Probiotic Technology

Probiotic Technology

Everything in the natural world is very much interdependent. We as human beings host a number of complex and diverse eco-systems ‘within’ our bodies and also ‘on’ our own bodies. These are very fragile and if they are damaged the result will be negative effect on our physiology and metabolism. These ecosystems are known as microbiomes and the inhabitants are the microbiota.

Every part of our body has been colonised by microbiota. But due to differences in pH, temperature, moisture and nutrients, the microbiota will be very different in different parts of our body such as oral cavity, underarm, scalp, face, chest, back, groin, and between the toes. No two individuals will have identical microbiota as we are all different in our own rights. Evidence suggests that the exact composition of our skin microbiome is influenced by microbial colonization immediately after birth and continues to develop throughout life as we interact with our immediate environment.


Our skin is home to millions of bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses that compose the skin microbiota. Similar to those in our gut, skin microorganisms have essential roles in the protection against invading pathogens, the education of our immune system and the breakdown of natural products. As the largest organ of the human body, skin is colonized by beneficial microorganisms and serves as a physical barrier to prevent the invasion of pathogens. In circumstances where the barrier is broken or when the balance between commensals and pathogens is disturbed, skin disease or even systemic disease can result. There are direct & inverse relationships between our skin health and the influence of the microbial life on it. An imbalance of microbiota on the skin results in physiological and metabolic issues giving rise to atopic skin conditions (including eczema, erythema etc). Unfortunately, even everyday actions can have adverse effects, for example the microbiome takes between 2 to 14 hrs to recover after hand washing. It’s no wonder that modern life results in so many skin disorders.


There are two common strategies employed to help restore microbial balance, the use of either ‘probiotics’ or ‘prebiotics’. They sound pretty similar but probiotics and prebiotics are two vastly different things with specific functions. Prebiotics help to support the growth of the microbiota, usually by providing nutrients which will allow rapid proliferation (help “fuel” these beneficial probiotics), whereas Probiotics are live cultures of bacteria that are considered useful to the microbiome.  There is also what is called ‘Post-biotics’ which are the  bioactive compounds made when the friendly bacteria (probiotic bacteria) digest and break down fibres (prebiotics). Post-biotics contribute to reinforcing the skin microbiome. In addition, they can also go through the epidermis and be used directly by skin cells to improve their biological functions.


‘Prebiotics’ are special forms of fibres such as oat fibre, cellulose, chicory root, or carbohydrates such as disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, inulin, beta-glucan, polyphenols, eicosapentaenoic acid, and amino acids. Lactobacillus acidophilus was one of the first ‘probiotic bacteria’ to be used for skin health.  Postbiotics are classified into five broad types: (i) Nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin K, and some amino acids; (ii) Short-chain fatty acids that help balance the pH and render it inhospitable to pathogens; (iii) Bacteriocins or natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that suppress undesirable bacterial growth; (iv) Carbohydrases (enzyme) that help probiotics digest fibers; and (v) hydrogen peroxide, which helps squash the growth of yeasts like Candida. Some examples of postbiotics include organic acids, bacteriocins, carbonic substances, and enzymes.


As we learn more about the importance of the microbiome and the diversity of the microbiota that creates it, novel skincare ingredients are developed, for use in products, that help to rectify the damage caused to the skin by inflammation and exposure to a plethora of chemicals and pollutants. Though probiotics have clever ability to rebuild and strengthen the skin’s barrier, help to regulate the skin’s natural immune (or inflammatory) response and thus help maintain the equilibrium to  keep the skin less reactive, the use of Probiotics in skincare formulations presents many challenges including the fact that they are living bacteria which need to survive not only the formulation process, but then need to adapt to the microbiome to which they are being introduced. It is therefore more common to find Prebiotic ingredients employed.


Whilst skin types, gender, age, and genetics mean it is impossible to create one solution to fit all microbiomes, providing the skin with a formulation containing a prebiotic mix of principle actives to enhance normalisation of the skins microflora is an intelligent approach to addressing a number of skin conditions such as atopy and acne triggered by the altered microbial state. Speeding up the recovery of the microbiome (reversion of this dysbiosis), skin’s first line of defence and enhancing the conditions for the microbiome to thrive would help maintain the skin health / skin wellness.

Human skin sites can be categorized by their physiological characteristics, that is, whether they are sebaceous (oily), moist or dry and thus the microbiota vary on different skin sites. Sebaceous sites were dominated by lipophilic Propionibacterium species (P.acnes), whereas bacteria that thrive in humid environments, such as Staphylococcus (S.epidermidis), and Corynebacterium species, were preferentially abundant in moist areas, including the bends of the elbows and the feet. Methods used to sample the skin microbiota are swab, biopsy, surface scrape, cup scrub or tape strip. Depending on the method used,  microorganisms residing at different depths or sub-compartments of the skin are captured.


The skin microbiome is a dynamic living shield, and skincare products should work to support skin-microbiota metabolism. Several skin conditions can be relieved using prebiotic & probiotic skincare products that reduce skin redness and soreness. These good bacteria (probiotics) on skin contribute to a healthy complexion.


To ensure your skin is in peak condition, it’s important to nurture these bacteria and give them all the nutrients they need to succeed hence we have used pre-biotic ingredients in CytoPro Probiotic Skin Essential Body Butter – it is formulated with shea butter and flax seed oil and it contains a pre- and pro-biotic complex which helps to stimulate the skin’s nature defenses. Trimoist and ceramide complex in it mimic the skin hydration system and the polysaccharide in it soothens the skin through its anti-inflammatory action. Additionally, this body butter contains blue green algae extract rich in vitamins, amino acids & proteins that nourishes the body skin and helps to get smoother, moisturized, and healthy-looking skin.   

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