The nutritive power of milk

Milk is well known as a vital source of nutrition which sustains life processes. Milk contains many nutrients that keep us healthy. The most important of these are protein and calcium. Milk also contains phosphorus, which is used with calcium to build and maintain bones. Many other minerals and essential amino acids are present in milk as well, but in smaller amounts. Riboflavin and other vitamins, fat, and sugar (lactose) provide the energy in milk and the flavor that makes it taste good. Especially milk produced directly after birth, colostrum, has exceptional biological activity, which is important for the stimulation of development processes in newborns.

The milky way of skin care

The external cosmetic use of milk preparations has had a strong tradition since ancient times. Cleopatra, for example, bathed in milk to enhance her skin’s youthfulness. Milk products can soothe stressed skin, improve the moisture binding capacity, and increase skin smoothness.

By fractioning the different proteins and peptides from milk, active ingredients are obtained with a multitude of extremely beneficial effects on skin, whether they are anti-wrinkle and firming effects or ingredients which are specially suitable for the care of strongly inflamed and troubled skin.

The benefits of Probiotics

The condition of the skin plays an important role in the overall process of well-being. Imbalances in the skin negatively influence our whole charisma as well as the ability to relax and to recover. As a consequence, not only the skin but the whole body becomes more sensitive to environmental stress. The shape of the skin depends decisively on a tightly regulated balance between different cell functions. Whereas probiotic food supports protective mechanisms from the inside and a healthy lifestyle, probiotic cosmetics transfer those benefits to the skin. Cosmetic active ingredients on the basis of lysates of probiotic bacteria have shown to lead to powerful active ingredients for skincare, especially when combined with milk proteins, essentially mimicking probiotic drinks.

Probiotics in cosmetics

Combining the use of probiotic bacteria in a milk-based nutrient is something the food industry has been doing successfully for quite some years now. “Pro bio” means “for life”, and the probiotic bacteria, consumed orally, are thought to be maintained in the gut, binding to intestinal epithelial cells and preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria, thus promoting gastrointestinal health. Additionally, probiotic bacteria have shown to possess many beneficial effects on immune functions. In the intestines they do so by stimulating the intestinal epithelial cells – not like a whole microbe, but with their structural components and metabolites. This has been reported to lead to an improvement of the barrier function of these cells, among other effects.

Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are the most frequently used probiotic species. These beneficial organisms help rebalance the intestinal flora, thus resolving certain health conditions. Analogous to probiotic food which uses living microorganisms with protective functions in combination with nutritive carriers to maintain a physiological balance within the body, probiotic cosmetics are thought to bring a new healthy balance to the skin. Such cosmetics must contain actives consisting of lysates of microorganisms with protective functions integrated in skin nutritives.