Gut Health and Acne: How Your Skin is Linked to Your Gut Health
Waking up to a fresh pimple can be stressful. Unfortunately, problematic skin is all too common for teens, and adults can struggle with this pesky issue as well. Addressing acne with topical treatments may help in part but digging deeper to the root is essential. Read on for a better understanding of why improving gut health can lead to that clear, radiant skin you can’t wait to show off.
What's the link between gut health and acne?
To understand this important link, it is important to first look at gut health. The ‘gut microbiome’ refers to the many microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) living within the digestive tract. These bacteria play a critical role in digesting food and making sure dietary nutrients are properly absorbed. Gut health is very closely linked with a number of functions and systems including digestion, brain function, weight control, hormones, and yes, even skin health.
Skin looking angry and inflamed? There is a good chance your gut needs some TLC. There is a direct relationship between the gut microbiome and skin health often referred to as the “gut skin axis.” When bacteria in the GI tract becomes unbalanced, dysbiosis occurs and the intestinal barrier is weakened. This often leads to increased intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut) when these inflammatory compounds move from the gut to the bloodstream. This can then stir up an immune response which can lead to inflammation on the skin. A gut imbalance like this can set off the release of cytokines, inflammatory messengers that contribute to acne.
How to promote gut health
Practice makes perfect and cultivating healthy habits is important for creating a sustainable routine. By taking inventory of sleep, dietary choices, and your current supplementation, improving gut health (and your skin!) might be easier than you think.
Choosing the right products for gut health is also essential. With 100 billion probiotics and a plethora of gut-healing ingredients, Vibrant Health’s Digestive Vibrance is a great place to begin. This unique powder formula is designed to relieve problematic digestive discomfort and increase regularity. With carefully curated ingredients and soothing botanical extracts such as ginger root and gingko biloba, this powder provides ample nutritional and digestive support for the body to heal itself. Simply begin by mixing one scoop of Digestive Vibrance into 8 oz. of water or your favorite beverage.
Ways to improve gut health:
- Consume less inflammatory foods: Diet appears to be one of the most important factors in repairing gut health. Eating a nutrient dense diet of fruits and vegetables is key for getting enough fiber as well as polyphenols – a beneficial plant chemical shown to reduce inflammation in the body. It is important to limit highly processed fried food, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and red meat as these promote high levels of inflammation, often the starting place for disease and many other skin issues.
- Get enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep can also take quite a toll on gut health. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Good sleep is imperative for systems within the body (including the digestive system) to repair, heal, and function at optimal levels. Too little sleep can greatly increase stress and cortisol levels in the body as well as cause hormone disruptions which often lead to changes to the gut microbiome. This stress can lead to more inflammation which can then lead to excess oil production, and you guessed it, breakouts, and acne.
- Take a high-quality probiotic product: Choosing high-quality products infused with probiotics can make all the difference. With a plethora of digestive benefits, probiotics are made of beneficial, good bacteria that the body needs to function well. Vibrant Health offers a variety of probiotic-enriched products for countless needs. Max Vibrance boasts of 25 billion probiotics and can serve as a delicious chocolate or vanilla meal replacement shake throughout the day. With 20 grams of plant-based protein, an organic multi-vitamin, and added antioxidants, Max Vibrance can serve as a “one stop shop” for a variety of nutritional needs. For those dealing with more severe digestive ailments or issues, Digestive Vibrance is recommended due to its higher and more concentrated probiotic count.
- Prioritize stress management: Finding ways to manage daily stress is key. Studies have shown that prolonged stress can have very adverse effects on the body and the digestive system including cramping, bloating, and increased inflammation. It is important to identify life factors contributing to stress and find ways to decrease it. Common ways to nurture a less stressful life include: getting your workout on, going for a walk, seeing a therapist, or practicing daily meditation.
How a gut-healthy diet improves your skin
With inflammation often being the starting place for many skin issues, including acne, being mindful of what you eat is important. Though limiting inflammatory foods can be the first step, it is key to fill your diet with the right things. A great place to begin is with whole foods and veggies which are less likely to trigger inflammation. Reaching for deeply colored berries such as blueberries or raspberries as well as dark, leafy greens such as kale or broccoli are simple ways to make your diet more colorful and nutrient dense.
Certain veggies, fruits, and whole grains can also be excellent sources of prebiotic fibers. Bananas, oats, tomatoes, and asparagus are a few examples of this. These important fibers can help stimulate the growth of good bacteria and protect gut health. Prebiotics and fermentable fibers have also been added to various Vibrant Health products including Digestive Vibrance.
While gut health is likely not the main source of acne, it can certainly be considered a strong contributing factor. If the balance of bacteria in the gut is out of whack, it is likely going to show up on your skin. Supplementing with probiotics, reducing daily lifestyle stress, and making healthy food choices are significant ways to encourage optimal gut health and uncover clear, glowing skin!