We have all been schooled on the health benefits of ingesting probiotics. But probiotics can reportedly deliver benefits when applied directly on the skin, too, including that wish-list topper: a beautiful glowing complexion. More and more, scientists are discovering the importance of a perfectly balanced microbiome, which is the ecosystem of tiny bacteria living on our skin.
In a world obsessed with germs, bacteria might sound like a bad word. But gone are the days when we wanted to get skin so clean it squeaked. Now the aim is to keep our unique micro-organisms flourishing. And one of the best ways to tick this off the to-do list is with a topical dose of probiotics. It is a key learning that luxe skincare brand Lancôme knows well. Its star serum, Advanced Génifique, was recently reformulated to include impressive numbers of both prebiotics and probiotics – 30 million to be precise – with “Yeast-& Bifidus-Extracts” as the star additions.
Lancôme was ahead of the curve updating with pre- and probiotics. Applied to the skin each day (measured precisely by the clever self-loading dropper) this high-tech serum not only helps build skin resilience, but also gets to work adding firmness and lift as well as giving the skin hydration and nourishment.
At school, children learn about resilience, and the lesson is the same with skin: a resilient complexion is better at shrugging off bumps in the road and staying prepped and ready for the next challenge. At pore level, the result is a plump, strong and even complexion better at coping with the everyday onslaught of environmental aggressors such as pollution, air-conditioning and heating.
This makes a serum like this one ideal for any age or skin concern: from our twenties, when we really just need to keep skin looking clear and healthy, to our thirties and forties, when we want to strengthen and plump, and into our fifties, sixties and beyond, when repair and nourishment are key. These skin benefits are bolstered in Advanced Génifique with the addition of vitamin Cg (ascorbyl glucoside), an antioxidant that excels at enhancing skin radiance, and hyaluronic acid, which has serious payoff when it comes to adding plumpness to skin because it’s able to hold 1000 times its weight in water.
According to the results of an impressive 17 years of research by Lancôme, applying the serum can have an almost instant effect. The studies showed skin recovered twice as fast with a daily application of the microscopic bacteria, and after one week women experienced younger-looking skin. After you’ve emptied the bottle, the benefits compound, meaning you should notice an uptick in skin clarity, firmness and radiance, and a reduction in fine lines and redness. Being in serum form also helps speed up the benefits. Applied after you’ve cleansed and as a precursor to moisturiser, Advanced Génifique’s smaller molecules enable it to penetrate deeper and deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients directly into the skin.
But a glowing complexion is not Advanced Génifique’s only purpose. Beauty Director for Lancôme in Australia, Lara Srokowski, also recommends the brand’s number-one-selling serum for makeup prep (“it creates the perfect luminous base,” she says) as well as a way to thin down foundation into a finish that is incredibly natural-looking. “I mix a small amount of Advanced Génifique into my Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation to manipulate the texture and create a lightweight natural finish,” she explains.
Srokowski also uses the serum as a way to add glow to the high points of the face. “I tap a small amount of Advanced Génifique on the top of the cheekbones to boost luminosity and highlight the skin,” she says.
Another hack that isn’t well known is the use of the serum to prep and plump lips. “Use a small amount of Advanced Génifique to prepare the lips before lipstick application,” adds Srokowski. “The serum contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, so it helps to plump and hydrate lips and create the perfect base for your lip products.”
In a time when we are still wearing masks on and off and environmental and inner stress are at high levels, a daily layer of defence on our complexion to ease some of the daily pressures is a very comforting thought indeed. So whether you need the added resilience to ward off redness and improve flagging defences or just want some lit-from-within radiance, this serum reassuringly offers a boost in skin confidence. If only inner confidence were so easily ticked off too.