Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms known for promoting gut health. They are also recognized for their potential in skin care, especially in managing acne and improving skin health. Some research suggests that specific strains of probiotics can enhance the skin's barrier function, decrease inflammation, and improve the appearance of acne-prone skin.
The connection between gut health and skin conditions, known as the gut-skin axis, suggests that a balanced gut microbiome can have far-reaching effects, including reduced acne symptoms.
In this article, we will review the best probiotic supplements for acne and skin health.
Best probiotics for acne: a shortlist
- YourBiology — best probiotic for protecting our skin barrier
- Oweli — best probiotic with skin health-related strains
- Clear Wellness — best probiotic for supporting overall skin health
- Bestfactor — best probiotic for skin health with anti-inflammatory properties
- Pure Essence Labs — best probiotic for robust gut-skin connection
How to choose the best probiotic for acne and skin health
|Ingredient quality||Science-backed probiotic strains|
|Reputable provider||GMP-certified, third-party tested|
|Adequate dosage and price||Price vs. quantity|
|CFU||Adequate probiotic amounts|
|Specific probiotic strains||Specific for skin health|
- Ingredient quality. Verify that the probiotics incorporate superior bacterial strains that are scientifically validated. Not all probiotics available in the market possess substantial evidence to support their claims, hence it's crucial to opt for products with demonstrated effectiveness for the targeted health issue.
- Reputable provider. Opt for a brand that is known for producing top-tier supplements. Seek companies that adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP) with third-party testing or certifications to guarantee product quality and safety.
- Adequate dosage and price. Evaluate the probiotic dosage in each supplement serving and compare it with the cost. Search for supplements that provide a favorable price-dosage ratio of probiotics at a fair price range.
- CFU. Colony Forming Units (CFU) refer to the number of live bacteria present in each probiotic serving. Greater CFU counts suggest a higher density of beneficial bacteria. Ensure that the probiotics you select have a sufficient CFU count, usually in the billions, throughout the product's shelf life.
- Specific probiotic strains. Seek probiotic strains that specifically aim to alleviate acne symptoms and enhance skin health, such as Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei. These strains have shown some evidence of their effectiveness in mitigating skin inflammation due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Best probiotics for acne in 2023: an overview
When compiling this list, we evaluated various brands and probiotic supplements addressing acne and skin health.
Identifying a quality product is crucial to cater to distinct personal needs. Even though most probiotic supplements share similar ingredients, they can provide different benefits based on their unique formulation. This aspect should be taken into account when targeting particular health objectives.
Every product is classified based on a unique category emphasizing its exclusive benefits, constituents, and other aspects. The list further entails the advantages and disadvantages of each product.
1. YourBiology — top probiotic for safeguarding our skin barrier
YourBiology offers a specialized probiotic supplement customized for individual needs. It incorporates a unique probiotic strain known as Lactobacillus paracasei, demonstrated to aid in improving skin barrier function for a healthier skin appearance.
The brand provides probiotic formulations based on extensive gut microbiome testing. By examining the gut microbiota makeup, YourBiology provides a probiotic blend with 40 billion CFUs specifically tailored to rectify the distinct microbial imbalances of each person. This unique approach may lead to more personalized care for your gut/skin microbiome
The supplement contains 60 capsules with a suggested dosage by the manufacturer of 2 capsules daily.
The YourBiology probiotic supplement is GMP-certified and manufactured in the USA, signifying its compliance with the regulations imposed by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
A one-month supply of YourBiology supplements costs $64.99, a three-month supply (with one month free) for $129.99, and a five-month supply (with two months free) for $194.99.
2. Oweli — top probiotic for enhancing overall skin health
Oweli is a distinguished provider of probiotic supplements, renowned for its meticulously designed formulation and dedication to overall wellness.
According to Oweli, the supplement may help maintain a healthier skin appearance by promoting gut health. A balance of gut microbiome has been linked to reducing eczema, acne, and dry skin.
The product delivers 40 billion CFUs using MAKtrek® Bi-Pass Technology for enhanced absorption. It also incorporates strains from the Lactobacillus family and Bifidobacterium, recognized for their diverse health advantages.
A bottle of the supplements contains 30 servings with a manufacturer’s recommended daily serving size of 2 capsules.
