Does Probiotics Help with Acne? – 2019 Update

Last updated: February 20, 2019
Published 3:53 am

Does your gut cause acne?

In many cases, problems with acne can be partially traced back to the digestive system. Therefore, taking probiotics for acne can be one of the best steps towards clear skin you can take.

I know, I was surprised by this information too. I would have never thought that my lunch could have caused the giant zit on my nose. But because our stomachs are home to trillions of bodies of bacteria, keeping these little guys in balance is super important when it comes to our overall health and wellbeing.

So if you want to learn how probiotics can help you get a clear face once and for all, check out the following probiotics tips and information. I guarantee you’ll be taking your first dose of probiotics in no time.

What Are Probiotics?

The simplest definition of probiotics sounds a little scary at first. Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria. But they’re not the type that get you sick.

In fact, your body, especially your digestive system, needs these types of bacteria and yeasts to function. Probiotics are often referred to as the good bacteria because of how beneficial they are to the human body.

How Are They Connected to Treating Acne?

So, do probiotics help with acne?

Our body’s ability to digest food is affected by stress, anxiety, and diet. When these factors get out of whack, our inner microbial colonies shift for the worse. Widespread inflammation can occur, including in our skin.

When our skin isn’t happy, acne can pop up all over. We think it’s an issue with our skin when in reality, it can all be traced back to our stomachs, stress levels, and diet.

So in theory, keeping our stomachs happy and healthy can leave our entire system in better shape, including our skin.

How Effective Is It for Treating Acne?

I discovered that probiotics can help treat acne. There are a lot of reviews that can support my claim. If you’ve suffered from acne for years and no other treatments have worked for you, it’s definitely worth giving probiotics a shot.

I should also note that I regularly use a rosehip oil acne treatment, but I still credit probiotics and their acne fighting abilities for a large part of my success.

Is It True That Probiotics Also Cause Acne?

I have heard of acne getting worse when someone starts a probiotic regimen. But I think there’s a simple explanation for this and that in reality, probiotics help acne.

Probiotics help to rid the body of bad bacteria. When this happens, toxins are produced and the body has to clear them out one way or another.

Some people might not feel well for a couple of days while others have digestive issues. And then some, you guessed it, develop acne or their acne worsens.

In most situations though, this is temporary. Just as topical acne creams can cause breakouts to worsen while they clean out pores and balance out sebum production, probiotics can temporarily cause acne.

If this happens to you, don’t stop taking the probiotics just yet. Wait to see if your acne is simply a result of toxins being cleared out and give your body time to balance out and benefit from all the good bacteria you’re putting into it.

Antibiotics or Probiotics for Treatment of Acne?

Antibiotics are tricky.

Some doctors do prescribe antibiotics as an acne treatment. The main goal of an antibiotic is to destroy bacteria, so you would think this is a good thing.

But unfortunately, antibiotics can’t tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria.

So while there could be an initial improvement in your acne while taking antibiotics, the results are likely to be temporary.

There is a novel acne treatment that involves prescribing the patient both antibiotics and probiotics altogether. This helps the body to keep enough good bacteria around while the bad is taken out.

There might still be a breakout during the transition period, but it’s likely to be less extreme and not as long-lasting as if you only took antibiotics.

How Long Can You Use Probiotics to Treat Acne?

If probiotics are so effective, can you take them forever to keep your body balanced, keeping acne at bay for good?

For most people, daily probiotics are recommended. You can either take them for as long as you feel you need them or indefinitely. But before committing to a lifetime of probiotics and acne treatments, speak with your doctor regarding your plans and concerns.

Side Effects of Using Probiotics?

Some people experience little to no side effects while taking probiotics. But others can experience side effects when mixing probiotics and acne that make taking them less than desirable.

Consider the following symptoms before taking a probiotic supplement.

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Infection
  • Stimulation of Immune System
  • Gene Transfer

Gas and bloating are more common, while the other symptoms tend to be a result of other underlying medical conditions. Should you experience any concerning side effects after taking probiotics, seek medical attention.

Are There Any Food Sources of Probiotics?

Yes! If you want to avoid supplements and topical probiotics for acne, there are foods you can begin to incorporate into your diet that will provide you with more of the beneficial bacteria.

  • Yogurt (homemade is best)
  • Pickles
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha Tea
  • Sauerkraut

Yogurt is great with breakfast and lunch, and it’s easy to enjoy a pickle or two for a snack. And you don’t have to tell me twice to enjoy some dark chocolate!

Add some tea and you’re good to go! The only problem with adding your probiotics through food is that it’s hard to monitor how much you’re consuming.

What to Look for When Choosing a Probiotic Supplement

There are a few things you should consider before choosing a probiotic. Use the following as a guide to help you narrow down your options and make the best choice for your needs.

Bacterial Count

You’ll want to consider the amount of CFUs, or colony forming units, in your probiotic. You should be taking at least 10 to 20 billion CFUs per day.

I don’t recommend starting with this amount though. Work your way up to this as you progress through your probiotic treatment.

Types of Bacteria

There are a ton of different types of bacteria so you want to make sure you’re choosing the best to fight acne. You should be looking for Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium when it comes to taking probiotics for acne.


Once you have the bacteria content of your probiotic sorted out, take the time to do a little research and read reviews about the product. This will tell you if the product you’re considering is as effective as you want it to be.

Not all probiotics are created equal. Price can be a big indicator for quality, but not the only factor. A little research will save you wasted time and frustration.

Stop scrubbing your face in an effort to clear up your skin and instead start treating your gut. Do probiotics help with acne? I’ll let you be the judge, but you’ll be surprised at the long list of benefits you’ll experience once you start treating your stomach with a bit more respect.

Taking probiotics for acne is simple, affordable, and effective. Imagine looking into the mirror and finally seeing clear skin. With probiotics, it can happen.

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