Effects of Fermented Dairy Products on Skin: A Systematic Review

J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):380-5. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0261. Epub 2015 Jun 10.


Objective: Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, have been proposed as a natural source of probiotics to promote intestinal health. Growing evidence shows that modulation of the gastrointestinal tract microbiota can modulate skin disease as well. This systematic review was conducted to examine the evidence for the use of ingested fermented dairy products to modulate skin health and function. We also sought to review the effects of the topical application of dairy products.

Design: The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically searched for clinical studies involving humans only that examined the relationship between fermented dairy products and skin health.

Results: A total of 312 articles were found and a total of 4 studies met inclusion criteria. Three studies evaluated the effects of ingestion, while one evaluated the effects of topical application. All studies noted improvement with the use of fermented dairy.

Conclusions: Overall, there is early and limited evidence that fermented dairy products, used both topically and orally, may provide benefits for skin health. However, existing studies are limited and further studies will be important to better assess efficacy and the mechanisms involved.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Cultured Milk Products*
  • Dermatologic Agents*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases*


  • Dermatologic Agents