Everyone's all about probiotics at the moment - and it's more than just a throwback to that '90s Yakult fad. From kombucha to kimchi to sauerkraut, fermented foods are having a major moment, and it's mainly because the science behind them is sound.
It's all to do with gut health - as you might remember from those Yakult ads, the more good bacteria in your gut, the healthier you'll feel. "The gut is where 70 per cent of your immune system lies, where we metabolise hormones, where we make nutrients, create detoxifying enzymes and neutralise pathogens," explains Carla Oates, founder of The Beauty Chef.
What hasn't been so widely discussed until recently is that gut health manifests itself on the skin. "If we're not getting enough nutrients or digesting our food properly due to poor gut health, our skin will start to starve," says Oates. "This affects skin elasticity and collagen production and will manifest in dull, lacklustre skin."
How to deal? Until recently, the only answer was to load up on probiotic-rich foods and supplements, but now, there's an emerging beauty category that allows you to apply the skin-loving stuff directly to your face. And it's a little more sophisticated than smothering your skin in yoghurt (although who knows, that just might work). "The goal is to help your skin regain its natural balance, much like probiotics do for your gut," Claire Vero, founder of luxe probiotic beauty brand Aurelia, told Into the Gloss. Read on for three of our favourites.
1. The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner, $69.95, thebeautychef.com
Oates is famous for her beauty supplements (you know those Inner Glow powders all the fash pack swear by?), but her latest product is designed to be applied topically, not added to your morning smoothie. Containing the same bio-fermented organic ingredients as her powders, plus Lactobacillis probiotics and alpha-hydroxy acids, the new product works to break down dead skin cells, boost the skin's immune health and strengthen the skin's barrier system.
2. Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser, $118, net-a-porter.com/au
Founder Claire Vero began applying probiotics to her skin when she noticed their ability to soothe inflammation in patients with chronic skin conditions. Her cult-status moisturiser contains bifido bacteria to restore skin balance, plus peptides, Borage oil (a rich source of fatty acids) and vitamin e-rich Mongongo Oil. It's suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.
3. Clinique Redness Solutions Make-up SPF 15+, $50, clinique.com.au
Clinique's clever little multi-tasking make-up solution works to calm redness while simultaneously covering it up, thanks to active probiotic Lactobacillus along with soothing natural extracts.