We know probiotics are good for your gut – but what can they do for your skin?

Probiotics have been lauded as magical for your gut and digestive system, so is it any surprise they’ve become the new wonder situation for your skin?

You’ve probably jumped on the kombucha wagon at some point, and maybe even dabbled in some sauerkraut or kimchi after hearing about the benefits of consuming fermented foods for gut health.

But did you know that in the same way ingested probiotics can help put “good” bacteria back into your body (keeping everything balanced and in check), probiotics when applied topically, can balance your skin out and add all the good stuff back, especially when your skin has been taking a lashing against the elements during the day and then stripped of all its natural oils when you rigorously cleanse it by night.

A rapidly growing skincare category, probiotic beauty products deal with restoring the balance to your microbiome (the combination of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your skin) which can sometimes become disrupted through UV damage, environmental factors, illness and yep, cleansers that are too harsh.

Elizabeth Arden has launched two new probiotic products (to add to their widely celebrated Superstart line) which we decided to put to the test.

First up: Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Cleanser – Whip to Clay –

What it does: 
This cleanser starts off as a whipped mousse which when applied to dry skin, becomes a mineral-rich clay mask which removes dirt, impurities and makeup without stripping your skin of the stuff it needs or drying skin out.

What ingredients will you find in it?
Aside from a probiotic complex to support the skin’s natural defenses, this cleanser uses a combination of pink and green clays, which draw out impurities and unclog pores (it’s described as being like a magnet in this respect), without drying out the skin like some clay formulas can. This is due to the inclusion of glycerin, another key ingredient, which helps the skin retain moisture.

How to use it? 
Apply an even layer to dry skin and leave for a minute or so, before massaging gently with warm water to bring it to a light foam lather. Rinse and pat dry.

What we thought:
We were very intrigued to try this Whip To Clay formula, given that there aren’t a whole lot of cleansers like this out there. The consistency is much lighter than you would expect, as it starts off as a whipped mousse consistency. Once you apply it to your skin and it starts to dry, it does become tighter and more clay-like in texture, but doesn’t feel prickly or uncomfortable. A minute goes by super quick (and allows us to do a few other things in the meantime, like brush our teeth), and once the cleanser has been washed off with warm water, your skin feels considerably smoother, looks brighter, more refreshed and pores appear minimised. An amazing face mask-like result, but from a cleanser!

Next we tried: Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocellulose Mask

What it says it does: 
Like many sheet masks, this biocellulose mask will nourish, add moisture and improve skin’s resilience. However, at the same time it will restore skin to its proper pH and microflora levels, while optimising its natural renewal process.

What ingredients will you find in it?
Like the Whip to Clay cleanser, the biocellulose mask contains glycerin, a powerful humectant that helps the skin retain moisture. However, it also contains Sodium Hyaluronate (the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, which naturally occurs in your own tissue) for added moisture, plus a blend of ceramides 1, 3 and 6, cholesterol and phytosphingosine, which are essential lipids to help repair and replenish ceramides within the skin’s barrier.

How to use it? 
Remove the mask from the packaging, unfold and remove the cloth backing. Apply the mask onto a clean, dry face and smooth down, adjusting to fit to your eyes, nose, mouth and your facial contours. Remove the mesh liner and leave on for around 15-20 minutes. Remove mask after this time and dispose of it, before massaging any remaining serum into  your skin, neck and decolletage.

What we thought:
We do love a good sheet mask here at FQ, and it takes a lot to impress us with so many options on offer these days. However, the Superstart biocellulose mask is made with super-fine fibres (literally 1000 times thinner than human hair) derived from 100% fermented coconut water, which is great for two reasons: 1) the product can work its magic properly, by clinging to every facial contour like a second skin; and 2) the material serves as a probiotic in itself, in addition to the probiotic complex ingredients. Peeling it off after 20 minutes left us with skin that felt nourished and refreshed and looked smoother, plumper and glowing.

Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster

Best used in conjunction with: Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster

What it says it does:
Used before a serum or moisturiser, the skin renewal booster effectively boosts the effectiveness of your other skincare products while repairing the look and feel of damaged skin and boosting the skin’s natural moisturisation.

What ingredients will you find in it?
Like the other products in this line, there is probiotic complex. There is also sea fennel extract, that enhances skin cell renewal (and in the process, increases luminosity and smoothness); flaxseed extract, which encourages skin to sustain optimal lipid levels while reinforcing the skin’s barrier; and glasswort extract, another moisture-boosting ingredient that reduces water loss within the skin.

How to use it?
You only need a very small amount of product (about the size of a pearl) which is applied to your face before a serum or moisturiser both morning and evening.

Elizabeth Arden Superstart collection is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide. Visit to find out more.