In recent decades, the prevalence of subjects with reactive skin has considerably increased in industrialised countries. 50% of women and 30% of men report cutaneous discomfort classified under reactive/sensitive skin. Several topical approaches have been proposed, in particular through improvement of galenic forms or protection of epidermal surface. We propose to act differently, deeply from inside the body via an innovative nutritional approach. To this purpose, Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461 (ST11) was selected because of its specific beneficial skin properties discovered in in vitro studies, i.e. diminution of neurogenic inflammation and promotion of the recovery of skin barrier function. We designed a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study with a two-month supplementation in two female treatment groups (n=32 per group). A capsaicin test was performed to monitor the time course of skin sensitivity. Moreover, transepidermal water loss was assessed to analyse the rate of skin barrier function recovery; dryness of the leg and roughness of the cheeks was investigated by a dermatologist as well as by self-assessment. The results of the present clinical trial show that oral supplementation with the probiotic decreases skin sensitivity and increases the rate of barrier function recovery. Thus, the data provide evidence that daily intake of ST11 could improve reactive skin condition.
Keywords: Lactobacillus paracasei; barrier function; probiotic; reactive skin.