The benefits of live probiotics for your skin

16 December 2021

We speak to Erin Barlow from Unconditional Skincare Co. to discover the science behind the brand's Live Probiotic Hydration Serum.

Image: Shutterstock.

Probiotics have long been associated with gut health, but science-driven brand Unconditional Skincare Co. has found that probiotics are useful for other parts of your body — namely, your skin. This unique approach to skincare utilises world-leading technology to incorporate live probiotics that work to balance, restore and strengthen the skin’s microbiome for glowing and healthy skin. 

Read our Q&A with Unconditional Skincare Co.’s new product development lead Erin Barlow to discover the science behind probiotic skincare.

We usually hear about probiotics when it comes to gut health, but what are the benefits of live probiotics for your skin?

Stacking your microbiome with probiotics (good bacteria) is like rigging a fight, giving your body a helping hand towards health. And when it comes to applying probiotics to our skin, we get to see the effects. A healthy and balanced microbiome is an absolute foundation for radiant, clear, and balanced skin. 

How do live probiotics work? 

Live probiotics differ in how they work because every strain has its own personality – where it likes to live and eat, and which microbes it considers friend or foe. It’s important to pick the right strain to do the right job. The strain used in the Unconditional Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Serum, BLIS Q24 (Micrococcus luteus Q24), is unique in that it happily resides on the skin and can inhibit and crowd out bad bacteria like staphylococcus aureus (eczema), streptococcus pyogenes (cellulitis), and cutibacterium acnes (acne) — all culprits that we’re happy to run out of town!

What does it look like if you have an unbalanced microbiome? And how can it impact the health and appearance of your skin?  

An unbalanced microbiome can present itself in many different ways. It can play a part in acne, eczema, rosacea, oiliness and even just dull skin. Some people with sensitive skin may find that it’s not so much their skin type as a skin barrier that has been compromised, impacted by an unhappy microbiome and sensitised to irritants.

Some products use lysates or postbiotics in their skincare. Why do you instead use live probiotics, and what difference does it make for your skin? 

Lysates and postbiotics are essentially burst probiotic cells and the compounds that they make. This includes the carbohydrates, proteins and DNA pieces that break down at the end of the probiotic’s lifecycle. They still nourish and bring benefits to your skin microbiome, but only truly live probiotics can colonise and give you the full benefits of their lifecycle, like inhibiting bad bacteria. 

What challenges have come with producing a skin-specific probiotic?

There’s a reason most “probiotic” skincare products aren’t truly live probiotics. Keeping the bug alive is a big challenge and requires specialised formulations and packaging. We’ve developed and extensively tested a formulation and packaging that keeps our probiotic strain BLIS Q24 alive, enclosing it in its own protective chamber until it’s mixed in your hand. 

What results have you seen from people using the Unconditional Skincare Live Probiotic Hydration Serum?

We hear so many comments like ‘this actually works!’ and, ‘I’ve been getting messages during virtual meetings about my skin’. The first thing people seem to notice is the hydration, then a couple of weeks later, the individual magic seems to happen, like blemishes and improvement in skin tone. 

Aside from probiotics, what other ingredients are in the Unconditional Skincare Live Probiotic Hydration Serum?

It’s a very unique formula because you have two elements – the first being the MCT oil-based serum that encases and protects the live probiotic strain BLIS Q24. Then you have the moisturiser packed with intensely hydrating and nourishing ingredients. We were careful to ensure everything included is gentle, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, to complement the unique probiotic strain and ensure the formulation is suitable for all skin types. 

How can you incorporate the Unconditional Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Hydration Serum into your skincare routine? Can it be used in conjunction with other serums, or is it best used by itself? 

We recommend using the serum as your morning and evening moisturiser to keep your skin balanced. It’s a hardworking product, and you may find it makes some of your other skincare products redundant. It can be slotted into any routine, but we recommend allowing it to absorb into the skin for a few minutes before applying other serums or products over the top. 

The Unconditional Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Hydration Serum works to give you healthy skin – what does this look like?

It looks like your skin is living its best life! Hydrated, clear, strong, resilient, balanced and glowy…very glowy! 


Erin Barlow

Read what the Fashion Quarterly team had to say after putting the Unconditional Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Hydration Serum to the test, and shop the product online at


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