How To Improve Gut Health for Visible Results in Your Skin
Our skin is our largest organ, so it’s a no brainer why our skin’s appearance relies heavily on the health of other parts of our bodies – especially our gut. More and more scientific studies have shown that our gut plays a crucial role in our health and our skin mood, which you can easily see through an acne face map. It’s a simple equation: a healthy immune system + a healthy gut = thriving skin. But, how do you achieve crazy good gut health? Let’s spill (our guts) on the topic!
What is Gut Health and Why Does it Matter?
According to gut health expert, Cara Oates, in an interview with Byrdie, your gut is where 70 percent of your immune system lies. It’s where we:
- make nutrients
- metabolize hormones
- detoxify enzymes
- neutralize pathogens
- make neurotransmitters
As you can see, it’s ~really~ important to get your gut health in check to boost your immune system and see visible changes in your skin. Recently, scientists have found links between gut health and eczema, acne, and rosacea, so gut health is a lot more prevalent in our day-to-day lives than you thought. It’s even been proven that those of us skin-thusiasts with acne and rosacea can be ten times more likely to have gut issues and that 34 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, show skin manifestations (1). That’s right – it’s all linked.
How is Gut Health Connected to Your Skin?
If you’re on the quest for visible skin changes, look no further. The way to thriving skin is through your stomach! Like we said earlier, our skin is our largest organ, so it’s one of the major systems in our bodies that expels toxins and waste from the inside. It’s also our first line of defense against any harmful bacteria and pathogens (1).
As Oates stated in her interview with Byrdie, the gut and skin “enjoy a constant dialogue via the gut-skin axis”. In other words, symptoms of gut health issues can typically show on the skin when our gut microbiome becomes unbalanced. If you’re experiencing issues with gut inflammation or digestion, odds are the first place you’ll notice the problem is on your skin.
Now you see why gut health is a major topic for discussion – even the best topical treatments and products on the market can’t always fix what’s going on in the guts. Sometimes, we have to work from the inside out.
Tips to Improve Your Gut Health for Visible Results
You might’ve already had a gut feeling about how important food is to your gut health – and you’d be right! Eating a balanced, whole-food, nutrient-dense, intuitive diet is a key step towards improving your gut health. To get some meal ideas, you can fill up on fiber-rich fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats to please your gut. As a bonus, you’ll notice the significant changes it has on your skin. Hell yes!
When it comes to restoring an out-of-order gut, we’re big fans of probiotics. If you’re not sure what a probiotic is, it’s good, live bacteria we can get through supplements to support our gut and immune system. And when we target those two things, we can see some great changes in our skin mood, too. Going off our first tip, you can also eat foods rich in probiotics, like fermented foods. Hello, kimchi!
When our gut feels under attack, our body can ramp up the stress response a couple of notches to help us get ready to fight off any issues. To best boost your immune system, rewarding your body with helpful vitamins is a necessary step. Some skin-supporting vitamins and minerals you can check out are A, C, E, K2, B3, and B5 vitamins, along with selenium, zinc, omega-3 fats, and silica (2).
4. Sleep and Fitness:
Sorry to throw another equation at you, but gut health + inner wellness = badass skin results. So, while you’re getting your balanced diet in check, treat yo’ self in other ways! That means: get your beauty rest and if you want, get sweating with a regular fitness routine that works for you. A sufficient sleep and fitness schedule will keep your whole body operating healthily while you take care of business with your gut (3).
5. Stress Levels:
While it may seem easier said than done, taking care of yourself also means getting your stress under control. Chronic high levels of stress are hard on your mental health of course, but they’re also hard on your body, including your gut. (Ever had a killer stomach ache before a test you crammed for or before an important interview?) To lower your stress levels and give your gut a break, you can always meditate, go for a walk, spend time with friends or family, decrease your caffeine intake, draw/paint, or even take up yoga (4).
6. Food Intolerances:
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, nausea, fatigue, acid reflux, IBS, or other forms of digestion issues, odds are you might be suffering from food intolerance (4). Whether it be dairy or something else causing the issue, try eliminating trigger foods to see if your symptoms improve. If you can identify the food(s) that are giving your gut grief, you’ll most likely see a positive difference in your skin, too.
Our gut health and our skin health go hand in hand, so why not make your gut health a priority. Besides finding a skincare ritual that works for you, making your gut your best friend until you feel your best can do wonders. Working from the inside out is key, so always make sure to take care of the way you feel inside just as much as you put in the effort to show love to your outside.
Written by Selena Ponton