Prev page Next page Back to Blog
Our guide to prebiotics
Pre-pro and post-biotics sound so similar, but they perform completely different functions to ensure our skin and gut health. Although "biotics" has been a buzzword in the skin care industry for some time, we want to pay special attention to each member of the -biotics family and explain what specific functions they perform for our skin health and where and how to find them.

Although in this article we will focus on prebiotics, we would like to start with some clarification on what the general ‘biotics’ term stands for?

The ‘biotics’ definition covers prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics, all of which are used to enrich our microbiome. It is important to keep in mind that our skin health is not only affected by what we apply to our skin but also by what kind of food we consume, which will be discussed further in detail in this article.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a group of substances that function as nutrients for the microbiome. The most common prebiotics are carbohydrates, which can take various forms, for instance, sugars, fibers, and starches.

Why are prebiotics good for our health and skin?

Previously conducted studies have shown that prebiotics offer several benefits for our gastrointestinal health and have been reported to positively impact other organs, such as the immune and central nervous systems.

Prebiotics therapy has also shown high potential in treating different skin conditions, to name few: atopic, eczema, dermatitis, and acne. A study was  conducted by Foolad and Armstrong children were given an infant formula which contained prebiotics (90% of galacto-oligosaccharides and 10% of fructo-oligosaccharides). The study  showed decreased occurrence of atopic eczema among children from the risk group. A similar study developed by scientist Bunselmeyer in 2006 discovered a correlation between prebiotics and the increase of bifidobacteria which impacts the severity of atopic eczema.

There is also significant scientific evidence that prebiotics have a positive impact on our skin health, for example, keeping the moisture in the skin.This was mirrored in an experiment developed by Kano and his team, during which 40 female volunteers received either a bottle of probiotic and prebiotic milk or non-fermented milk which contained neither Probiotics nor Prebiotics. The experiment results showed that in comparison to the active group, the hydration levels in control group participant skin outermost layer (stratum corneum) were significantly decreased (p = 0.031). In addition, researchers Ghazzewi and Tester indicate that nutritional products containing prebiotics have a positive impact on the skin, as they balance immune system and have shown promising results in atopic disease treatment.

Where and how can we find prebiotics?

So how can we get prebiotics? The good news is that this specific group of biotics can be found in both food and skin care products.

Let us start with the food! Prebiotics are present in different dietary products, to name a few, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, sugar beet, unripe bananas, rolled oats, cold potatoes, corn, wheat, honey, barley, tomatoes, rye, soybeans, seaweeds, and microalgae.

The most common prebiotics that you should look out for in skincare products are inulin, glucomannan, oligosaccharides, xylitol, rhamnose. These ingredients help the skin to maintain balance and optimal microbiome health.


Prebiotics in Skinome skin care products.

The prebiotic element which can be found in Skinome products is Alpha Glucan Oligosaccharide which stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin and inhibits unwanted microorganisms. In addition, it stimulates the skin defenses and moisturizes the skin.

This prebiotic ingredient, alpha glucan oligosaccharide can be found in the following Skinome products:

Night Active Retinol

Our Night Active Retinol contains prebiotics and skin endogenous retinol as our focus is to mimic the skin's natural composition as much as possible. Night Active Retinol is best suited for normal to dry skin. Read more about Night Active Retinol.

Night Active Control
Our Night Active Control also contains prebiotics and skin endogenous retinol as our focus is to mimic the skin's natural composition as much as possible. Night Active Control is suitable for normal skin as well as oily and acne-prone skin. Read more about Night Active Control.


Al-Ghazzewi, F. H., & Tester, R. F. (2014). impact of prebiotics and probiotics on skin health. Beneficial microbes, 5(2), 99-107.

Bockmühl D, Jasoy C, Nieveler S, Scholtyssek R, Wadle A, Waldmann-Laue M. Prebiotic cosmetics: an alternative to antibacterial products. IFSSC Mag 2006;9:1-5.

Bunselmeyer B. (2006) Probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention and treatment of atopic eczema. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete, 57(9), 785-791.

Dall'Oglio, F., Milani, M., & Micali, G. (2018) Effects of oral supplementation with FOS and GOS prebiotics in women with adult acne: the "S.O. Sweet" study: a proof-of-concept pilot trial. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 11, 445-449. 

Davani-Davari D, Negahdaripour M, Karimzadeh I, et al. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. foods. 2019;8(3):92. published 2019 Mar 9. doi:10.3390/foods8030092

Foolad N, Armstrong AW. Prebiotics and probiotics: the prevention and reduction in severity of atopic dermatitis in children. Benefic Microbes. 2014;5 (2):151-60. Epub 2014/01/28.

Gillbro Johanna. The Scandinavian Skincare Bible. 2020. Scribe Publications. ISBN: 9781912854943

Holland KT, Bojar RA. Cosmetics. What is their influence on the skin microflora? Am J Clin Dermatol 2002;3:445-9.

Kano M, Masauoka N, Kaga C, Sugimoto S, Iizuka R, Manabe K, Sone T, Oeda K, Nonaka C, Miazaki K, Ishikawa F (2013) Consecutive intake of fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium breve strain yakult and galacto-oligosaccharides benefits skin condition in healthy adult women. Biosci Microbiota Food Health 32:33-39 

Maguire, M., & Maguire, G. (2017). The role of microbiota, and probiotics and prebiotics in skin health. Archives of dermatological research, 309(6), 411-421.

Ouwehand, Arthur & Tiihonen, Kirsti & Lahtinen, Sampo (2010). The Potential of Probiotics and Prebiotics for Skin Health. 10.1007/978-3-540-89656-2_77. Pages: 1300