Oweli Probiotic is manufactured in FDA-registered facilities and is GMP-compliant.
The cost for a one-month supply of Oweli Probiotic supplement is $29.99 per bottle.
3. Clear Wellness — top probiotic with skin health-focused strains
Clear Wellness Lip & Skin Health is a formulated blend designed to protect the skin, defend against cold sore outbreaks and promote a healthier complexion.
The product contains 12 billion CFUs and features a proprietary blend of premium probiotics, prebiotics, amino acids, and Vitamin C, all aimed at improving gut and immune health for cold sore prevention
The ingredients include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophillus, L-Lysine, vitamin C, and a prebiotic: Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) — all enclosed in a delayed-release veggie capsule.
The supplements contain 60 capsules with a recommended dosage of 2 capsules daily.
The product is made in FDA-approved facilities that are cGMP certified, ensuring high standards of quality and safety.
The pricing model offers various options, with a single bottle priced at $39.00, a 3-pack at $99.00, and a 6-pack at $189.00. Additionally, a subscription model is available, offering 30% off the first order and 15% off thereafter.
4. Bestfactor — top probiotic for skin health with anti-inflammatory benefits
Bestfactor Plus Next Gen is a superior supplement featuring a high count of live beneficial bacteria and yeast, including popular strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The formula also boasts 100 billion CFUs.
When the relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system is impaired, subsequent effects can be triggered on the skin, potentially promoting the development of skin conditions. The supplement may support skin health by targeting gut health and reducing inflammation.
The supplements include 60 capsules with a suggested intake of 2 capsules daily.
Bestfactor’s probiotic supplements are made in USA facilities registered and inspected by the FDA in accordance with the standards of GMP.
A one-month supply of Bestfactor supplements is priced at $39.71 and is available as a one-off purchase.
5. Pure Essence Labs — top probiotic for strong gut-skin linkage
Pure Essence Labs is a health product provider which offers probiotic supplements, including PureBiotics™ Maxima. It is a high-potency supplement designed to support skin health by replenishing the gut with beneficial probiotics.
According to the provider, each capsule provides 100 billion CFUs from 15 different strains. The supplement employs delayed-release vegan capsules to shield the probiotics from stomach acids, allowing optimal delivery to the gut.
Pure Essence underscores its dedication to purity, with each batch undergoing triple testing for identity, heavy metals, and toxins, ensuring complete adherence to rigorous regulations.
The supplements include 30 capsules with a suggested intake of 1 capsule daily.
The price for a one-month supply is $74.60. The product is available as a single purchase or on a subscription basis with a 20% discount.
Comparing the best probiotics for acne
|Provider||Cost (per month)||Daily dose||Probiotic strains||CFU count||Review|
|YourBiology||$64.99||2 capsules||4||40 billion||YourBiology Gut+ Probiotic Review|
|Oweli||$29.99||2 capsules||3||40 billion||-|
|Clear Wellness||$27.30||2 capsules||2||12 billion||-|
|Bestfactor||$39.99||1 capsule||5||100 billion||Bestfactor Plus Next Gen Review|
|Pure Essence Labs||$74.60||1 capsule||15||100 billion||Pure Essence Labs Review|
How did we choose our list of the best probiotics for acne
Understanding the formulation of each product and the standards it must meet to be a feasible choice is essential. We considered several factors when selecting the best probiotic for acne and skin health, including the appropriate probiotic strains, customer feedback, science-backed ingredients, and the quality of the ingredients.
- Probiotic strains. We ensured that the recommended products included specific bacterial strains that may support acne and skin health. We sought products containing Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei, which have demonstrated potential in controlling acne and promoting skin health.
- Reviews. We examined a substantial number of online reviews to gauge customer sentiment toward brands and their offerings. Furthermore, understanding customer satisfaction was another vital factor we had to consider to identify the best probiotic supplements for managing acne and skin health.
- Science-backed ingredients. We meticulously evaluated products containing probiotic strains that have been scientifically researched. This involved reviewing studies that validate the efficacy of probiotic supplements in acne and skin health. By prioritizing probiotics with scientific support, we aimed to ensure that the selected formulations deliver substantial benefits.
