Yes, Gut Health = Skin Health! 5 Tips to Glow From Within
Your body has multiple different systems that are all working at the same time. However, contrary to popular belief, these systems do not work independently from each other - rather they work together to provide a bigger picture of how your body is functioning. Your skin is no different. Oftentimes, the skin is one of the first places that show subtle signs of something going on inside. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and is a major source of elimination. Skin issues such as blemishes and acne can be a direct result of digestive or hormonal problems.
The connection may seem strange - but having a healthy gut promotes radiant skin, among other things. Gut health is vital because it promotes a healthy immune system, and a strong mind. This is because the gut is where 70% of our immune system lies, it metabolizes vital nutrients and hormones, and plays an important role in creating neurotransmitters and protecting against pathogens. Keeping a healthy gut microbiome - a colony of good bacteria that lines the organs of the digestive system - is key to boosting glow and healing inflamed skin.
As a rule of thumb, we should aim for a predominance of good gut bacteria over the bad bacteria, including pathogens. An abundance of bad bacteria in the gut can contribute significantly to skin problems - from acne, rosacea, premature ageing of the skin, lacklustre skin and poor energy levels amongst other health and beauty issues. Studies show that there is a strong link between gut inflammation and skin inflammation. Studies also show that having a healthier gut microbiome may lead to a healthier fatty acid profile in the skin, which contributes to the skin being more moisturized, hydrated and protected.
Ultimately, if we're not getting enough nutrients, or digesting our food properly due to poor gut health, our skin won't receive the nutrition it needs to support it. Here are some simple ways to promote healthy digestion and healthy skin:
1. Gut- Supporting Foods and Supplements
The food we eat can be daily medicine, as well as a daily beauty treatment. Fibre, antioxidants and probiotics can help heal the gut and reduce inflammation throughout the body - including the skin. The aim is to support our gut by reducing toxins and inflammation, boosting immunity and encouraging elimination through the foods that we eat. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting these essential nutrients. There are several foods that exist that naturally contain probiotics, which are crucial for good digestive health.
Studies show that consuming lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and miso, can influence both mood and acne by reducing systemic inflammation, and probiotics can help eliminate disease-promoting pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Taking a daily probiotic can also be beneficial for gut health, just make sure that there is a large amount of different strains to ensure full coverage.
2. Increase Water Intake
Drinking water helps flush out toxins and promotes healthy elimination, which in turn removes all of the toxins, old hormones and waste. Hydrated body also means hydrated skin - which improves glow and skin elasticity. Drinking warm water with lemon every morning on an empty stomach is an amazing way to kick start digestion and support the liver and the skin.
3. Focus On Healthy Elimination
Keeping track is important because oftentimes we don’t notice patterns of elimination until there is a problem. Start with the foods that you are eating - are they supporting you or taking away from healthy elimination?
4. Move Your Body
Moving your body regularly is key because the movement helps to trigger your body to keep things moving. Regular sweating helps to detoxify the body of many toxins. It also helps by opening and unclogging the pores and raising circulation, as well as a great way to reduce stress levels - another skin wrecker.
Stress is one of the worst contributors to poor health, and skin health is no different. Practises such as yoga, meditation, walking, journaling and loving and being kind to yourself can all help encourage beneficial flora.
The Bottom Line
Your skin is a reflection of your overall health. When your life is in balance - getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, having healthy elimination, hormones are balanced and stress is managed, your skin glows. It becomes radiant because it is connected to every other part of your body. At Afiya Beauty, we are dedicated to providing skincare that complements a healthy lifestyle. We believe that good quality skincare comes hand in hand with daily wellness practises, to have beauty from the inside out.