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Topical Probiotics, Next Big Thing in Skin Care?

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know that I strongly advocate against using antibiotics for acne. Not because antibiotics "don't work" or aren't "effective" - but because they only yield a short-term gain (clearer skin) for a long-term loss (antibiotic resistance, GI issues). Besides, many people with acne don't have a lot of "bad bacteria" on their skin, anyway. This is because many of us with acne have spent years & years damaging our skin with harmful, drying products that kill off all of the bacteria on our skin - bad AND good.

Humans have an irrational fear of bacteria, and this seems to stem from a lack of understanding regarding bacteria's purpose. About 1-2% of our body mass is bacteria! Our bodies are literally full of bacteria. But for years, conventional wisdom has told us that we need to be bacteria-free to really be clean. Bacteria always = bad in the conventional sense. But here at we know that isn't true.

Whether bacteria is at the root of your acne troubles or not, blasting all of the bacteria off your skin is not the answer. Period. Studies have consistently linked bacteria to immune system function and to combating various inflammatory diseases. Recent research around the human microbiome has also indicated that people are probably better off letting their “good” bacteria, which support the body’s systems, fight their “bad” bacteria, which can cause illness, infection and even death. On our skin, a lack of good bacteria, or an imbalance in good and bad bacteria, can lead to worsened skin