- Ingredient quality. Guaranteeing that the probiotic ingredients are formulated in compliance with the highest quality standards is vital for their efficacy and safety. To fulfill this criterion, we specifically assessed probiotics produced following the GMP protocol. Additionally, we considered probiotics that undergo third-party testing, which involves independent labs confirming the purity, potency, and label accuracy.
What is acne?
Acne is a common skin condition characterized by the clogging of hair follicles under the skin, leading to the formation of lesions commonly known as pimples or zits. It is caused by an accumulation of sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria in the pores, leading to inflammation, redness, and pain. The condition is most prevalent in teenagers and young adults. However, it can continue into adulthood, with various types, including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and severe nodular or cystic acne. Factors like hormonal changes, family history, certain medications, and diet can contribute to acne development.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, hormones, lifestyle choices, and stress levels. It occurs when oil glands overproduce oil, clogging pores and trapping bacteria, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome can also trigger acne. Factors like smoking, stress, and a high-sugar diet can exacerbate the condition.
Here is a breakdown of some of the leading causes:
The imbalances, particularly with hormones like androgens, estrogen, progesterone, and insulin-like growth factor, can stimulate oil glands to produce excess oil (sebum), leading to acne. This situation is common during puberty, the menstrual cycle, or other periods of hormonal fluctuations.
These include having oily skin, wearing pore-blocking (comedogenic) products, taking certain medications, and exposure to sunlight. A basic skincare routine is one of the first steps that could be taken to prevent acne and other skin health-related issues.
High glycemic index (GI) foods can increase blood sugar levels quickly, potentially contributing to acne in some people. Examples include sweets, candy, sugary baked goods, and refined carbohydrates. A possible link between cow’s milk and acne has been suggested, but the results are mixed. Following a whole-food and nutrient-dense diet is recommended to maintain healthy skin.
A constant feeling of stress can elevate cortisol levels in the body, which can cause oil glands in the skin to produce more sebum. Therefore, controlling stress and anxiety may be crucial for maintaining proper skin health.
Do probiotics help with acne?
Probiotics appear to be one of the strategies for managing acne vulgaris. A scientific review paper on oral and topical probiotics and postbiotics published in the journal Microorganisms suggests that certain probiotic strains and their metabolites (postbiotics) might have benefits such as improving the skin barrier function, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the appearance of acne-prone skin.
Furthermore, the analysis highlights the potential of probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics in treating acne, thereby reducing the risk of undesirable effects associated with antibiotic use. Hence, probiotics could be a promising and effective avenue in acne management, although more comprehensive human trials are needed to further validate these findings.
Benefits of probiotics for acne
Probiotics can offer significant benefits for acne, both internally and externally. They can normalize the balance of bacteria, reduce inflammation, and counter acne-causing bacteria. Lastly, probiotics contribute to supporting the immune system, which can further mitigate acne symptoms.
- Restoring balance in gut and skin microbiome. Probiotics are instrumental in restoring the balance of the gut and skin microbiome, which is crucial for optimal health. A healthy microbiome plays a role in combating harmful bacteria and supporting skin immunity, reducing the potential for acne development.
- Reducing inflammation. Acne often arises due to inflammation, both on the skin surface and within the body. Probiotics may offer a solution to counteract this. By restoring the gut microbiome, probiotics can reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the skin.
- Regulating oil production. The overproduction of oil, or sebum, is a significant contributor to acne as it can lead to pore blockages. Specific probiotic strains can help regulate oil production, ensuring it does not clog the pores. This reduces the chance of developing acne.
- Strengthening the skin barrier. Probiotics can also reinforce the skin's protective barrier, reducing the risk of acne outbreaks. This barrier acts as our skin's first line of defense, keeping out potential pathogens and irritants. Probiotics may synergize well with other skin-protecting ingredients, like ceramides, enhancing the strength and resilience of the skin's protective barrier.
- Improving gut health. The strong correlation between gut and skin health has been increasingly recognized. Probiotics promote a healthy gut microbiome, positively impacting various skin. By bolstering gut health, probiotics can indirectly support skin health, contributing to a holistic approach to acne management.
