If you’ve tried countless skin care products on the quest for glowing skin but still aren’t thrilled with the results, listen up! Glowing skin starts from the inside out. Great products can help, but until you become intentional to nourish your body’s overall well-being, you’ll experience defeat when it comes to your complexion.
We’ve talked about how the nutrients you eat can improve your skin’s appearance, but let’s break it down even further. Your gut microbiome is a big factor in why you do or don’t have glowing skin.
So, What is the Gut Microbiome?
The human digestive tract contains a delicate balance of microorganisms called the gut microbiome. The balance of gut microbiomes includes friendly bacteria that help regulate harmful bacteria, parasites or an overgrowth of candida. – Dr. Trevor Cates, The Spa Dr.
Many people overlook the important role the gut plays in the skin’s appearance yet the two are interconnected. This could be because it’s common to think the gut microbiome’s only purpose is to digest food. But the body contains trillions — yes, trillions — of microorganisms that live in the digestive system. (Bacteria outnumber other human cells 10 to 1!) These bacteria in the gut affect our overall health, our immune system and skin health in a number of ways.
The gut microbiome helps the body absorb nutrients (like the ones we talked about here). Properly absorbing these nutrients can lead to a youthful, radiant complexion, so the more the body takes in, the better it is for the skin. The gut microbiome also protects the gut lining and wards off harmful microorganisms. Things like poor diets and stress negatively affect the gut microbiome, which can lead to skin inflammation.
Why Your Diet Matters
As noted above, poor diet choices (high in processed foods and refined sugars) are often the main cause of an unhealthy gut and therefore unhealthy skin. It’s important to take a look at your diet and recognize which foods may be triggering the skin care woes you’re experiencing. In her book, “Younger Skin Starts in the Gut,” Dr. Nigma Talib recommends eliminating gluten, dairy, wine and sugar from your diet. Gluten sensitivity no doubt causes inflammation in the body and can cause blemishes and dark patches to show up on the skin. Dairy has been shown to magnify bags under the eyes and can cause widespread acne. Even wine can have negative effects like enlarged pores and deep fine lines, as well as disrupting your beauty sleep.
In addition to removing troublesome foods, eating clean and intentionally, adding more nutrients to your diet will boost your gut and skin health. Another way to show your gut some love is by consuming more naturally fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, miso and kombucha, or adding in a quality probiotic.
Reducing Stress Helps Too
The problem with stress is it triggers a release of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone. This often leads to acne, because an increase in cortisol causes an increase in sebum production. Stress also wreaks havoc on our delicate gut microbiome. Finding ways to avoid stress also helps to reduce skin inflammation. As noted in this post about how to get better sleep, one of the best ways to reduce stress is by using Heart Math. Things like journaling, meditating, working out and reading are also great ways to relax the mind.
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As an Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Duke Integrative Medicine trained health and wellness coach, I love helping women create sustainable long-term changes with their health so they can feel their best inside and out.
If you want to learn more about the best supplements for glowing skin, a strong immune system, and reduced stress, let’s chat! To get started, fill out this form to schedule a complimentary 30-minute health coaching consultation with me.