If you had a penny for every time you heard “you are what you eat” how rich would you be right now? Well, let’s boost your net worth an extra penny by reaffirming this age-old belief. You really are what you consume. And, one way your “true self” shows is through your skin. You know what we’re talking about: that horrible breakout appears, ruining your life and spilling the secrets of your late night junk food binge. We have all had it but not many of us understand the gut-skin connection that gets us there.
This principle is one that has been subject to a great deal of research over the years. Though there are many different theories floating around to explain it, the results are undeniable.
What you eat has a great impact on the health of your skin. However, food is just one part of the recipe. So no, it is not always your fault and that bag of chips you had may not have caused the breakout in the first place.
That’s where the gut-skin axis comes in. What is the gut-skin axis? Simply put, the functions of your digestive system have an effect on the overall health of your skin. But, there’s a little more to it…
Sometimes, it is the intricate processes in your gut that fall out of balance leading to the changes in your skin. In order to understand all this, we need to explore how it is that the skin and the gut actually interact.
- Bacteria and the microbiome: Your skin is the largest organ of your body and home to millions of bacteria and when this bacteria is in balance it contributes to healthy, glowing skin. Your gut is your inner layer of defense representing roughly 70% of your immune system–along with trillions of friendly bacteria that make up your gut microbiome. While your gut is helping to protect you against illness and keep the toxins clear, your skin is working to eliminate the waste that is a result of the battles taking place in your gut. In other words, it’s the bacteria and bacteria by-products that make up this connection. Your bacteria and bacterial by-products are connected with your endocrine system, metabolism and immune system. When those systems are not working correctly, it can greatly affect your overall health (and typically shows itself as a skin issue). Now, we’re not saying your gut is to blame for every blemish and rash you might get, but it’s something to be aware of when it comes to healthy skin.
- Absorption of nutrients: The skin relies on nutrients like collagen and vitamins to stay healthy. This is what gives it that beautiful glow and much needed elasticity for the youthful effect. If anything upsets this supply of nutrients, things may take a turn for the worse. Absorption can be upset either by the lack of these nutrients in the diet or by other imbalances in the gut. With the former, eating all junk and no fruits and veggies is what will land you in trouble. With the latter, it could be that your gut needs a little TLC and rebalancing.
- Getting rid of waste: Another important connection between the two is waste elimination. The gut is basically your body’s trash collection and elimination department– among its many other duties. If it fails to do its job, the toxins and waste go exploring and find new homes in other systems. One of these is the skin. For this reason, gut health is the foundation for skin health.
Maintaining this ever-important connection
You can take a breather now. We’re done with all the science talk. Now onto the fun stuff; what exactly can you do to improve your gut and skin health? Well, glad you asked. Here are a few tips that should definitely come in handy.
- Practice a whole foods-based diet. Ditch the fake foods (chips, candy, ice cream…) and focus on consuming a diet rich in whole foods, foods that haven’t been processed or have been minimally processed (legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, meat and so on…).
- Hydrate with high-quality H20. Shoot for at least half of your body weight in ounces per day, our bodies depend on quality hydration. (So, if you weigh 150 lbs, then shoot for 75 ounces of water per day.) Water helps keep the skin nice, supple and flexible. In addition to that, it helps your gut with its elimination process.
- Replenish digestive enzymes. Supplement with digestive enzymes daily. Enzymes help us break down and assimilate the foods we eat. In other words, they help convert those whole foods we are consuming into materials necessary to nourish the skin and run the body.
- Rebuild friendly bacteria. Supplement with probiotics daily. These friendly bacteria help keep us healthy in more ways than one. And, as we discussed, help maintain this important gut skin connection.
- Boost nutrient intake. Have you ever heard of organic Wild Microalgae®? It’s a rare type of blue-green algae that contains an extraordinary nutrient profile. In fact, it’s a near-perfect food filled with all 20 standard amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phenylethylamine (PEA), and antioxidant pigments phycocyanin and chlorophyll.
Nourishing your body and skin from the inside out, it’s what we call living the #NewEarthLife! Ready to take your wellness and skincare into your own hands? Try Essentials, our complete gut support packet filled with superfoods, enzymes, and probiotics, risk-free with our empty box guarantee and join us on our next 30 Day Gut Reboot, a family of techniques designed to support a healthy gut and a healthy you. It’s about sustainable daily habits that support a healthy gut, healthy skin and a healthy life