Best Probiotic For Cystic Acne

As anyone who has suffered from cystic acne can attest, finding an effective treatment can be a long and frustrating process. While there are many factors that can contribute to the development of this form of acne, recent research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome could play a key role in keeping breakouts at bay. In this article, we'll explore the connection between probiotics and cystic acne, and take a detailed look at some of the most promising probiotic strains for treating this stubborn condition.

Understanding the Role of Probiotics in Acne Treatment

Before we dive into the specifics, it's worth taking a moment to consider why probiotics might be beneficial for acne sufferers. The short answer is that they help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. This balance, also known as the microbiome, plays a crucial role in regulating immune function and preventing inflammation throughout the body. When the microbiome is thrown off balance, however, harmful bacteria can thrive, leading to a host of negative health outcomes - including acne.

In other words, by supporting the growth of "good" bacteria in the gut, probiotics can help to counteract the factors that can contribute to cystic acne, such as inflammation and hormonal imbalances. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at some specific probiotic strains that may be particularly effective for treating this condition.

One probiotic strain that has shown promise in treating acne is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This strain has been found to reduce inflammation and improve skin hydration, both of which can help to prevent acne breakouts. Another strain, Bifidobacterium bifidum, has been shown to improve gut barrier function, which can help to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the bloodstream and causing inflammation.

It's important to note that while probiotics can be a helpful addition to an acne treatment regimen, they should not be relied upon as the sole solution. Other lifestyle factors, such as diet and stress management, can also play a significant role in preventing and treating acne. As always, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or treatment plan.

How Probiotics Help in Balancing the Gut Microbiome

It's worth noting that not all probiotics are created equal. Different strains of bacteria can have varying effects on the body, and the specific benefits of a particular probiotic can depend heavily on factors like its dosage and mode of delivery. However, in general, probiotics work by providing a source of "friendly" bacteria that can help to repopulate the gut, crowding out harmful microbes and restoring balance to the microbiome.

One of the key ways that probiotics achieve this is by modulating the host's immune response. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with lower levels of inflammation throughout the body, which can help to reduce the severity and frequency of cystic acne breakouts. Additionally, some strains of probiotics have been shown to produce anti-inflammatory compounds directly, further reducing inflammation and promoting healthier skin.

Another benefit of probiotics is their ability to improve digestion and nutrient absorption. When the gut microbiome is imbalanced, it can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation. Probiotics can help to alleviate these symptoms by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion. They can also help to break down and absorb nutrients more efficiently, leading to better overall health and wellness.

The Connection Between Gut Health and Skin Health

It's worth noting that the relationship between the gut and the skin is a complex one, and a range of factors contribute to the development of cystic acne. However, researchers increasingly believe that a healthy microbiome is a key component of maintaining clear and healthy skin. In addition to its role in regulating inflammation, a healthy gut is thought to support a robust and adaptable immune response, which can help to ward off harmful pathogens and other factors that can contribute to acne.

Given this connection, it's perhaps not surprising that probiotics have emerged as a promising avenue for treating cystic acne. By targeting the gut microbiome, probiotics can address the root causes of acne, rather than simply attempting to mask symptoms with topical treatments or other approaches.

Furthermore, recent studies have shown that certain foods can also have an impact on gut health and, in turn, skin health. Foods high in sugar and processed carbohydrates can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to inflammation and potentially contributing to acne. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can promote a healthy gut microbiome and may help to prevent acne. It's important to note that while diet can play a role in skin health, it's not a substitute for other treatments and should be used in conjunction with other approaches.

Types of Probiotics for Cystic Acne Treatment

Now that we understand why probiotics might be effective for treating cystic acne, let's take a closer look at some of the specific strains that have shown promise in clinical research. While there are dozens of different probiotic strains on the market, a few in particular stand out as having potential for treating acne:

Lactobacillus Acidophilus:

Acidophilus is one of the most widely studied probiotic strains, with a long history of use in promoting gastrointestinal health. Recent research suggests that this strain may also be effective in reducing the severity of acne breakouts, likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that taking a supplement containing acidophilus for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in acne severity among participants, compared to a placebo group.

Bifidobacterium bifidum:

Another commonly-studied probiotic strain, bifidum appears to have some benefits for promoting skin health as well. In particular, this strain has been shown to support the production of ceramides, which are essential components of the skin's protective barrier. By strengthening this barrier, bifidum may help to prevent harmful bacteria and other irritants from causing breakouts.

