Is your skin looking unhappy and inflamed? It might be time to surrender your arsenal of serums, and instead, take a serious look at your gut...
As Carla explains in The Beauty Chef Gut Guide, “almost all skin conditions are linked to gut health.” In science-speak, the relationship between your gut and your skin is commonly referred to as the gut-skin axis. This axis can be thought of as a sort of information highway that functions through the microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and yeasts that live in your gut. These bugs—otherwise known as microbes—are like microscopic messengers that send information between your belly and your skin.
But how do you know if your skin problems are caused by a couple of (trillion) misbehaving microbes?
Your Topicals Aren’t Performing
If you’ve been slathering on retinol, saying sayonara to dead skin cells and indulging in a weekly gua sha without results, it could be a sign that your problems are more than skin deep. Consider taking a mental note of any changes you’ve noticed in your digestive system over the last little while. Are you regularly bloated and uncomfortable? Do you suffer from indigestion and food sensitivities? Have your stools changed? These are all signs that something may be a little off-kilter in your gastrointestinal tract. And as we know, an imbalance in the gut is likely to be reflected in your complexion, which means your topicals are fighting a battle they can’t win.
You’re Feeling (and Looking) Inflamed
Does your eczema flare up at the mere thought of a potential trigger? Perhaps your psoriasis has been particularly persistent of late? While we always recommend seeking out the advice of your healthcare practitioner, the underlying cause of inflammatory skin conditions may be linked to food allergies or leaky gut syndrome. In fact, one study showed that people with rosacea symptoms are 13 times as likely to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). What’s more, an unhappy gut can also result in a weakened immune system, which means a greater risk of skin inflammation (cue: redness and itching) and damage to the skin’s protective barrier.
Your Hair and Nails Aren’t Happy
Your small intestine has an important role: to digest the food you eat and absorb all of the goodness (aka nutrients) you need to thrive. If you’re suffering from malabsorption issues, it means that your small intestine is having difficulty absorbing nutrients, which in turn, means your body has less available nutrient resources. This not only manifests in a dull and lacklustre complexion, but can also result in weak nails and brittle, lifeless hair. Conditions like SIBO, in which there’s an excess of bacteria residing in the small intestine, can cause malabsorption issues.
You’re Dealing with Elimination Frustration
Your liver sends processed chemicals to your bowels to be excreted, but if your bowels aren’t moving properly (as a result of an unhappy gut), toxins are retained in your body systems—including the lymphatics which sit just under the surface of your skin. When this happens, your skin attempts to pick up the slack by eliminating waste through your skin cells. And while it’s only doing its job, the outcome—dullness, pimples and acne—is far from ideal!
How To Boost Your Glow
Giving your gut a little extra support is one of the best ways to boost your glow—and it need not be complicated. Start by incorporating more gut-loving foods into your diet while also minimising the number of gut-irritants (think: sugar, alcohol, processed foods) you’re consuming on a regular basis. Ensure your diet is primarily made up of plant foods, clean proteins and healthy fats, all of which play a role in supporting your gut microbiome, and therefore, your skin. And finally, add a radiance-boosting supplement like GLOW Inner Beauty Essential into your day. This will not only help to feed and balance your microbes (thanks to the presence of prebiotics and probiotics) but also boost your natural collagen production and support your overall wellbeing, thanks to the addition of vitamin C and zinc.
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