Fight acne with bacteria? Nowadays, that doesn't sound so weird. People are wising up to the idea that healthy gut microbes play a role in keeping skin clear by preventing inflammation, a root cause of acne. Well, the gut isn't the only place where bacteria can be good guys—skin has its own natural microbiome that enhances its ability to block harmful pathogens from entering the body. And it turns out these friendly microbes can also prevent breakouts.
Research has shown that some acne-prone individuals lack a strain of beneficial bacteria on their skin that those who are acne-free have. Experts believe that skin loses good bacteria through the use of antibiotics and harsh cleansers. Reintroducing some healthy flora onto your skin with a DIY probiotic face mask can help. Topical probiotics have been shown to shield skin from harmful microbes that would otherwise trigger inflammation in the form of pimples or rosacea, and some strains can even kill bad bugs while they're at it.
In this recipe, probiotics are the star of course. Look for one that contains Lactobacillus plantarum and/or Enterococcus faecalis SL-5—both are particularly effective at banishing acne. Banana adds prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria. (It all sounds so sci-fi, right?) Skincare products with prebiotics have shown to reduce P. acnes, a pathogen associated with acne. Grapeseed oil provides skin-softening moisture that's non-greasy, and it's rich in antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that also cause inflammation. Micellar water is deep cleansing and absorbs oil, dirt, and other impurities that clog pores and lead to breakouts. Use this mask once a week to give your skin a major refresh and boost its natural blemish-fighting power.
Things You'll Need:
- 2-inch slice banana
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons micellar water
- 6 capsules probiotics
- In a small bowl, mash banana well, then whisk in grapeseed oil and micellar water.
- Open probiotic capsules, empty contents into bowl, and whisk thoroughly.
- Apply to face and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off and follow up with moisturizer.
What's your go-to DIY face mask recipe? Dish in the comments.