How gut health affects the skin
From hormones to diet and nutrition, the skin is generally a reflection of what is happening within the body. Our gut is our second brain and central to our mental health and brain performance, as well as our immunity, metabolism, hormone balance, our ability to concentrate and focus, our gene expression, and the health of our skin. Your gut microbiome, with trillions of active bacteria, influences every other system and function within your body.
Healthy skin is something so many of us strive for so here we explain how looking after your gut is the first place to start for healthy, glowing skin.
What is the gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is made up of a diverse array of healthy and pathogenic (bad) microbes and bacteria, known as probiotics, found in the large intestine and is responsible for the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, hormone balance and an effective immune system. The biodiversity and balance of healthy bacteria and other species within the gut is essential because the gut thrives on balance and harmony between these organisms. Learn more in 'What are probiotics?'.
Create your free Diet Profile and understand your diet.
The gut microbiome helps our body maintain 'homeostasis' and overall wellbeing. It is well known that there is a relationship between our gut and our brain, known as the 'Gut-brain axis'. Scientific studies show that a diverse gut microbiome can have a positive effect on our mental health, with the two being linked via our hormones and the 'vagus nerve'. Our gut microbiome also impacts other organs, especially our skin, and trouble arises for our skin when our gut microbiome is unbalanced. You may also enjoy learning how your diet can improve your mental health.
Can gut health affect your skin?
As the body's largest organ, our skin acts as a protective barrier against the dangers of the outside world - just like the lining of the gut, our skin provides a physical, chemical and anti-microbial defence for our body. And just like our skin, anything that irritates the lining of our gut can cause it to become inflamed. Discover the 6 signs of an unhealthy gut.
When we experience any issues with our gut microbiome, issues tend to manifest themselves on our skin. Stress, inflammation and digestive problems in the gut can break down the protective antimicrobial barrier and impair its function, which can make our skin vulnerable to inflammation.
Nourishing, feeding and healing the gut can have a huge impact on your skin, so it’s important to address your gut health for healthier, glowing skin. You can also learn more in 'What does your poo say about your health'.
Skin conditions that may be caused by poor gut health
In our latest skin research, 88% of people said their diet has an impact on their skin condition.
Skin issues like rosacea, acne, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis are all inflammatory skin conditions that have been directly correlated to imbalances in the gut. An increasing number of studies have been published linking inflammation in the gut to inflammation on the skin, so if your skin is irritated, inflamed or congested, there is a high possibility that this is an indication of an imbalance in your gut. Learn more in 'How to get rid of acne' and 'Understanding and managing Psoriasis'.
How to improve your gut and skin health
What to eat to improve gut health?
The more diversity in your diet, the more diverse the nutrient supply for your gut microbes = happier, healthier gut and skin. Read more about ‘How to look after your gut through your diet’.
Best foods for skin and gut health:
1. A healthy balanced diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet with as many varieties of plant-based foods as possible. Try to eat different types and colours of fruit and vegetables over the course of a week. Learn if a nutrient deficiency causing your skin condition.
2. Fibre: In the UK, many of us don’t manage to meet the recommended daily level of 30g of dietary fibre each day. We can increase this by choosing wholegrain cereals and carbohydrates, lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and peas.
3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the balance of bacteria in the gut and promotes healthier skin.
4. Fermented foods: Reach for fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, pickled vegetables, miso and tofu.
5. Wholefoods: Choose as many whole and natural foods as possible, limiting how often you have processed and pre-prepared foods, sweetened foods and saturated fats.
6. Prebiotics & probiotics: Probiotic drinks and yoghurts, which contain live bacteria, provide a boost to the specific strains of bacteria they contain and encourage more microbes to grow. Our Gut Works formula contains 50 billion live cultures for a healthy gut microbiome and supports skin and immune health.
Best supplements for glowing skin
Omega 3 is needed directly for the skin cell membranes. Research has shown additional omega 3 added to your diet can help with conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. The best foods and vitamins for glowing skin are rich in omega 3 and antioxidants.
Skin Saviour® is an acclaimed supplement that fuels your natural collagen production and combats blemishes and acne. Including prebiotics and probiotics, with high strength Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C, alongside powerful antioxidants including Grapeseed, Bilberry and Green Tea, as well as essential vitamins, Skin Saviour® is the #1 go-to supplement for healthy, glowing, and plumper skin.
Essential vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Selenium are all vital vitamins and minerals for your skin health. Vitamin K2 and Vitamins B3 and B5 are also important for your skin health, so ensure you're gaining these in your diet or through supplements. Not sure what your diet is providing? Create your free Diet Profile and discover what your diet may be missing to support your skin health.
Learn more on how Zinc helps your skin.
Reduce stress and anxiety
The gut is connected to all parts of the body and is influenced by not only what we eat but also our stress levels, sleep and exercise. In addition to a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, a good sleep schedule, reducing stress and moderating alcohol intake will improve gut flora, and in turn your skin health.
Curcumin and Turmeric also support digestion. DR.VEGAN® Organic Curcumin & Turmeric (3300mg), with standardised extract of 95% Curcumin (200mg), is a high-strength, more potent and more absorbable formula than standard Turmerics, helping protect your joints and supporting your digestive function. Shop Organic Curcumin & Turmeric.
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- BDA The Association of UK Dietitians: Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the gut-brain axis.
- BDA The Association of UK Dietitians: Give your friendly gut bacteria a helping hand.
- What is the role of gut bacteria in human health?
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