What does probiotic mean? Until recently I’d always associated the word with yogurts. Those healthy, good for your gut types that boast ‘live active cultures’. And not being the most food-savvy I was pretty hazy on what that actually meant. Then I discovered Korean kimchi and Japanese kombucha, both fermented foods that I would still only consume for taste rather than any of their promoted health benefits. However when probiotics made their way into skincare, I became intrigued. According to Forbes ‘the human body is home to trillions of microorganisms’, some of which reside on skin and promote skin health by strengthening the ‘skin’s natural barrier against bad bacteria’. Certain facial cleansers tend to strip everything from skin including these good bacteria, meaning you’re left with stressed and dry skin which leads to the likes of acne, eczema and flare ups. Enter probiotic skincare, which calms skin damaged by external aggressors such as pollution and stress. With a pharmaceutical background and an interest in the benefits of probiotics, Aurelia founder Claire Vero created skincare products to ‘protect, restore and balance the skin from within’. The ingredients used (such as a non-live probiotic from bifido bacteria and milk peptide) help the skin’s natural ability to repair itself from within, boosting collagen (which makes your skin look plump) and elastin (which helps your skin ‘ping’ back to its original shape after being stretched). So have I seen a difference in my skin’s health and am I converted to the benefits of probiotic?
Having worked in product development across several luxury beauty brands I’m pre-programmed to pay particular attention to packaging. Even subconsciously it does play a big part in telling me what the brand is about and how it wants to be portrayed, be it natural, eco-friendly, scientific, luxurious or all of the above. Aurelia’s amber glass jars tell me the formulas contain natural ingredients which need to be protected from the light. The peach and gold cardboard boxes and labels give off a very feminine vibe which I love, without being overly girlie. The overall effect is elegant, understated and luxurious without being OTT. And the actual cleanser? The texture is creamy and very smooth, I only need to massage a small amount into my face and neck. It smells very aromatic, i.e. herby thanks to the rosemary, ideal if you’re not keen on excessively floral scents. The bamboo muslin cloth feels super soft and is generously sized, making it a fast job to swipe off all that builds up on skin throughout the day, from makeup to dirt and pollution particles. Enriched in chamomile and eucalyptus, and containing nourishing shea and cocoa butter, the formula feels so gentle and calming that I would recommend it for anyone with sensitive skin. If you’re into multipurpose products you can also use this cleanser as a mask, leaving it on for up to 10 minutes to rehydrate skin. 120ml RRP £42.00
Apparently stress, lack of sleep, pollution and an imbalance in hormones has a negative impact on skin. You don’t say. Unfortunately I can put a great big tick against each of those issues. So to help protect the skin barrier from these internal and external factors, I’ve found that natural and gentle skincare tends to work for me. What I love most about this moisturiser is the texture: a light whipped cream that doesn’t feel heavy on skin and doesn’t clog pores as it’s silicone-free. The blend of jasmine, tuberose and mandarin essential oils gives it a delicately feminine scent. And the omega-rich baobab and nourishing argan oil provide all I need for plumped skin. So where do these famous probiotics come into it? They calm the natural immune triggers in skin which can be overstimulated by all the stressors previously mentioned, which in turn affect collagen production needed for plumped skin. 60ml RRP £58.00
I love a good skin tool so couldn’t resist finding out what Aurelia’s diagnostic would throw out about my skin. I enter details about my daily routine, not just how I look after my skin but also my day to day habits, from what I get up to first thing in the morning (get my toddler fed, dressed and ready for nursery) to how I eat my lunch (al desko sadly, if at all). Answering this questionnaire makes me realise that although I use great skincare products that look after my skin, the rest of my lifestyle doesn’t follow suit. I enter my 3 main concerns: sun damage, acne and dullness. Finally the verdict is in: my top recommended products are the Probiotic Concentrate to protect and balance skin, and the Cell Repair Night Oil which hydrates whilst encouraging mindfulness. I haven’t yet warmed to the concept of mindfulness but I’m more than willing to try another oil from the range, the Balance & Glow Day Oil which promises natural radiance. And if there’s one skincare goal I’m forever chasing it’s a glowing complexion. This lightweight oil quickly sinks into skin, with three drops being enough to cover the whole face. Thanks to Fushi’s tip to mix your facial oil with your moisturiser it’s become my favourite way to apply oils. This one works very well with the Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser (both products feature the same blend of essential oils) and creates the perfect combination for my dehydrated skin. 30ml RRP £38.00
I was really looking forward to trialling this product. When it comes to deodorants, I moved away from sprays a long time ago as I wasn’t keen on breathing in the particles, so a roll on has been my anti-perspirant staple for quite a while now. Many of the ones I use do however contain aluminium, which blocks under arm sweat ducts and ‘prevents sweat from escaping onto the skin surface’. This in turn is thought to kill off natural bacteria, therefore disturbing skin’s balance. So this cream-to-powder deodorant seemed like a great alternative, as long as it could keep me feeling fresh throughout the day. I trialled it over the summer and didn’t once get a whiff of sweat. As recommended I applied a fingertip-sized amount under each arm, taking in the sweet citrus scent of mandarin, grapefruit and sweet orange – much more uplifting than my boring roll on. Arrowroot and Kaolin absorb perspiration whilst shea butter hydrates. I’m converted. 50g RRP £18.00
What are your thoughts on probiotic skincare? Would you be up for trying it? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Features gifted products