Healthy skin starts with a healthy gut. The health of your intestinal cells is connected to the health of your entire body.
Often, people who are trying to get clearer, more vibrant skin focus on:
- Expensive cosmetic products
- Moisturizers from the top brands
- Cutting edge anti-aging technology
- Getting facials every few weeks
- Botox therapy
And they completely overlook the real root of where healthy skin begins. Moisturizers, cosmetics, facials, and anti-aging technology has its place, but building healthy skin starts with building a healthy gut and building healthy collagen cells. The other stuff is often just masking the symptoms of poor skin health, instead of taking a holistic approach to actually generate healthy skin cells.
If you have oily skin, for example, you might actually just have a gut issue that is causing your skin to overproduce oil. If you have dry skin, you may actually have an issue that is causing a lack of oil production. While exfoliation and hygiene are certainly important, true skin health starts at a cellular level.
When you have an issue in your gut, it will create issues with your skin. Leaky gut, for example is a common digestive issue that can create an autoimmune response that may result in breakouts and rashes on the surface of the skin. People that have leaky gut often have visual signs you can see in their face. These signs are described by estheticians as dehydrated cells, or cells that leak vital intracellular water.
Just as an issue in the gut causes an issue with skin, a healthy gut will allow your body to produce healthy skin cells.
Our recommendations for optimizing your skin health:
- Build a healthy gut lining and restore balance in the gut microbiome with our Complete GI Protocol. Our Complete GI Protocol provides the essential nutrients to help you rebuild your gut microbiome, feed beneficial bacteria in the gut, repair damaged tissue, and rebuild your gut lining with.† It also comes with an in-depth guide that is packed with information on dietary and lifestyle tips for building a healthy gut environment.
- Build healthy collagen with our Vegan Collagen Precursor Bundle. Animal based collagen is difficult for the body to use. It is far more effective to take the specific nutrients that allow your body to generate its own collagen naturally. The body requires up to 2,000mg of Lysine, 1000mg of Proline, 1000mg of Vitamin C and 1000mg of B vitamins per day for collagen synthesis. Our complete plant-based collagen protocol includes each of these nutrients in the right doses necessary for the body to produce the supply of collagen it needs to maintain younger looking vibrant skin.† And its formulated in a nano-free form that allows for maximum nutrient absorption. This protocol also comes with a free guide for dietary and lifestyle tips to boost collagen health.
- Exfoliate your skin daily. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This can be done mechanically and with certain exfoliating products, and helps to prevent your pores from getting clogged.
- Keep your skin moisturized. A good moisturizer like our Biodynamic Face & Body Mist will help to rejuvenate, tone, balance and hydrate your skin. We recommend pairing our organic face mist with our Glow & Protect Day Cream products to increase the therapeutic healing potential.
- Eat nutrient dense foods. The body relies on nutrients daily to stay healthy. There are many processes involved in keeping your skin, tissues and organs in good health. Though collagen and gut health play important roles, it is also important to make sure you get the essential macronutrients (such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Eating a nutrient dense diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, legumes, and whole grains will help your body stay healthy and will support healthy skin.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fight off oxidation in the body caused by unstable electrons known as free radicals. We are exposed to thousands of free radicals on a daily basis, and we need to eat antioxidant rich foods in order to protect our cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. Oxidation is a major cause of inflammation and poor skin health. Therefore, eating antioxidant rich foods can help protect your skin and keep it healthy. Most fruits are high in antioxidants, especially berries. Dark purple-colored foods like wild blueberries, acai berries, beets, and black beans are all high in a particular group of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which are especially helpful for fighting oxidation.
- Keep inflammation levels low. Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of damage to collagen, gut health and skin health. You can make a major difference in your skin health by keeping inflammation levels low. This can be done by avoiding the factors that cause inflammation and by consuming anti-inflammatory foods. Curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, is perhaps the most anti-inflammatory compound in the world. Unfortunately, however, the curcumin compound is difficult for the body to absorb. Our Liposomal Curcumin Tonic solves this issue of absorption through liposomal technology that allows the curcumin compound to be absorbed immediately by the body, working right away to shut off inflammation.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure is a common cause of damage to collagen. While sun exposure also helps us produce vitamin D and is important for our health, it's important to be moderate in our sun exposure and to protect our skin from long-term exposure. Be careful with average sunscreens however as they often contain toxic chemicals that will do your skin more harm than good. It is better to opt for an alternative form of sun protection like our Glow & Protect Day Cream that contains important skin-protecting nutrients.
- Get adequate sleep each night. Getting quality sleep is essential for so many body processes. Without it, our body, and our collagen health suffers. Poor sleep has been linked to increased signs of aging and more dark eye circles, wrinkles and fine lines. To keep collagen levels healthy, make sure you are getting adequate rest each night, ideally 7-8 hours or more.
- Stay hydrated. Hydration is another essential component of health, especially skin health. Dehydration can cause wrinkles and fine lines to begin to appear on the skin. Everyone has different needs when it comes to how much water they should drink on a regular basis. In general, however, The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Equally important to water quantity, is water quality. Make sure to avoid tap water and bottled water and drink the highest quality filtered water that you can find. It is also recommended to add minerals in your water for optimal health, such as the minerals in our Fulvic Acid & Trace Ocean Minerals.
Why Is Gut Health Important for Skin Health?
To really understand the importance of the gut-skin connection, and why having a healthy gut is important for skin health, you need to understand the process of digestion. To put it simply:
- As soon as we eat food, it is broken down in our mouth and mixed with enzyme-rich saliva.
