Our naturopath's guide to the skin-gut connection
Skin that’s dry, dull, breaking out, or just straight-up unhappy – it's frustrating to deal with, we know!
Especially when it feels like there’s no amount of lotions, serums, or treatments that will actually make a difference.
Here’s the thing – your skin may not actually be to blame for your skin problems. Instead, it could be your gut that’s stirring up trouble.
To explain, our in-house naturopath, Rach, is here to shed some light on the skin-gut connection and how you can improve your skin by caring for your gut.
What is the skin-gut connection?
“Your skin and gut are in constant communication via chemical signals sent from the gut microbiome."
"The unique and intimate relationship between the skin and the gut is referred to as the skin-gut axis. The idea is that the skin and the gut sit on a shared sliding scale – and unhappy skin is usually a sign of an unhappy gut,” says Rach.
Top ways the skin and gut are connected
1. Toxin elimination
A healthy gut and digestive system is essential for proper toxin elimination via the bowels.
If your digestive system is sluggish or not performing as it should, these toxins won’t exit your body as they should – and this is bad news for your skin.
“1-2 bowel motions per day can support optimal toxin and waste elimination. Without this, your body can reabsorb these toxins and often, your body will attempt to excrete them through its largest organ – your skin. This often shows up as rosacea, eczema, breakouts, or other skin problems."
2. Your gut wall
The gut wall is responsible for absorbing “good” dietary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals into your bloodstream and preventing nasty toxins from being absorbed. The problem is when the junctions that keep the gut wall tightly joined, become loose.
“When gut junctions become loose, waste products and bacteria can leak into your bloodstream and circulate around your body – potentially causing them to be excreted through your skin!”
Rach says that the causes of a compromised gut wall are most likely to be: overuse of antibiotics, infection, poor diet, or other lifestyle factors – like drinking too much alcohol.
How to support your skin-gut health
According to Rach, if you don’t address your gut’s health, your chances of achieving glowing skin are slim.
“Every client I’ve had who has presented with skin problems – their gut health was the key driver. Even with all the top skincare products, if you don’t improve your gut health – your skin health will continue to suffer,” says Rach.
But here’s the good news: Supporting your gut health is easier than you think. To align your skin and gut, all it takes is a few small daily updates.
Gear your gut to absorb nutrients
To get the most out of your food, equip your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to properly absorb the nutrients from your food.
Stomach acid is one of the essential elements needed to optimally absorb dietary nutrients. However, as we get older, our bodies produce less stomach acid. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re consuming things that support your stomach acid production and digestion, like: black pepper, zinc, and ginger.
Consume more pre- and probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that keep your gut (and your skin) healthy.
Different strains of probiotics provide different functions – some are focused on the large intestine and others are targeted towards the small intestine.
While there’s still a lot that’s unknown in regards to which specific probiotic strains target which areas, Rach believes the key to keeping your gut healthy is variety.
“It’s essential to get a good mix of different pre- and probiotics. Prebiotics fuel probiotics and fortunately, they occur naturally in many foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains”
“However, probiotic-rich foods aren’t as common in the average diet – mostly occurring in fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, and kefir. To increase your probiotic intake, you can try slowly increasing these foods in your diet. You could also consider a supplement – which is certainly the easiest way to get a therapeutic dose of probiotics.”
Eat a variety of fruit and veges
To support your skin and gut health, eat a diverse range of plant foods.
“It's all about getting a wide variety of fruit and veges in your diet. If you usually eat Granny Smith apples, try a Red Delicious apple. The different species can diversify your gut flora and improve your overall gut and skin health,” says Rach.
Rach's advice: start small
Just like Rome, optimal gut and skin health can’t be built in a day.
But with small daily adjustments, your skin and gut could be a whole lot happier in just a few weeks.
“You don’t need to transform overnight to notice a difference. If you like, start with a probiotic supplement, by adding a new vege into your weekly grocery shop, or popping some ginger into your morning juice. Stick with these small updates and you’ll notice a difference sooner than you think!”
Psst… Hi, I’m Rach!
Naturopath | Dog Mum | Ray of sunshine
As Mister Jones’s resident naturopath, I’m passionate about helping women improve their health and get more out of life.
If you ever have a question about our range, want to discuss your unique health circumstances, or you just want to say hi? You can always reach me at [email protected] – I’d love to hear from you!
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