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Prebiotics vs Probiotics: what’s the difference?

Prebiotics vs Probiotics: what’s the difference?
Alice Macfarlane
Beauty Writer2 years ago
View Alice Macfarlane's profile

From daily diet supplements, to souped-up body washes and skincare solutions, pre and probiotic products are taking the beauty and wellbeing scene by storm. But what do they actually do? And how can they help us live healthier lives? If you struggle to tell your 'pres' from your 'pros', or the microbiome still remains a mystery, then you're not alone. We asked Dr Marie Drago, Founder and CEO of biotic-boosting brand Gallinée, to put these magic little microbes under the microscope, and share everything we need to know about the latest craze in beauty.

Dr Marie Drago, CEO and Founder at Gallinée

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are nutriments that feed specifically good bacteria. It makes them grow faster and better than bad bacteria, rebalancing the microbiome without having to kill anything.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are good microbes that bring a benefit to their host: you!

What are the key benefits of taking prebiotic supplements?

Prebiotics supplements, such as inulin, will feed your resident microbiome. There are a lot of benefits from taking prebiotic supplements, better digestion being the most evident one!

Prebiotics supplements, such as inulin, will feed your resident microbiome.

What are the key benefits of taking probiotic supplements?

Different bacteria can have very different effects on the body. Each specie and strain can bring specific benefits, including better digestion, calmer skin (like our Gallinée supplements), or reduced anxiety.

How can having a healthy gut make a difference to your overall health?

Let food be your first medicine! The microbiome is one of the biggest areas of research at the moment in medicine, as it is linked to so many “modern diseases”. A healthy gut can help reduce a lot of inflammatory diseases, improve problem skin or sensitive skin, but also help those suffering with anxiety, obesity and IBS. Watch this space, as the science is progressing very quickly.

Can you take pre and probiotics together?

Yes! When taken like this, it’s called symbiotics. The prebiotics will help the probiotics survive and thrive better once you’ve taken them. It makes sense to associate the two, which is why our Gallinée supplements incorporate both pre and probiotics.

Are there any risks associated with taking pre or probiotics?

Probiotics are really safe, as they’ve been used by humans for centuries, in the form of fermented food. Prebiotics however, should be integrated in the diet slowly, as they can lead to some flatulence if taken in large quantities.

Probiotics are really safe, as they’ve been used by humans for centuries, in the form of fermented food

How are pre and probiotics used in skincare? What are the benefits?

In supplements, probiotics are live bacteria. However, in skincare, they tend to be gently killed by heat, so that they can still stimulate your skin microbiome, but don’t cause stability problems. Associated with prebiotics, they are great for protecting the skin barrier and reducing inflammation - which makes them great for sensitive skin.

They are also perfect to prevent inflammageing (inflammation that develops with age), and because they can reduce the space of bad bacteria on your skin, they are studied a lot against acne and eczema.

At what age should you introduce pre and probiotics into your skincare regime?

As they are so safe, they can be introduced very early, especially if you have sensitive skin. For example, our Perfume Free Cleansing Bar can even be used by babies prone to eczema.

There’s a lot of buzz around the skin’s microbiome – why is looking after it so integral for skin health and appearance?

The skin microbiome, the community of microbes that live on your skin, are your first line of defense! As science progresses, we understand better how they help build the skin barrier, regulate inflammation and protect from infection from bad bacteria.

How does your Prebiotic Face Vinegar work and what and how does it make a difference to skin?

Our Face Vinegar associates high concentration of prebiotics, including innovative algae prebiotics, to two postbiotic acids: Lactic Acid and Vinegar. It makes a very interesting synergy, and is recommended both for sensitive skin and for oily skin. Those with sensitive skin will love the fact it helps repair the skin barrier and reduce redness, and those with oily skin love the purifying action. The result is an amazing glow every day.

We have two patents on this product, we sold more than 100 000 of them since we launched and we are a bit proud of it!


Shop all Gallinée products on LOOKFANTASTIC.

Alice Macfarlane
Beauty Writer
View Alice Macfarlane's profile
As someone with an affinity for all things beauty, discovering fantastic new products is my not-so-secret obsession. Over the years I've tried and tested a mountains worth of creams, serums and cleansers, finding some of my favourite 'holy-grail' products along the way. However, I'm always on the lookout for more ways to nourish my hair, perfect my dewy base, or enhance my skincare routine. Working as a beauty blogger for over 3 years, I've been lucky enough to collaborate personally with lots of amazing beauty brands including Christian Dior, The Body Shop and Dermalogica. I've used the Dermalogica special cleansing gel religiously since I first got it and their products are some of my ultimate skincare faves. When it comes to cosmetics, NARS Sheer Glow foundation is definitely my go-to - I live for a light, glowy base!