When it comes to skincare, experts agree that sunscreen, moisturizer, and exfoliation, plus drinking tons of water, are skin-friendly measures. Here’s what you don’t often hear: What lies under the skin, and specifically in your gut, might have the greatest effect on your skin’s health and appearance.
That’s right—if the bacteria populating your gut is out of balance, all the sunscreen, moisturizer, and hydration in the world will be ineffective in protecting your skin from damage. To get the most out of your products, build a summer skincare plan that starts with a thorough evaluation of your gut microbiome.
The Gut-Skin Axis: The Oft-Ignored Secret to Great (or Bad) Skin
The Gut-Skin Axis describes the connection between the health of your gut and the health of your skin. Most people may not even realize the two are connected.
The journal Frontiers in Microbiology explains that the microbiome in your gut can cause inflammatory disorders as well as conditions that have long been the bane of those seeking radiant summer skin—acne, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis (AD), among others.
If your gastrointestinal system is besieged by bad bacteria, you can expect your skin to reflect this imbalance. To put it simply: Glowing skin requires a healthy gut.
How Do I Achieve Better Gut Health So That My Skin Can Glow This Summer?
Several factors can determine the health of your gut microbiome, including:
- Your Diet: Poor gut health can be the result of a nutrient-poor diet, while good gut health comes from eating foods rich in gut-friendly nutrients.
- Your Lifestyle: Our bodies are interconnected ecosystems. Getting too little sleep, burning the candle too hot at work, and facing unsustainable levels of stress may all disrupt your gut microbiome.
- The Current Makeup of Bacteria in Your Gut: A healthy gut microbiome always contains some “bad” bacteria. The good bacteria is always dominant, though. When the good and bad struggle for power, the problems begin,
Fortunately, you can address each of these factors. Many fruits and vegetables, as well as other foods, are known to promote gut health. Food rich in probiotics are particularly conducive to a healthy gut.
Making a conscious effort to change your lifestyle in a way that helps you manage stress—like getting to sleep earlier and adopting stress-relieving habits—may also provide skin-specific benefits.
Yes, You Should Continue to Moisturize, Use Sunscreen, and Take Care of Your Skin—Just Don’t Forget About Your Gut
To be clear, we are not suggesting that you forego your usual skincare routine. Sunscreen, hats, moisturizer, and other skincare measures are as important this summer as they’ve ever been. However, you must first consider your gut if you want to look and feel your best this summer.
Specifically, consider adding probiotics into your skincare regimen. For more information about the power of probiotics, check out this brief article.
Mayer, Beth Ann. Reviewed by Reema Patel. “The Ultimate Summer Skin Care Routine in 8 Simple Steps,” Healthline, July 6, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/the-ultimate-summer-skin-care-routine-in-8-simple-steps
Salem, Iman, et al. “The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis.” Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 9 1459. July 10, 2018. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459/full
Robertson, Ruairi. Reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick. “9 Ways to Improve Your Gut Bacteria, Based on Science,” Healthline, August 5, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/improve-gut-bacteria