What Are the Best Probiotics for Acne and Skin?

A woman.

Probiotics are a solution to acne that you might not have thought of before! Many people make the mistake of only focusing on the surface symptoms when it comes to treating acne, but it’s just as important to treat the root cause.

Probiotics serve this function, helping your immune system and fighting the harmful bacteria that cause acne. If you struggle with your skin, then find out about the best probiotics for acne and skin that will make a difference.

How Will Probiotics Improve My Skin?

People often think of bacteria as being harmful. However, there are trillions of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system at any given moment, comprised of hundreds of species. These bacteria are crucial for your digestion and overall health.

A woman cleaning her skin with a pad.The relationship between the human body and its gut flora is mutually beneficial.

The body provides the bacteria with plenty of food along with a safe place to live, and in return the bacteria help to digest food, absorb nutrients, and keep out harmful bacteria.

Having a healthy and balanced gut flora is important for regular digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.

People with acne are often prescribed antibiotic medications. While these certainly can be effective for clearing acne, antibiotics also kill off much of the good intestinal bacteria along with the harmful bacteria. For this reason, it’s especially important for people who have acne to use probiotics, so that they can maintain a balanced gut flora spectrum.

Over time, more and more health benefits of probiotics have been discovered. One of these benefits is that taking a probiotic supplement can help reduce skin conditions such as acne, but also eczema and rosacea.

Several small studies from Korea, Russia, and Italy have found that using probiotics in conjunction with traditional acne treatments increases the rate of healing. Probiotics also seem to help fight skin aging, by hydrating, reducing sun damage, and improving the appearance of fine wrinkles.

Pro Tip:

Finnish researchers discovered that pregnant women who took probiotics during the month leading up to birth had babies with a decreased risk of eczema, and another study demonstrated that infants with eczema had less diverse gut flora than those without it. (source)

The data suggests that probiotics are most effective for reducing acne when they are working synergistically with other treatments. You can make the most of your probiotic supplements by continuing to have good hygiene, moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer, and use treatments such as tea tree oil, a vitamin C serum, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or prescription medications.

However, if you’re taking a prescription medication, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement.

How to Choose a Skin-Improving Probiotic

Arguably, the most important factor when choosing a probiotic supplement is the number of organisms per serving. This number is indicated on labels by “CFU”, or colony-forming units. The higher the CFU, the more effective the supplement will be.

You should look for a supplement that has a high number of different strains of bacteria. Each species of bacteria confers different advantages, so the more you can get, the better. Using a supplement with multiple strains is especially important for replenishing your gut flora if you use antibiotics, or if you have in the past.

Look for pills or capsules that are designed to be acid-resistant or slow-release. Ideally, as many bacteria as possible should reach your intestines – where they are needed. Your stomach contains harsh acids that can kill off your probiotics before they can act, so the way your supplement is engineered is important.

Pro Tip:

Acne is linked to having low levels of zinc and vitamins A and E. (source)

Many of the best probiotics for acne and skin contain such ingredients, and you may be able to save some money as well as not have to swallow as many pills.

Here’s a video explaining how to know if you would benefit from a supplement containing zinc.

Lastly, if you’re buying your probiotic supplements online it’s important to choose a supplement that does not require refrigeration. This is because the organisms in supplements that require refrigeration can die during shipping if the package gets too warm. Alternatively, you can purchase your probiotics online during winter.


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Garden of Life

Garden of Life Primal Defense ULTRA

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Garden of Life is one of the best brands of probiotic supplements available. This particular product contains 13 different strains, which is great if your main goal is to replenish gut flora that have been depleted due to antibiotics or another cause. It also contains a small amount of iron, making it a great choice for women who often have a iron deficiency due to the menstrual cycle.

Pro No refrigeration necessary
Con Take 3 daily to get 15 billion organisms
Con Can cause gas for some people

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Garden of Life

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

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Zinc is a mineral that is scientifically proven to relieve acne. With this probiotic from Garden of Life, your acne will be prevented at its root cause mostly due to the probiotics, and the zinc will help your existing lesions and scars heal more quickly. The added vitamin C will boost your immune system and help your skin to be more radiant.

Pro Organic fruit and vegetable blend
Con Only half a billion organisms daily
Con Only 2 strains
Con Zinc can cause nausea and vomiting
Con Must be taken with food to prevent nausea

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HyperBiotics PRO-15

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15 different strains and acid-resistant timed-release capsules mean that this probiotic is super-effective. It does not contain extra acne-fighting ingredients, but the power of the probiotics alone is enough to benefit your skin just the same. This one is also great because you only have to take it once per day to get the maximum effect

Pro Timed-release pills resist stomach acid
Pro 5 billion organisms per serving
Pro 15 different strains
Pro Lactose and gluten-free
Pro Boosts immune function
Pro Improves digestive function - relieves gas & bloating
Pro Reduces fatigue
Pro Improves nutrient absorption
Pro Accelerates metabolism
Pro Take just once per day
Pro Made in the USA
Pro Includes natural prebiotics
Pro Zinc pRelieves symptoms of black mold exposurerevents colds and relieves acne
Pro Relieves symptoms of IBS
Con May cause upset stomach in some people
Con May cause bloating in some people

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NOW Foods

NOW Foods Probiotic-10

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This supplement from NOW Foods is excellent because it has 25 billion organisms per serving, from 10 different species. Highly effective probiotics such as these are especially helpful if you believe your acne is made worse by eating things such as dairy, because the added organisms will help you digest those foods better.

Pro 25 billion organisms per serving
Pro 10 different strains
Pro Dairy, soy, and gluten-free
Pro Clinically-proven strains
Pro Best-by dates are generous
Pro Regulates the digestive system
Pro Helps reduce seasonal allergies
Pro Reduces constipation
Pro Reduces symptoms caused by high-fiber foods such as beans
Con Can cause bloating for some people
Con Must be refrigerated


For the most effective holistic treatment of acne, my favorite is Nu-Derm Products Clear-Biotic. Acne treatments are most effective when combined with other acne treatments, and this supplement is no exception. It provides several beneficial vitamins along with probiotics.

Clear-Biotic contains vitamin A to promote rapid healing, vitamin C to ensure healthy tissue, vitamin E to retain a youthful appearance, and riboflavin to reduce inflammation. Clear-Biotic is good for acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and although it only contains 4 strains, the fact that it has 20 billion organisms per serving along with four extra nutrients means that it should be highly effective in combating acne and other skin conditions in an all-natural way.

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