Healthier Gut Microbiome, Healthier Skin
THE SKIN & GUT AXIS
The skincare business market is huge, we are all bombarded by ads of lotions, creams, serums promising beautiful, clear skin. It is even more frustrating for people dealing with acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin concerns. So, how to get clear skin?
Well, some treatments certainly help to improve skin rejuvenation and great facials to refresh our skin. This said a growing body of research shows that your gut microbiome may play a much bigger role in your skin’s health (and your overall health).
In truth, some skin treatments for acne, eczema are often prescribed to manage symptoms rather than treating the root cause of the issue. For a long-term solution, we have to look more holistically and understand the link between the gut and the skin.
In fact, our skin has its own natural microbiome and when we use topical antibiotics treatments then we get rid of the good bacteria as well. Consequently, this leads to a chain reaction. We keep using topical treatments that can potentially create a dependency. So, when you stop using them, the skin reacts and flares again.
If you’ve been struggling to find the right treatment for your skin, it’s time to take a deeper look at your body and health. Particularly, your gut. therefore, tending to your gut health may help you with your skin concerns. Or at least be an effective complement to your current treatment plan.
Here’s what you need to know about the skin-gut connection and how to work towards clear beautiful skin from the inside, out.
What is the gut-skin axis?
Yes, there is a connection between your gut and your skin. In fact, the gut microbiome can play a role in inflammatory skin conditions.
On one side, the skin acts as a line of defense against the external environment and keeps invaders from getting into the body. On the other side, the gut is a defense system against anything you may ingest. Both are protecting you against unwanted invaders from binding to your skin and gut. Therefore, a balanced skin microbiome is crucial, and an imbalance can lead to skin and/or health concerns.
This said the link between the gut microbiome and skin disease is not fully understood as yet. Current evidence suggests that it is likely due to a combination of both neurologic and immunologic responses to environmental shifts. This results in chronic systemic inflammation that impacts the skin contributing to eczema, acne, or psoriasis.
One reason might be because the gut is key to our immune system. A recent study found a significant correlation between changes in the gut microbiome and psoriasis for example.
Other studies suggest that certain foods are connected to acne. There are specific metabolic pathways that may be responsible for changing the gut microbiome and leading to skin breakouts.
Finally, the skin-gut axis shares some functionality. Indeed, the inner lining of the gut and the outer surface of the skin are both covered in what are called epithelial cells. However, both the gut and the skin have their own unique microbiome.
Healthier gut microbiome, healthier skin
Ultimately, we can see the skin as a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies. So, yes to get clear, more radiant skin starts with the gut.
Of course, better gut health may not always be the only answer to skin problems. Skin conditions like acne and eczema can have various root causes such as hormonal and stress. This is why, at Nar London, our integrative health coach works alongside the patient to get to the bottom of it.
Additionally, stress plays a large role in skin health, and research has also found a link between the gut and stress-related conditions. Well, it is all interconnected and we need to take a holistic approach to health and not through silos only. Through better health, better skin, and better mood.
How to improve your gut health?
Here are some tips that you can do to promote good gut health, and, in the process, help improve your skin.
- Remove inflammatory food from your diet. Particularly avoid highly processed and high-sugar foods as they can be inflammatory and impair the integrity of the gut lining. Instead, introduce anti-inflammatory ingredients such as berries, dark leafy greens, turmeric, ginger, flaxseeds, etc.
- Eat more probiotics and prebiotics. For instance, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha—contain bacteria that are good for your gut. Also, onions, oatmeal, asparagus, radishes. If you can, it’s best to try to get them from organic sources. This said, what you can eat will also depend on what certain test results reveal about the current state of your gut and your food intolerance.
- Get enough sleep. We need to understand that cells in the gut have a circadian rhythm and disruption of it has been linked to GI issues. Focus on practicing good sleep hygiene by staying off screens right before bedtime, setting a consistent bedtime and wake time, and trying to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Practice stress management. Stress is sometimes the root cause of skin issues and even hair loss. It can impact the microbiome, causing inflammation that can manifest on the skin as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and more.
In short, you need to invest in yourself, in your overall health to see the results. And, integrative health is about guiding you and supporting you on your health journey.
In truth, it won’t happen overnight. It takes time and commitment before you notice changes. However, if you are disciplined in adopting gut-healthy habits then you’ll likely see some positive changes in your health. And as a result, on your skin microbiome and complexion. Radiance in and out!
So yes, there are a lot of factors at play to get beautiful skin and be healthier. It is not an easy fix. Ultimately, it is up to you and you need to be ready to take this path. It might be worth getting guidance from our integrative health coach. She can help you get to the root cause of your skin issues and work towards your clear-skin goals and most importantly be healthier and radiant.