A review of the microbiome in skin aging and the effect of a topical prebiotic containing thermal spring water

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of cosmetic dermatology




Skin microbiome; postbiotics; prebiotics; probiotics; skin aging; thermal spring water


BACKGROUND: Interest in the skin microbiome and the cosmetic benefits of probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics is increasing. AIM: The current review explores the influence of the skin microbiome on facial skin aging and the effects of oral and topical probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics use on skin aging and cosmetic outcomes. METHODS: Five dermatologists who treat clinical signs of facial skin aging and a microbiome scientist (advisors) explored the relationship between the skin microbiome and skin aging. Published evidence and the advisors' knowledge lead to guidance on the skin microbiome using oral and topical prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics to reduce signs of aging. RESULTS: The role of the microbiome in aging skin is an emerging concept. A diverse skin microbiome is essential for skin health. Preliminary studies suggest oral probiotics and prebiotics may play a role in reducing signs of skin aging, likely through shifting to a greater skin and gut microbiome diversity. Thermal spring water contains probiotics and prebiotics. Preliminary studies suggest topically applied probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics may improve signs of skin aging, including a reduction in fine lines and increased hydration. CONCLUSIONS: The panel agreed that oral and topical prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics may play a role in improving signs of aging by improving the skin microbiome. Larger studies with more prolonged treatment trials are needed to better understand the microbiome's role in skin aging and the possible benefits of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics use.