Streptococcus Thermophilus:

This lesser-known probiotic strain has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which could make it an effective treatment for cystic acne. Additionally, some research suggests that thermophilus may help to regulate insulin levels and reduce insulin resistance, which are both factors that can contribute to acne development.

While these three strains are among the most promising for treating cystic acne, there are many other probiotic strains that may also be effective. For example, some research suggests that Lactobacillus rhamnosus may help to reduce inflammation and improve skin hydration, while Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to support the immune system and reduce the risk of infection.

It's worth noting that while probiotics may be a helpful addition to a comprehensive acne treatment plan, they are unlikely to be a standalone solution. Other lifestyle factors, such as diet, stress management, and skincare habits, can also play a significant role in managing acne symptoms. As always, it's important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and concerns.

How to Choose the Right Probiotic for Your Cystic Acne

With so many different probiotic strains and products on the market, it can be challenging to know where to begin. However, a few key principles can help you choose a probiotic that's most likely to be effective for treating cystic acne:

  • Look for strains with known anti-inflammatory properties, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Consider the overall potency of the supplement, measured in colony-forming units (CFUs). A higher CFU count may be more effective for restoring gut balance.
  • Think about the delivery method - for example, capsules may be more effective than gummies or other formats.

It's also important to note that not all probiotics are created equal. Some may be more effective for certain individuals based on their unique gut microbiome. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can help you determine which probiotic strains and products may be best suited for your specific needs.

The Best Food Sources of Probiotics for Acne-Free Skin

Of course, probiotics don't necessarily need to come in supplement form. Many foods naturally contain probiotic bacteria, and consuming these foods can be a great way to support overall gut health. Some of the best food sources of probiotics include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso

By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can help to promote a healthy microbiome and reduce the likelihood of experiencing acne breakouts.

In addition to the foods listed above, there are other probiotic-rich options that can benefit your skin. One such food is tempeh, a fermented soybean product that is high in probiotics and protein. Another option is kombucha, a fermented tea that contains a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.

It's important to note that not all fermented foods contain probiotics. For example, beer and wine are fermented, but they do not contain live probiotic bacteria. When choosing fermented foods for their probiotic benefits, look for products that are labeled as containing live and active cultures.

Combining Probiotics with Other Skincare Products and Routines

While probiotics can certainly be an effective tool for treating cystic acne, it's worth noting that they're unlikely to be a magic solution on their own. For best results, it's important to combine probiotic treatment with other skincare products and routines that can help to address other contributing factors, such as excess oil production or clogged pores. Additionally, it's important to continue taking probiotics even after your acne clears up, in order to maintain a healthy gut microbiome and prevent future breakouts.

One effective way to combine probiotics with other skincare products is to use a gentle cleanser that contains probiotics. This can help to balance the skin's microbiome and reduce inflammation, while also removing dirt and oil from the skin's surface. Additionally, using a non-comedogenic moisturizer can help to keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores, which can contribute to acne breakouts.

It's also important to pay attention to your diet and lifestyle habits when trying to improve your skin's health. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy skin. Additionally, getting enough sleep and managing stress levels can help to reduce inflammation and promote overall skin health.

Safety and Side Effects of Using Probiotics for Cystic Acne

While probiotics are generally considered safe for most people, it's important to be aware of the potential side effects of taking these supplements. In some cases, probiotics can cause mild digestive issues like bloating and gas, particularly in higher doses. Additionally, it's worth keeping in mind that not all probiotic supplements are created equal, and some may contain strains that are less beneficial or even harmful to certain individuals. To minimize the risk of side effects, it's always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.


While there are many potential treatments for cystic acne, probiotics are a promising avenue that is gaining greater attention among researchers and skincare professionals alike. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, probiotics can help to reduce inflammation, regulate hormones and promote overall skin health - all key factors in keeping acne at bay. By choosing the right probiotic strain and incorporating it into a holistic skincare routine, you can improve your chances of achieving clear and healthy skin, both inside and out.

Back to blog

Keto Paleo Low FODMAP Cert, Gut & Ozempic Friendly

1 of 12

Keto. Paleo. No Digestive Triggers. Shop Now

No onion, no garlic – no pain. No gluten, no lactose – no bloat. Low FODMAP certified.

Stop worrying about what you can't eat and start enjoying what you can. No bloat, no pain, no problem.

Our gut friendly keto, paleo and low FODMAP certified products are gluten-free, lactose-free, soy free, no additives, preservatives or fillers and all natural for clean nutrition. Try them today and feel the difference!