The Rise of the New No-Acid Acids

Why probiotics in skincare are the new acid peels – without the irritation

Probiotics are crossing over into our skincare, and can exfoliate and hydrate as well as acids – but without the skin irritation.


Acids are prolific in skincare right now and there seems to be a new peel to solve every skincare issue. We’re not complaining – our skin’s never looked better – and for those who don’t enjoy the rub of a scrub, acid peels offer the perfect solution of gently sloughing away dead skin cells, leaving brighter, better skin behind.
But what if you’ve got the sort of skin that finds acids more irritating than every Big Brother contestant ever and freaks out at the very mention of a low pH? Where you’re supposed to feel a subtle tingle as acid peels work, some sensitive skin types experience more Sting than an entire Police back catalogue. Well, that’s where the new ‘non-acids’ come in because believe it or not, there’s already a next-gen exfoliant waiting in the wings with the secret superpower of zero skin irritation.

How probiotic skincare works

We’ve long appreciated probiotics for our gut health and we’ve had the many virtues of good bacteria drummed into us, but only now is that logic crossing over to the beauty industry. When it comes to skincare, bacteria are widely considered a bad omen because when impurities sit on the skin, they block pores, cause skin irritation and make it look uneven and dull. Don’t lump them all in together as a bad bunch, though, because probiotics are the Kendall of the family and couldn’t be more different.

Probiotics in skincare can normalise, exfoliate and hydrate skin every bit as well as acids such as retinol but without any irritation. Naturally fermented peptides enhance skin cell turnover while maintaining hydration levels, so skin is never left feeling robbed of its nutrients.

Benefits of probiotics in skincare

As well as effective exfoliation, probiotics have been proven to reduce inflammation, bring down redness, strengthen skin’s protective barrier and treat conditions including eczema and rosacea, most likely because they’re so similar to the healing bacteria we carry in our bodies.
The best results come when you combine probiotics with ultra-gentle AHAs such as lactic acid. They work in tandem to boost skin’s natural functions and get lagging cell renewal back to firing on all cylinders. There’s very little, it seems, that good bacteria can’t do, so the likelihood is that we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in our skincare very soon.