Maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria in the body has benefits beyond the digestive tract, it may also affect the health and appearance of acne and rosacea, researchers have found.

Probiotics introduce healthy bacteria to the gut and create a barrier to reduce inflammation, and there is new, compelling evidence that probiotics hold promise for treating acne and rosacea.

Probiotics are typically recommended to patients with acne or rosacea who are taking antibiotics, which can wipe out both good and bad gut bacteria. We suggest getting probiotics daily from food, such as goat’s milk yogurt with live active cultures and goat’s milk kefir (a fermented milk drink), or probiotics supplements with Lactobacillus, L. acidophilus, and B. bifudum from our approved supplements list.

As more research emerges, here are two skin conditions that seem the most promising for probiotics:

Acne. Small studies from Italy, Russia, and Korea have found that probiotics from food or supplements used in conjunction with topical acne treatments may increase the rate of acne clearance and help reduce the number of active acne lesions. In addition, taking probiotics helps patients better tolerate oral antibiotics sometimes prescribed short-term to get acne under control.

Rosacea. This inflammatory skin condition causes facial redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, as well as small red bumps or pimples. Probiotics may help control rosacea flare-ups and symptoms, studies suggest. Also, taking probiotics in conjunction with topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can reduce the redness seen in rosacea, and also improve and strengthen the skin barrier to reduce its stinging, burning, and dryness.

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