The gut is a complex colony which contains a collection of trillions of strains of bacteria and microbes, called the gut microbiome. “This microbiome maintains homeostasis throughout the body, but can majorly affect our other organs, especially our skin, if it becomes unbalanced. If we experience any issues with our gut, like inflammation, leaky gut or digestion problems, our skin is usually the first place we notice problems” explains Dr. Zamani.
We’ve started to realize that it might not be our brains that are in control of our bodies. More and more studies have proven that our guts have a stronghold on our health, and that a thriving gut equals a healthy immune system and strong mind.
But does our gut also have control over our complexions?
When it comes to skin health, more and more studies are linking good skin to a healthy gut. Scientists have found links between gut health and skin issues such as eczema, acne and rosacea.
While we’re definitely not saying our skin serums will soon be replaced, adding some prebiotic foods and a daily dose of probiotics into the mix could make a bigger difference than we ever thought.
The Gut-Skin Alliance
“The gut and skin enjoy a constant dialogue via what has become known as the gut-skin axis,” says Zamani. She explains that while symptoms of gut health issues can be incredibly varied, the skin is often a great barometer for what’s going on inside the gut. The gut is where 70 percent of our immune system lies. It is also where we make nutrients, metabolize hormones and detoxifying enzymes, neutralize pathogens and make neurotransmitters—so it’s super important to get your digestive health in check in order to feel well and of course, experience clear, glowing skin.
What skin symptoms should we look out for?
If your skin is irritated, inflamed or congested, chances are high that there may be an imbalance in your gut. The skin is the body’s largest organ; it is one of the major systems by which the body expels toxins and waste and is our first line of defence against harmful bacteria and pathogens.
With this in mind, almost all skin conditions are linked to gut health, but diagnosing whether or not your skin condition is caused by digestive issues can be tricky. Sometimes the connection is obvious—for example, if drinking milk triggers indigestion, acne, a rash or eczema. Other times, the connection between our gut and our skin complaint can be more difficult to spot.
What are some skin care ingredients to look out for to help combat gut issues shown in the skin?
Aside from supplementing our diets with pre and probiotics, the following ingredients can help boost immunity, reduce stress and inflammation in the skin.
Vitamin C is essential in boosting the immune system as white blood cells – specifically phagocytes and T cells – use vitamin C to combat infections and inflammation. The vitamin also works to encourage the body’s natural collagen synthesis and relieve dry, dehydrated and damaged skin.
The master antioxidant already found in every cell within the body, glutathione reduces oxidative stress and maintains cell integrity.
LIQUORICE ROOT EXTRACT:
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, Liquorice Root Extract is a soothing agent that can reduce symptoms of physical stress and sensitive skin.
A full-spectrum vitamin E (i.e., all 8 derivates of the family) that reduces inflammation and works to repair UV damage.
ASHWAGANDHA: an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits including anti-stress properties.