By Dr. Roshini Raj, Co-Founder of TULA
We all know the benefits of taking daily probiotics (healthier bacteria, healthier gut), but what if those same probiotics could also have benefits outside of our body as well, on our skin! Dr. Roshini Raj, gastroenterologist and internist, has discovered just that. In launching TULA, her line of skin care that harnesses the power of probiotics and superfoods for the protection of our largest organ – our skin — Dr. Raj has found a new and unique way to use these natural healers. Here Dr. Raj answers our questions about why probiotics, why now, and when should we start?!
What are probiotics?
Probiotics, also known as “good” bacteria, are living microorganisms that are naturally found in our bodies. In fact, about 90 percent of your body is made up of bacteria. Probiotics help you maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microbes and aid in general digestion, which is one of the top areas of ailment for a majority of Americans. Besides staving off stomach aches, new research is exploring the link between intestinal bacteria and general immunity, mental health, and even cancer risk.
How are probiotics not just good for your gut, but also your skin?
In the past 5 years, we’ve seen studies show that probiotics can have powerful skincare benefits. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology has called them the “new beauty breakthrough” thanks to their ability to protect the skin and decrease skin redness and calm inflammation.
Topical probiotics help strengthen the skin’s natural defense mechanisms, making it more resistant to damage from environmental stressors. By forming a protective shield on the skin’s surface, they also stop your cells from "seeing" or reacting to bad bacteria and developing inflammation, which may age your skin and aggravate acne or rosacea.
What prompted you to create probiotic beauty products & start TULA?
I am a gastroenterologist and internist (Harvard undergrad, NYU med school) and a medical contributor to several TV shows including GoodDayNY, The Today Show, and Dr.Oz. I am also the Contributing Medical Editor for Health magazine. As I entered my 40s (I'm 44 now), I noticed the skin changes that come with aging and I wanted to do something about it. As someone who wears heavy makeup for TV several times a week, I knew that protecting my skin needed to be a priority, and I suspected many other women felt the same way.
I looked at the multitude of products out there, and (being a bit of a control freak!) thought I could do better. I tackled the issue as a scientist and researcher, and I started with ingredients that I knew were good for our bodies internally, to see how they affect our skin when applied topically. In my GI practice, I saw first-hand how internal well-being and skin health go hand-in-hand. And thus, TULA was born.
Who is TULA good for & how does it work?
We spent years working on our patented Probiotic Technology, and included other nutritious ingredients like Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, blueberries, turmeric, and white tea extracts to protect, strengthen, and nourish the skin. We like to say that our products are like a “healthy smoothie” for your skin, feeding your skin the same way a healthy diet nourishes your body.
If you suffer from acne, rosacea, or eczema, probiotics might help clear up your skin since those conditions can also be caused by poor digestion and an imbalance in gut bacteria.
What are some TULA products that can prep the skin for summer?
Our skin is exposed to environmental stressors like air pollution, allergens, toxins, and UV ray exposure every day, but especially in the summer months when we spend more of our time outdoors. Our body-friendly probiotic complex stimulates the production of vital defense cells to make our skin healthier and more resistant to damage and aging, from the inside out.
Below are some tips to help prep skin for the summer:
1. Exposure to the sun and heat can make sensitive skin red and irritated. Topical probiotics have a calming effect on the skin to help combat irritation and even out the complexion. Our Hydrating Day & Night Cream offers this soothing effect without being too heavy or greasy in the summer heat.
2. Our newest product, The Volume Defense Deep Wrinkle Serum, includes yogurt extract to give skin that "glowy" silky look. It's a lightweight formula, that feels like a burst of hydration when it meets the skin, and can easily be worn under an SPF.
3. Research shows that topical probiotics can help protect skin against damaging UV rays that can cause premature skin aging and wrinkles. We always recommend pairing probiotic-rich products with an SPF for full protection.
4. Summer days (and nights) bring humidity and sticky heat which means you're likely going to be cleansing more often. Our Purifying Face Cleanser is gentle and non-drying, perfect for those days you need to wash-up after a trip to the beach or afternoon run!
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Dr. Roshini Raj is a board certified gastroenterologist and internist, media personality, and co-founder of TULA. She has a medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. Dr. Raj is an attending physician and an Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and has also spent the last decade educating the public on leading healthy and more balanced lives.
A TODAY Show contributor, a core expert on The Dr. Oz Show, the Good Day New York Medical Correspondent (Fox5), and the Medical Editor of Health magazine — in August 2010, Dr. Raj released her first book, What the Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body. She has discussed a wide variety of health and lifestyle topics on a range of network and cable shows, including NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s The View, LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and Good Morning America, among others, and has been quoted in several publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Health, Dr. Oz The Good Life, and Women’s Health and Fitness, for her knowledge of healthy living and the latest health news.
In Fall 2014, Dr. Raj co-founded TULA, a healthy living/beauty brand. TULA’s skincare line uses a patented complex of probiotics and other superfood ingredients to protect and nourish the skin.