A prebiotic is a substance that stimulates the growth of bacteria. Initially, the definition of prebiotics applied only to food ingredient that would promote the growth of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. However, Henkel’s research is aimed at prebiotics that would enhance the growth of S.epidermis and inhibit that of P.acnes.
A probiotic is a live microorganism that is supposed to be beneficial to its host. The use of probiotics in food is now widely accepted; they can be found in yogurt or in dietary supplements. They are not yet used in cosmetics, as their use would present a host of practical, regulatory or just consumer acceptance issues.