceberg of the skin concerns that it can solve. Plus, it heals skin x2.5 faster than your body, so it’s a good one to always have on hand in the house.
Tip: Are your hands dry and overwashed at the moment? To soothe them, apply a thick layer of this cream before bed, and cover them with socks (you can also use cotton gloves). You may think this sounds a bit odd, but you’ll thank me later!
2. The Anti-Ageing Face Mask
As the name suggests, the SuperStart Probiotic Boost is packed with probiotics. But what you might not realise is that it also contains postbiotics and prebiotics, which in the world of microbiome skincare is a perfect hat trick. It’s infused with repairing postbiotic, lactococcus ferment lysate, along with Arden’s 2x probiotic complex, so there’s no shortage of friendly bacteria where this face mask is concerned. In short, if a balanced microbiome and a youthful glow are what you’re after, this is the postbiotic skincare product to try!
Why I love it…
It’s award-winning, so I know I’m not alone when I say this mask is a must-have. Now, I can enjoy my favourite Superstart Skin Renewal Booster in a double dose! Unlike most masks I’ve used, it fits my face. The second-skin design feels snug and doesn’t fall off. As I press and smooth out the creases, the mask moulds to the contours of my face, ensuring the formula is absorbed, and no serum is wasted. What makes the design even more impressive is that it’s made from bio-cellulose, a biodegradable material made from nourishing coconut water extract, which leaves your skin feeling baby-soft, and looking plump, smooth and intensely hydrated; I feel like I’ve been pampered after each use.
3. The Soothing Body Balm
Why your microbiome will love it
Lipikar Baume AP+M is brimming with postbiotics that support your skin’s unique biodiversity. Aqua Posae Filiformis, a postbiotic naturally found in La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring works to support dry skin, especially conditions like dermatitis. The balm keeps your skin barrier topped up with good bacteria so it is armed to fight off any nasties that might upset your skin.
Why I love it…
Lipikar Baume AP+ is a great way to break into the world of postbiotic skincare. It’s affordable and can be used by the whole family (from babies to elderly). As the largest organ, your skin flora is all over your body, and it’s important it’s tended to; this moisturising balm makes sure of that. Dry skin types and conditions, you’ll love the additional hydration, and protection this rich formula offers your skin.
Note: It stops the growth of staphylococcus aureus, which is the bacteria responsible for eczema flare-ups!