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The Gut and Skin Connection

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Interesting connections between our gut and skin
Gut and Skin Connection

What has your gut health got to do with your skin you might ask? ...

As skin therapists we're on the frontline when it comes to discussing the connection between gut health and the skin.

When you think about it, the gut and the skin are a lot alike, in fact, they share two main functions within the body:

  1. They're both part of the body's integumentary system which helps to regulate the body's temperature, cell fluid maintenance, synthesis of Vitamin D, and detection of stimuli.

  2. Both the gut and skin work to protect the body against external factors like pathogens, toxins, and environmental stressors.

Research shows that a healthy balance of gut microbia is required for optimal skin health, creating metabolic and immune regulation, without that balance, unhealthy gut microbiota can exacerbate inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis (to name a few).

Still confused how the two connect?

There are several mechanisms explaining the gut-skin connection:

1. Inflammation

A healthy gut helps maintain a balanced immune response, preventing excessive inflammation throughout the body.

2. Gut microbiota

The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiota.

These microbes play a crucial role in maintaining gut health and influencing overall well-being, and certain harmful bacteria or an overgrowth of yeast in the gut can trigger inflammatory responses that manifest on the skin.

3. Intestinal permeability

The gut lining acts as a barrier, controlling the absorption of nutrients and preventing the entry of harmful substances and when the intestinal barrier becomes compromised (leaky gut syndrome), toxins and undigested food particles can leak into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and leading to skin inflammation and other skin problems.

4. Nutrient absorption

Proper digestion and absorption of nutrients are vital for overall health, including skin health.

A well-functioning gut ensures optimal absorption of key nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin.

To improve gut health and potentially alleviate certain skin conditions, consider the following:

1. Balanced diet

Consume a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to promote a diverse gut microbiota and ensures a steady supply of essential nutrients.

2. Probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of the gut microbiota.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Both can be obtained through supplements or certain foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

3. Avoid triggers

Identify and avoid any food or environmental triggers that worsen skin conditions.

Common triggers include processed foods, refined sugars, dairy products, gluten, and certain allergens.

4. Manage stress

We know, not so easy, but did you know that chronic stress can disrupt the gut-skin axis.

Try to engage in stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, and getting enough sleep to support both gut and skin health.

It's important to note that while improving gut health may have a positive impact on certain skin conditions, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, rather a small part of a much bigger puzzle.

Afterall, skin health is complex, and various factors like genetics, topical products (and their ingredients) and external influences, contribute to the skin's overall condition.

Looking for to make small manageable changes to your diet to boost your metabolic health and restore balance in the gut?

Mayella Organic have a delicious range of superfood blends that you can easily slip into a smoothie, bowl of yoghurt or take on their own.

We love the Acai Berry Beautiful for an extra boost of antioxidants, vitamin c and phytonutrients for radiant health inside and out.

Alkalise Green and Go is another go to for its detoxifying blend of chlorophyll and iodine, helping to switch on important digestive and metabolic processes.

Ready to start your skin health journey?

Book in for a complimentary skin consult, where we'll chat all things skin, diet and lifestyle habits and come up with the best course of treatment to restore balance within your skin and body.

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