Healthy Gut Equals Healthy Skin
We all wish for clear, healthy skin. Skin is one of the first things people notice about us. Because there's no doubt that a dreary complexion can leave us feeling less than confident. The beauty, health and wellness industry is inundated with countless creams. Also, elixirs, ointments and makeup marketed to zap away and cover up blemishes. However, what we often forget is that our outer appearance is an inside job. In fact, your skin is your body’s largest functioning organ. Also, makes up 10 per cent of your total body weight. One of our skin’s main responsibilities is detoxification. For example, perspiring is our body’s way of releasing toxins via our skin. It would only make sense then that rosacea, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, rashes and eczema are all symptoms of something going on deep beneath the surface.
As a functional skin and aesthetic laser practitioner. Furthermore, I see that many of my patients struggling with problematic skin conditions. Also, are not only suffering from a variety of skin health issues. But nearly all have one thing in common: gut dysfunction. Our gut and our skin are inextricably linked through the gut-skin axis. Research has shown that underlying gut dysfunctions such as leaky gut syndrome, candida, yeast overgrowth and bacterial imbalance all contribute to less-than-stellar skin health. These symptoms are our body’s way of screaming “a little help here!” Thankfully, there are many lifestyle changes that you can easily incorporate daily to help heal your gut and achieve healthy, vibrant skin:
1. Steer clear of skin-damaging foods
Sugar, even an overload of natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and honey, can contribute majorly to a poor complexion by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut. Grains also contain amylose sugars and similar proteins to gluten that can continue to perpetuate gut dysfunction.
2. Uncover your food intolerances
Every person’s biochemistry is unique, and therefore every person is going to encounter different food intolerances. Learning which foods and food chemicals trigger an inflammatory response will help you to avoid them and to choose instead the superfoods that make your skin glow. Blood testing is the gold standard for finding out which foods work and don’t work for you.
3. Soothe your skin with healthy skincare products
Not only are natural, healthy skincare products a great choice for topical use due to the high content of vitamins, minerals and protective plant extracts, they are also calming, contain no toxic chemicals, and are healing and hydrating. Overall, these factors make natural skincare products the best choice when it comes to makeup removers, treatments and moisturisers.
4. Load up on probiotics
Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir are filled with gut-healing probiotics. Add these to your diet for a daily dose of good bacteria to rebalance your microbiome, clearing out the bad and restoring the good to keep your gut in tip-top shape. There are fabulous digestive tune-ups available via practitioners to clear out the bad bacteria and crank up your good bacteria levels.
5. Eat more prebiotics
A prebiotic is a food fibre that can travel through the small intestine undigested and is fermented when it reaches the large colon. Prebiotic fibre foods include bananas, onions, apple skin and sweet potatoes. There are many more. These foods are essential for good microbiome health; the little fellas love prebiotics!
6. Add skin-supporting collagen
Collagen is a protein that is comprised of three amino acids – glycine proline, and hydroxyproline –and makes up our connective tissue including our cartilage, hair, nails, tendons and skin. Consumption of collagen will regulate your own collagen production and promote skin elasticity, to keep you looking youthful. Adding a collagen supplement to your wellness routine can be beneficial as most people are quite deficient. You can simply add collagen powder to your morning tea or smoothie.
7. Adapt adaptogens
Adaptogens are amazing plant and herbal medicines that are some of my favourite tools to help bring balance to every system in the body including gut health and skin. Pearl powder, in particular, is packed with amino acids that help nourish your skin. Holy basil works to reduce inflammation and promote a youthful appearance. As a nervine, passionflower is used to help relieve nervousness and restlessness and is widely used in therapeutic herbal teas. Lemon balm assists to relieve symptoms associated with stress and mild anxiety. Rhodiola helps in the temporary relief of mental fatigue and weakness. Rehmannia may assist with healthy adrenal function. You can experiment with adding them to your elixirs, smoothies or coffee and sprinkle on top of your favourite dishes.
8. Sip bone broth
Not only does sipping bone broth soothe a damaged and inflamed gut (since it is packed with collagen), it also helps restore dull skin by encouraging elasticity. There are plenty of easy, creative bone broth recipes available, so you can incorporate this food as medicine into your day.
9. Consume essential fatty acids
Incredible fatty acids (EFAs) are essential indeed! We absolutely need more of these in our diet. Essential fatty acids help improve the cell membrane, making our cells more receptive to the foods we eat and products we use to support cell health. Since our skin is exposed to harsh environmental elements like the sun and wind daily, our skin cells also rely on fat as protection. You can purchase practitioner formula supplementation including a balanced ratio of 3,6,7 and 9 EFAs as well as through whole food sources such as avocados, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef liver and eggs.
There is no doubt that on your journey to skin health a multi-pronged approach is vital where you consider what you put on your skin and what you digest. Natural and organic skincare products can feed, nourish, repair and rejuvenate your skin. Avoiding foods you are intolerant to and consuming prebiotics, probiotics, collagen, adaptogens, bone broth and EFAs can all contribute to healing, repairing and restoring your gut microbiome. The result will be better absorption of vitamins and minerals, less inflammation and overall a healthier and more vibrant you, inside and out!
Written By Claire Mason