Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Breaking News: The Inflamed Visage of A Beauty Writer. Because we’re all busy people with busy lives, running up and down town with our extra-large almond lattes, I’ll spare you the gory details (you can read all about that, and my love for chemical peels, here). Basically, when you’re applying a revolving door of products to your face day in, day out – products packed with all kinds of actives and miracle ingredients – one’s skin has no choice but to purge. And that purge often takes the form of redness, inflammation and/or tiny little red spots and bumps.

What does this all have to do with probiotic skincare? The words ‘probiotics’ and ‘gut health’ are currently having a huge moment, but in the context of wellness, they have long been as ubiquitous as alfalfa shots, Whole Foods and Gwenyth Paltrow. Until recently though, the hard science surrounding probiotics had been a little wishy-washy dubious. In theory, it all sounded great, but no one had really proved how much of an impact it could have on our health, both inside and out. Then, a few years ago a study came out claiming that our gut flora is so important it has the ability to affect the emotional and cognitive centres of the brain. If it’s intelligent enough to be making those connections, we should all be putting it on our faces, right?

Let’s put it this way: We have millions of little microorganisms living on the surface of our skin. Apply strains of good bacteria and you’re essentially helping restore its protective shield made up of a delicate balance of microorganisms and oils – and it’s something I’ve discovered first hand. I’ve been trailing most of these products for at least 3 weeks (some longer), and during that time I’ve noticed a significant change in the quality of my complexion. Turns out the answer to sensitivity may have been under our noses (and in our guts) all along.

No redness.

No inflammation, no bumps.

Just smooth, baby soft sailing as far as the eye can see.

Aliangé Probiotic Masque

I have a little ritual that has become a non-negotiable part of my weekly routine and it goes something like this: Every Saturday, I’ll shower after hot yoga, put on my black silk robe, exfoliate and apply a generous layer of this mask (sorry, Masque). Maybe I’ll sprawl out on my couch with a highbrow piece of literature. Maybe I’ll find good light and take a few lowbrow selfies, because would you look at that shade of cool baby blue? Catch me on my couch getting highbrow/lowbrow like this. Thanks to a blend of nourishing oils, bentonite clay and a potent mix of pre and probiotics, it’s a wunderkind for detoxifying the stress of the week past. I’ve been using it weekly for 3 months now and you can’t (and won’t) ever make me quit.


The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner

Would I give up my first born child for this wonder toner? Let’s not go making claims we can’t take back here. The point I’m trying to drive home here is that since discovering The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner, I’ve been using it religiously day and night, and at present, I can’t imagine it not being an essential part of my skin routine. It does everything that a good toner should: restores ideal pH, soothes, hydrates and gently encourages cell turnover thanks to a natural, bio-fermented form of lactic acid. It smells weird, au naturel, like yogurt doused in vinegar, and I’m so into it regardless.


Gallinée La Culture Masque Gommage Visage

Sure, cleansing is fun, but have you tried cleansing with Gallinée’s 2-in-1 mask and scrub? If the answer is ‘no’ please do yourself a favour and add this to your rules to live by, stat. It’s affordable, for one, and it reveals the softest, cleanest, freshest looking skin of all time. Yes, of all time. Indulge me in this moment of hyperbole and give this one a go. While we’re here, I highly rate their Prebiotic Foaming Facial Cleanser too: it feels super nourishing and leaves your skin soft and free of dirt without stripping.


REN Perfect Canvas Priming Serum

Rounding out this microbial round-up, we have a serum that you put over your moisturiser and before makeup. Somewhat confusing. Uncouth, even. Perhaps it’s best to think of it as a hybrid primer-serum – one that transforms the surface of your skin into a super-smooth base but is also lightweight enough so as to not feel like its overloading an already sensitive complexion.