- It then travels down the esophagus where it enters in the stomach, and is then broken down by hydrochloric acid (HCL).
- Next, the broken-down food enters into the jejunum, the upper part of the small intestine, where it is mixed with bile from the gallbladder and liver, as well as enzymes from the pancreas to be broken down even further.
- It then moves to the ileum, the lower part of the small intestine, where the nutrients from the broken-down food are then absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
- Once in the bloodstream, the nutrients from the broken-down food are assimilated throughout the body to all of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs—including the skin.
Now, imagine if the food wasn’t broken down well enough to be absorbed by the small intestine—perhaps because of weak HCL, or gut inflammation, or the food was poorly chewed, or there is an enzyme deficiency, or there is a microbial infection of some kind, or an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Whatever the cause, if the gut is impaired, and the nutrients aren’t digested properly, then they can’t be absorbed properly. Therefore, they cannot be assimilated to the cells, tissues, and organs, and they become weak and unhealthy as a result.
Leaky Gut and Skin Connection
Now, you can likely imagine just how detrimental it may be for not just your skin health, but for every organ in your body, to not receive the necessary nutrients needed due to poor gut health. But let’s take this a step further.
Imagine that the intestinal wall that allows nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream developed tiny holes in it. These holes, or gaps, would allow toxins, bacteria, and antigens, that should pass on to the large intestine to leak through into the bloodstream instead. Now, instead of nutrients being assimilated to the body’s cells, harmful toxins are being distributed as well.
This is a condition known as “leaky gut,” or “intestinal permeability,” and it is at the root of many health issues, including poor skin health. A leaky gut skin rash can develop as a result of toxins being distributed to the skin. Leaky gut creates widespread inflammation throughout the body, leading to skin rashes, acne, and numerous other health issues.
Gut Health and Eczema
Eczema is one type of leaky gut rash that can manifest from this widespread inflammation. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, itchy skin, rashes, scaly patches, blisters and skin infections. There is evidence that gut health is a major factor in both the cause and treatment of eczema.
Gut Health and Psoriasis
Psoriasis is another type of leaky gut rash that can manifest from widespread inflammation. Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. According to Medical News Today, “a growing body of evidence suggests that an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, or gastrointestinal dysbiosis, can cause psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.” A study done in 2015 observed that people with psoriasis tended to also have less diversity in their gut microbiota than healthy individuals.
Gut Health and Rosacea
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes blushing or flushing and visible blood vessels in your face. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, however, one large clinical study in Denmark found that a high number of adults with rosacea also had gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This points to a direct link to rosacea and gut health.
Gut Health and Acne
Similar to other skin conditions, acne and gut health are also commonly linked. The immune reaction caused by leaky gut, for example, may contribute to acne. It also allows bacteria from the gut to travel directly to the skin, which can be disrupting to the skin equilibrium and lead to acne. The acne gut health connection is also attributed to an excess of toxins that are unable to be processed by a poor functioning digestive system. Instead of being filtered by the liver, toxins may be pushed out through the skin, leading to acne and other skin rashes.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as in Ayurvedic Medicine, practitioners often use a “face-map” that allows them to track where in the body there is an issue based on which area of the face has a breakout. They have areas for large intestine acne, small intestine acne, liver acne, and many other areas of the face connected to the digestive system—suggesting that even thousands of years ago, when these systems were developed, health practitioners were aware of the gut skin connection.
Microbiome Balance and Skin Connection
Fundamental to the health of our gut, and therefore our skin, is the health of our gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the community of trillions of microorganisms that live inside our intestinal tract. They help maintain and support many functions in the body, including digestion, immunity, mood, mental health, and more. When there is an imbalance in the gut, known as dysbiosis, it can cause many issues in the body, including in the skin. A SIBO skin rash, such as psoriasis for example, can develop from an imbalance in the gut that allows for the overgrowth of small intestinal bacterial. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can also allow organisms like Candida or parasites to colonize the gut, which can lead to a Candida skin rash or parasite skin rash.
According to research published in the National Library of Medicine: “The microbiome plays an important role in a wide variety of skin disorders. Not only is the skin microbiome altered, but also surprisingly many skin diseases are accompanied by an altered gut microbiome.” Researchers often refer to the skin and gut health connection as the gut-skin axis, drawing a direct link to the gut microbiome and the skin microbiome.
As we can see, many different skin rashes—eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, etc.—can be linked back to the gut. Whatever your skin issue may be, supporting a healthy gut is an essential place to address it.
Healthy skin starts with a healthy gut. When your gut isn’t healthy, it can cause gut inflammation, can prevent nutrient absorption, can create an imbalance in the gut microbiome, and can cause leaky gut—each of which contribute to a whole range of issues in the body.
When your digestion is impaired, you don’t properly absorb the nutrition from your food, and your skin doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to be healthy. When you have leaky gut, it can allow toxins and bacteria to enter into your bloodstream that are then spread the skin—contributing to acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. When you have dysbiosis, it allows harmful organisms to grow in the gut that impair important body functions like digestion and immunity.
As you can see, if you really want to have healthy skin, you have to start from within. No real skin care routine is complete without addressing the health of your gut. While moisturizers, cosmetics, facials, and anti-aging technology has its place, building healthy skin starts with building a healthy gut and building healthy collagen cells.
Follow the steps laid out in this article for a holistic approach to skin care, and consider optimizing your skin health by utilizing our Complete GI Protocol to repair leaky gut and rebuild a healthy gut environment, as well as our Collagen Builder Bundle to enhance collagen production. †
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048199/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27501017/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916842/