The Gut, Brain, Skin connection

Written by Daisy Osborne 

Have you ever been troubled by skin inflammation be it acne, eczema, rosacea? Or wake up one morning after using the same skincare products for weeks only to find that your skin has become sensitive and the products burn? This is because your skin is the window to your overall health. The gut, brain and skin are all intimately connected with many skin disorders starting in the gut and closely linked to stress. 

Beauty sleep has superpowers. When the quality or quantity of sleep is compromised your brain registers this as stress. Cortisol is a hormone response that increases due to stress which stops the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and lipids. The skin becomes dryer and more prone to wrinkles. When there are not enough lipids (fatty acids in charge of moisture) the skins natural barrier is compromised. This is called ‘Leaky skin’ and causes inflammation leading to chronic skin disorders.  

Everyone can be guilty of comfort eating when stressed but repeating this habit frequently can lead to Dysbiosis also known as ‘Leaky gut’ syndrome. This is where digestion slows and becomes stagnated changing the bacteria in the gut microbiome. Leaky gut can also cause inflammation to the skin; people with irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to have skin disorders such as psoriasis and acne. 

Glowing skin starts in your gut. A diverse diet increases your chances of gaining essential vitamins and minerals. Experts recommend feeding your gut microflora with prebiotic foods such as leeks, asparagus, bananas and probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir. Foods with a high glycemic index such as sugar, bread and potatoes should be avoided as they damage the skin by spiking blood sugar levels, binding to collagen and causing destruction. 

Probiotic infused skincare has exploded in recent years. The bigger the diversity of bacteria, the healthier the skin barrier will be keeping it plump and dewy. Bakuchiol is a new probiotic rival to retinol. It has similar qualities to the wonder ingredient such as collagen production, cell renewal, fine lines, brightness and pigmentation. However, unlike retinol it calms inflamed skin and can use during pregnancy. Prescriptive skincare to focus on is postbiotic antimicrobial peptides. These good bugs act as little missiles to kill bad bugs on the skins surface keeping acne at bay.  

Nourish your skin using aloe, jojoba oil or hyaluronic acid to repair and replenish your skin barrier. Massage your face when applying products to turn skincare into selfcare. Take a minute to boost your circulation and lymphatic drainage. You can easily trigger a relaxation response by changing your breath. Breathing stops emotional stress translating into physical inflammation. Transform your complexion by nurturing your gut, brain and skin connection.  

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