Acne and Probiotics: The Connection Between Your Gut and Your Breakouts

Did you know that acne and probiotics are a potent combination to address some of the root causes of your breakouts? If you are suffering from acne, the last thing on your mind might be the health of your GI (gastrointestinal) system. But read on because maybe it should be one of the first  things you address. Since this is a site about probiotics, you may have guessed by now that probiotics may be able to help.

The GI Link to Acne

If you're not familiar with the health benefits of probiotics, you might want to read about them here to start so that you have a basic understand of what they do. Acne and probiotics are a winning combination because the probiotics perform many vital functions to the body.

One of the benefits of major importance of probiotics is that they help you maintain the integrity of your GI tract and prevent what's called "leaky gut". When you have leaky gut, particles larger than those normally allowed in travel into your bloodstream and can cause inflammatory problems all over the body.

Another major benefit of most probiotics is their anti-inflammatory nature. The anti-inflammatory behavior of probiotics decreases over-active sebum production and creates an environment which is not favorable to acne-related bacteria.

Probiotics also help maintain skin-microbe diversity. While the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is often blamed for acne, in a June, 2018 study the authors concluded that "contrary to what was previously thought, proliferation of P. acnes is not the trigger of acne as patients with acne do not harbour more P. acnes in follicles than normal individuals. Instead, the loss of the skin microbial diversity together with the activation of the innate immunity might lead to this chronic inflammatory condition."

Yet another major benefit of probiotics is that they keep the unhealthy bacteria at manageable levels. Some of these unhealthy bacteria can produce toxins inside your body (endotoxins) called "lipopolysaccharide", or LPS, for short. The LPS can escape from your GI tract in a leaky gut scenario and get into your bloodstream, causing inflammation and other problems.

Why Does This LPS Exist?

The LPS is a normal part of some bacteria. High LPS levels mean that your GI tract is out of balance, so the bad guys are overpowering the good guys.

High LPS levels also mean that you don't have the variety of microbes that leads to a healthy microbiome. Pairing acne and probiotics will help create variety.

Antibiotics help with breakouts in part because they kill off high levels of these LPS-producing bacteria. However, they also kill off the helpful probiotics!

Acne and Probiotics: Which Probiotics Help?

Many different probiotics, applied to the skin and/or taken internally have shown promise to improve the severity of skin breakouts in scientific studies. While probiotic topical products may be helpful due to the activity of the bacterial extracts in them, they should not be the only course of action since they are not healing your gut. My suggestions are:

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