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In Sight: Balancing Skin's Microflora with Probiotics
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: September 28, 2007, from the October 2007 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
In the food and nutrition world, a probiotic is an ingredient that, when ingested, helps aid various ailments. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations describe probiotics as, “Live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Probiotics benefit the body as nutritional supplements because they help it produce its own natural or gut flora.
These healthy bacteria reportedly allow the body to boost its own immune system, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and manage lactose intolerance, among other benefits that are not entirely proven since research is still in its infancy. Although the specific benefits of probiotics are not concrete, in vivo and in vitro testing has shown the ingredient can produce overall positive results. Soon after the nutrition industry recognized the benefits of probiotics, the personal care industry began researching its application in skin care. What has been discovered so far may reinvent antiaging formulations.
Aea Marc, the vice president of product and business development for Bioelements Inc., had a hand in her company’s effort to incorporate probiotics into one of its products.
Creating a Probiotic Serum
Bioelements Inc. stumbled across probiotics when Barbara Salomone, its president and founder, noted the ingredient’s popularity in food.
“Our president was seeing a lot of information that showed how probiotics strengthened the immune system. She then began to investigate whether probiotics could be applied topically to the skin,” said Marc.