How Your Gut Affects Your Skin
Looking to get that glow? Look no further than your gut. Specifically, the bacteria in your gut. Gut bacteria has a major influence on the health of your body, your brain function and yes, your skin too.
According to HealthLine, a healthy gut microbiome helps you digest certain foods more easily and prevents disease-causing bacteria from wreaking havoc on your intestinal walls. It also helps control brain health: new research suggests that the gut microbiome may also affect the central nervous system, which controls brain function.
Now, researchers are starting to zero in on the association between skin disorders and gut health. Maybe the secret to that radiant glow lies deep within your belly?
Deanna Minich, a functional medicine nutritionist in a piece for Huff Post, says several studies have found altering the makeup of the bacteria in the gut by taking a probiotic can help relieve certain skin conditions. She says, “Whether you have a skin disorder like rosacea or eczema or simply want to prevent skin cancer and maintain a youthful appearance, it is beneficial to look to your gut.”
So how can you use your gut to get that glow?
- Eat a healthy diet – this one seems like a no brainer (we couldn’t resist!) but research shows what you eat and drink influences your skin, the bacteria on your skin and the gut microbiome – stick to clean, unprocessed foods and focus on the good fats, vegetables, protein and some healthy carbohydrates. Your diet is the most important part of the equation for the skin-gut-brain connection.
- Identify problem foods and eliminate them – one of the first steps to using the gut to get that glow is to figure out what is causing the problem in the first place (and then get rid of it!). Many functional medicine practices include an elimination diet in their protocol for this exact reason. For many people things like gluten, dairy and caffeine can contribute to poor gut health and exacerbate skin conditions like eczema or acne.
- Take a probiotic – speak to your doctor about adding the correct probiotic to your daily routine. Some probiotics have been shown to help with acne while other strains help with rosacea. Talk to your doc to find the perfect probiotic for you!
- Schedule that sweat sesh – yep, you heard that right, sweating is actually good for your skin! If you’re sticking to that healthy eating plan, the sweat you secrete during a workout or in the sauna acts like a fortifying prebiotic for the skin’s microbiome (the special bacteria mix found on your skin…don’t worry, it’s a good thing!).
- Stress Less – just like other parts of your body, stress negatively impacts your gut health and your skin health (as if you needed one more reason to add yoga and meditation to your weekly regimen)!
Secret to glowing skin? It’s the gut. Talk to your doctor for specific steps you can take to improve your gut health to improve your skin health!