The Science Behind Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Skincare Explained

Muneaki Takahata, Ph.D., lead microbiologist and executive director at Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics/OM-X in Japan, explains the science behind Dr. Ohhira’s topical probiotic skincare.

Probiotics nourish and support an individual’s beneficial bacteria on the skin while protecting it from harmful bacteria and restoring and maintaining a healthy pH balance.  While “living” lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are not present in Dr. Ohhira’s skin care product line, a variety of plants, mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables are fermented for three years using various strains of LAB. 

In Japan, we call the resulting fermented medium the “probiotic and botanical extract”. This “fermented extract” (which contains probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotic metabolites in the form of organic acids, bacteriocins, enzymes, and vitamin, mineral, and amino acids by-products) is blended into Dr. Ohhira’s skincare products. 

While in the “probiotic and botanical” stage, live LAB is present. However, heat is applied carefully, blending this extract with the other natural ingredients. Most of the “living” LAB die at this time. 

As research from the University of California/San Diego (in cooperation with an Israeli counter-part university) has established, the cell walls of dead LAB (lactic acid bacteria or probiotics) are beneficial to the human body.

In Dr. Ohhira’s skincare products, the cell walls from these heat-killed bacteria stimulate the skin’s immune system, and the “fermented extract” is a natural moisturizer. And remember, the “fermented extract” is blended with many other soothing and beneficial natural ingredients, such as aloe.

The most critical factor in obtaining healthy skin is not in its ability to absorb a topical. The two most important factors for healthy skin are; (1) eating a balanced diet and (2) enhancing a barrier function on the surface of the skin by producing a proper balance of resident skin bacteria, which in turn provides a protective film for the skin protection from external ‘bad’ bacteria and chemical agents.

Instead of stripping the skin, Dr. Ohhira’s skin care enables the skin to create what it needs for its natural defense and balance.