BEAUTY KNOWHOW: Join the culture club

They’re not just good for your gut – here’s why probiotics will give your complexion a workout too.

Microbiome is one of the key buzz words in the beauty world right now. You may have heard it in relation to maintaining gut wellness – as the ‘good’ bacteria, also known as microbiota, essential to keeping our bodies healthy and functioning. Increasingly, this way of thinking is being used in the science of skincare, too. Sounds complicated? Here’s the easy-to-understand lowdown by Dr Olga Laporta of ingredient supplier Lipotec…

Where has this trend sprung from?
It started a few years ago in the food industry, where pre- and probiotic supplements, which are said to reintroduce the ‘good’ bacteria into the body, gained popularity.

So can what works inside work on the outside too?
Yes, it can. Recent studies have shown that microbiota can provide vital skin functions, such as protecting it against ‘bad’ bacteria and improving its barrier. The findings also suggest that high use of antibiotics, over-cleansing the skin and not spending enough time outdoors may reduce our skin’s microbiota diversity – which can lead to skin disorders and sensitive complexions.

So, put simply, replenishing the skin’s microbiota with specially formulated products will help it look and feel healthy and, in turn, more youthful.

The latest probiotic beauty launches include…

FOR SKIN

probiotic beauty productsEspa Tri-Active Advanced ProBiome range includes a Serum (£100), Moisturiser (£85) and Eye Cream (£65, all espaskincare.com), which combine plant, marine and aromatherapy ingredients with probiome technology to boost the complexion.

probiotic beauty productsThe Inkey List Multi-Biotic (£12.99, cultbeauty.co.uk from 5 March) is the brand’s first microbiome-based moisturiser.

probiotic beauty productsSeed to Skin The Peace Probiotic Pink Clay Soothing Mask (£73, libertylondon.co.uk) soothes stressed skin, helps to support its defences and boosts radiance. 

FOR SCALP

probiotic beauty productsGallinée Scalp And Hair range includes Soothing Cleansing Cream (£23), Care Mask (£28) and Serum (£24, all gallinee.com), which help maintain the scalp’s microbiome. These play a part in regulating sebum, which when off-kilter this can cause itchiness, dandruff and even hair loss. 

Foundation: Find your perfect match

At the recent launch for Lancôme’s new foundation, the brand’s creative director Lisa Eldridge gave me some advice on how to choose the right shade…

● Remove any foundation you’re already wearing, even if it’s only on one side of your face. I find the best place to match the colour to is an inch forward from the bottom of your ear. Try the foundation there and down the neck, then blend.

● Don’t decide immediately as, depending on the formulation, shades can become richer or lighter with wear. So apply the foundation, look at it in daylight and spend the day doing what you normally do. Then check if the colour still matches and looks good by evening.

New foundations worth checking out

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Nude (£33.50, lancome.co.uk). A new version of the classic, it is long-wearing, gives good coverage with a demi-matt finish, but is lighter than the original.

Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (£35, narscosmetics.co.uk). This gives proper coverage with a good dose of glowiness.

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation (£36, asos.com). The lovely lightweight formula blends easily and lasts up to 15 hours.

Rimmel Lasting Radiance (£9.99, boots.com from March). Light on the skin with good buildable medium coverage and anti-pollution technology.

Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers. Beauty assistant Alice Robertson.