We recently talked to dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe about her book The Beauty of Dirty Skin. (Read our interview with her and why we think it’s worth picking up a copy of the book.) In case you’re too busy to read the whole book, we also caught up with Dr. Bowe to find out about diet and lifestyle changes you can make right now for immediate improvements in your gut health and therefore your skin.
Naturally, we were curious about Dr. Bowe’s own go-to products. Yes, her skin is as flawless in person as it is in the photo above. So we asked her to share her top picks of the moment, from probiotic supplements to her favorite cleanser and topical probiotics.
And her favorite cleanser is…
“When it comes to protecting your skin’s invisible natural barrier, I advise my patients to throw out antibacterial soaps and harsh cleansing tools,” Dr. Bowe says. “We want to be gentle in order to protect our skin’s microbiome. One of my favorite cleansers that does this is La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.” Want more? Dr. Bowe discusses her favorite cleanser in great detail on her blog.
Let’s talk probiotics. What do they do and what brand should I buy?
Dr. Bowe explains that the word “probiotic” literally means “for life.” To keep it simple, among their many health boosting jobs, probiotics: fight bad bacteria in our gut and on our skin, help regulate our immune system by working to control inflammation, and support the healthy barrier function in both our gut and skin, preventing “leaky gut” (and “leaky skin”).
“Of course, I encourage my patients to incorporate skin-friendly fermented foods and beverages into their diets. On top of that, I tell patients to supplement their healthy diet with an oral probiotic to boost their skin’s glow,” Dr. Bowe tells us.
But, please remember: not all probiotics are not created equal! “Different strains of probiotics serve different purposes and certain probiotics are much more effective than others,” Dr. Bowe explains. “Some reduce the risk of skin disorders from the inside-out, while some lessen UV-induced sun damage. One of my favorite probiotics is by Genuine Health, and contains 15 strains that mimic our gut flora.” Want more on this? Check out Dr. Bowe’s in-depth post about the product on her blog.
Dr. Bowe also recommends topical probiotics.
Probiotic skincare is in its infancy, but Dr. Bowe believes it holds a lot of promise. “Our skin is covered with trillions of microorganisms, primarily bacteria, that are essential to healthy skin,” she says. “These microbial critters are part of your skin’s health and behavior and many of them provide vital functions for your skin that the human body actually can’t perform on its own!”
Topical probiotics act as a protective shield with calming effects, provide ammunition against bad bacteria, and they boost your skin’s innate functionality. Dr. Bowe recommends these products because “they ultimately help reduce inflammation, which in turn helps limit flare-ups in skin and prevent premature aging.”
She recommends that when you’re searching for a topical probiotic, you should look for words like “probiotic,” “prebiotic,” and even “postbiotic.” As for her own favorites? Dr. Bowe recommends LaFlore’s Probiotic Serum Concentrate, Mother Dirt AO+ Mist, and GLOWBIOTICS Probiotic HydraGlow Cream Oil. If you want to learn more, check out Dr. Whitney’s Picks.
What other supplements does she take everyday?
We’re really digging Dr. Bowe’s new book. (And no, this post is not sponsored.) From what brands of probiotics to buy, to why we should eliminate skim milk and whey proteins from our diet, and what kind of lifestyle choices are best for our skin, we’re learning so much!
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