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The Summer of Skin Care! Getting to Know Tula, and Why Are There Probiotics in Their Skin Care?

tula skincare reviewHello, Tula! From the left: Tula Skincare Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum ($68), Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel ($34) and Hydrating Day & Night Cream ($52)

If I’m going to name the bald spot in my brow Raul, I should also christen any bacteria that I’m purposefully putting on my face. It’s the right thing to do.

So, every time I use any products from Tula Skincare, I’m going to say hi to Brandon and Brenda — also known as Bifida Ferment Lysate and Lactococcus Ferment Lysate.

“What’s poppin’, Brenda? Hey, hey, Brandon!”

Because Tula products contain probiotics.

What’s Tula Skincare all about?

They’re an NYC-based skin care line, and I think they’ve been around for a couple years now. Their name, Tula, means “balance” in Sanskrit, and all of the products, which range in price from $20-100, contain probiotics.

Yup, microorganisms. Bacteria. They combine them with AHAs, antioxidants, retinols and superfoods to help naturally balance your skin.

tula hydrating day night creamThe Hydrating Day & Night Cream

The line includes a cleanser, toner and a lot of moisturizers and anti-aging products, none of which contain parabens. Some of the products, like the Pro-Glycolic Resurfing Gel (which is a gem, but more on that in a few), and all of which contain probiotics.

According to the website, the line doesn’t test on animals, but they don’t make any cruelty-free claims.

Bacteria in skin care

So what’s the deal? Why are people purposefully putting bugs in skin care? You may have heard about it, because it’s pretty trendy right now.

To clarify, these are the “good” bacteria. The idea is similar to, like, eating Greek yogurt or drinking kefir, both which have “good” bacteria — living organisms to help digest food, reduce inflammation and regulate tummy troubles.

Probiotics in skin care products are supposed to fool the skin into focusing on good bacteria and not the harmful ones that worsen inflammation, like acne and rosacea, but there isn’t a ton of clinical research out there to supports its effectiveness.

Some signs are optimistic.

tula eye serum applicatorThe applicator for the eye serum

I was surprised to find that the microorganisms that are used in most of the probiotic-powered skin care products out there aren’t actually alive. So you aren’t putting living bacteria on your face…other than the actual bacteria that was very likely already alive on your brush.

Whatev, I’m still gonna call mine Brandon and Brenda. ?

Tula uses bifida ferment lysate (a probiotic found in some yogurts!), lactococcus ferment lysate and bacillius coagulans ferment, to name a few of the bacterial strains. The probiotics in each product are listed on the Tula website, which, by the way, is pretty thorough.

Pro-Glycolic is a keeper!

I’ve tried a few things in the line, and the Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel ($34) stands out to me. It’s an alcohol-free toner that combines a probiotic with glycolic acid and lactic acid. Basically, it’s a gentle but effective exfoliator for all skin types that also moisturizes.

I have combination skin, which is mostly dry, and this doesn’t make my skin feel more dry or tight. I’ve used it consistently for four weeks, and the pigmented patch on my right cheek is much less pigmented than it was, so I’m going to keep using it for sure.

tula pro glycolic ingredientsPro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel ingredients

The Hydrating Day & Night Cream ($52) is an anti-aging, hydrating cream that combines probiotics with retinol (vitamin A). It’s designed for all skin types (even dry), but eh…my skin always feels hella thirsty when I use it, like I need to layer a richer moisturizer on top.

It’s probably better for normal and oily skin types.

I don’t feel like it’s made a noticeable difference in the look of my fine lines or pigmentation, so I don’t plan to finish the jar.

tula hydrating day night cream ingredientsDay & Night Cream ingredients

I’m not crazy about the Multi-Spectrum Eye Serum ($68) either. It contains plant extracts, some caffeine and probiotics, and it’s supposed to make fine lines and dark circles look better, but I haven’t really seen an improvement in those areas.

And the funky paddle-shaped applicator drives me bananas! It just pushes the product around. I don’t get it. The stuff just sits there.

tula eye serum ingredients 2Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum ingredients, part 1 tula eye serum ingredients 2Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum ingredients, part 2

Probiotic power

I think the jury’s still out as far as what probiotics are really doing in skin care, but if you’re curious and want to try something from Tula, I recommend the Pro-Glycolic Gel.

What does the heavy lifting in it? Is it the AHA or the probiotics? Who knows? But I DO know that I see less pigmentation than I did before I started using it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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