Do Probiotics Need to be Refrigerated? What you need to know about keeping your probiotics shelf-stable

To chill or not to chill? How to store probiotic skincare.

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You may have come across probiotics in the health food store, sitting pretty in their very own refrigerated section. You might also see probiotics in that same store that are being stored on regular shelves next to vitamins and other supplements. How can these microorganisms exist in both sections and survive? 


If you’ve been riding the probiotics train long enough, you know that probiotics are living things. Living things have needs. Exactly what their needs are…well, that all depends on the type of probiotics we’re talking about. It also depends on whether or not and how they’ve been treated. 

That means you have to get specific. Any probiotic skincare product worth its weight in salt should identify the strains of probiotics contained within the bottle. If the specifics are hard to find, storage instructions should be clearly labeled on the packaging. But, if you want to know whether the money you’re spending is going towards truly effective probiotics, then you’ll want to dig a little deeper.


At Layers, we use Lactobacillus ferment, which is a heat-treated probiotic. It's derived from a strain of Lactobacillus Plantarum, a bacteria strain found on the skin that’s known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Lactobacillus ferment plays a critical role in the healing and rejuvenation of the skin. A 2015 study showed that the bacterial strain was able to reduce inflammation, reverse the effects of photoaging (UV damage), improve skin hydration, and even ward off infection during the healing of burn wounds. Most importantly, these amazing results are made possible without the usual irritation from harsh chemical-based ingredients.

Layers probiotics don’t require refrigeration thanks to a novel processing technology that preserves the structure of the bacteria's cell wall. This means that it holds onto its beneficial components while making it safe and effective for use in topical formulas. Through production, shipment, and application, the active ingredient remains stable at levels clinically proven to boost skin's natural defenses for a strengthened skin barrier. 


What’s all the hype about fermentation and probiotics in beauty products? Can’t I just have my kimchi and kefir and call it a day? Sure! You can. But, with all industry eyes on fermented topical products, why would you deprive your skin of so many juicy benefits? 

When you add more biodiversity to the microbiome party, your microbial ecosystem becomes healthier. Aging and a variety of skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis are shown to demonstrate low ranges of biodiversity on the surface of the skin. A 2020 study found that after just 4 weeks of applying a topical oil or ferment-containing serum, the bacterial community that lives on the skin becomes more beneficial as younger probiotic strains are regularly introduced. 

Fermented probiotic strains serve your skin in the following ways: 

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  • Boost ingredient penetration into the skin
  • Concentrate ingredients to deliver benefits in a single drop or pump of formula 
  • Absorb deeper into the skin for higher efficacy
  • Longer-lasting hydration and moisturization
  • Boost antioxidant levels
  • Help skin texture feel smoother and more supple-feeling


If you want to keep your microbial BFF’s fresh and working as hard as possible for you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep them sealed when not in use
  • Try not to expose probiotics to extreme temperatures
  • Use products when you get them: the fresher, the better 
  • Take advantage of ordering on a subscription schedule

Managing skincare products containing probiotics and ferments isn’t hard. Especially when you’re purchasing from a trusted source and they’ve been designed to remain shelf stable. So, rest assured that with Layers products, you can reap the wondrous benefits of probiotics without worrying about refrigeration