Probiotic strains that are most beneficial in acne treatment
When addressing acne and skin health-related issues, it is important to choose probiotic strains that are specifically targeted for this particular use case. Here is a list of probiotic strains backed by scientific evidence and found suitable for acne treatment:
|Probiotic strains||Evidence for the effects on acne|
|L. salivarius||Produced bacteriocins that inhibit the growth of bacteria linked to acne.|
|B. adolescentis||Effective in controlling the growth of bacteria linked to acne – C. acnes and S. aureus due to its antimicrobial activity.|
|L. paracasei||Beneficial effects on skin barrier function mechanisms.|
|Blend of L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, B. bifidum||In a clinical trial with acne patients, probiotics had anti-inflammatory effects and reduced potential adverse effects of antibiotic therapy.|
|L.rhamnosus||In a clinical trial with acne patients, probiotics had considerable clinical improvements, likely due to restored intestinal dysbiosis.|
|Blend of Bifidobacterium lactis, L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. salivarius, L. lactis||In a clinical trial with acne patients, probiotics increased the levels of anti-inflammatory compounds.|
Possible risks of using probiotics for skin health
Probiotics are generally considered safe since they have been a common addition to the diet for many years in fermented foods. However, they can have some mild adverse effects and may not be suitable for specifically vulnerable populations Despite the promising results of probiotics, their use should be considered based on individual needs and health conditions. Here are some of the adverse effects worth considering:
- Allergic reactions. Although quite rare, specific bacterial strains in probiotic supplements can produce histamine. People with histamine intolerance may experience symptoms similar to an allergic reaction, such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose, or trouble breathing.
- Potential interference with the immune system. For people with serious illnesses or compromised immune systems, consuming probiotics might cause severe complications, although this is relatively rare. It's important to consult with a medical professional before starting a probiotic regimen if you have a compromised immune system.
- Inconsistent efficacy. The research on the effectiveness of probiotics on skin health, such as eczema, is controversial. Some studies have shown some benefit, while others have found that no recommendations can be made at this time due to inconsistencies in the data.
- Gastrointestinal discomfort. Probiotics may cause a temporary increase in gas and bloating. These side effects typically subside after a few weeks of continued use.
Our conclusion of the best probiotics for acne and skin health
In conclusion, choosing the best probiotics for acne and skin health should be highly personalized, considering individual needs and preferences. The selection of probiotic supplements mentioned in this article may offer some advantages to managing acne and other skin health-related symptoms. It's essential to remember that each person's microbiome is unique; therefore, a personalized supplement regimen is required.
Consulting with a health professional can provide you with guidance, recommendations, and assistance in selecting the right probiotic to manage your acne and skin health.
Explore other health benefits of probiotics
Best probiotics for constipation may increase bowel movements.
Best probiotics for IBS can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Best probiotics for women may support digestive and vaginal health.
Best probiotics for weight loss can help support weight management.
Best probiotics for kids may reduce the symptoms of eczema in children.
Do probiotics help clear acne?
Yes. Probiotics can help in acne management. The skin microbiome plays a critical role in regulating immune responses that play a role in skin conditions. Certain probiotics and their metabolites, known as postbiotics, have shown the potential to improve skin barrier function, reduce inflammation, and enhance the appearance of acne-prone skin.
Are probiotics good for oily skin?
Possibly. Probiotics have been shown to have some effect on oily skin management. They can restore the natural balance of your skin microbiome, which in turn may reduce excess oil production, leading to fewer breakouts and a more balanced complexion.
Do probiotics make your skin glow?
Yes. Probiotics can contribute to a glowing complexion by promoting a balance of the microbiota in the gut and skin, regulating pH, reducing inflammation, improving wound healing, protecting against UV damage, and possibly even increasing skin hydration. However, probiotics are just one of the components for making your skin glow. Other factors such as hydration, nutrition, and skincare routine are equally important.
Do probiotics help with skin healing?
Yes, to some extent. Probiotics have been found to benefit skin health by supporting the skin's microbiota, which aids in maintaining homeostasis and can support the management of certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Probiotics and postbiotics can help the immune system, promote a more robust skin barrier, and reduce skin inflammation.
- Food & Function. Probiotics and postbiotics play a role in maintaining dermal health.
- Cosmetics. Acne Vulgaris Topical Therapies: Application of Probiotics as a New Prevention Strategy.
- Cell & Bioscience. The updates and implications of cutaneous microbiota in acne.
- International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging.
- Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update.