The Gut-Skin Axis.

I’ll start off by asking you this – have you ever had a breakout or some sort of skin condition that has made you that little bit self conscious? 

I’d be surprised if you said no. 

Our generations evolving – we live in a world where there are more people sleeping with their phones than sharing it with a partner or spouse. Selfies and social media has become the norm, that the saying “if you didn’t upload a selfie did it even happen?” is a thing. The scary thing is that there are actually hundreds of editing apps now available to download such as skin enhancement or face smoothing features – but why on earth do we need this? 

It goes without saying that with this generation continually evolving and social media rapidly rising comes forms of comparison to those around us, to how we once looked in our adolescent years, were even comparing ourselves to edited images online without realizing it. Fact is, your beauty spots, wrinkles, breakouts, rashes and more are apart of life itself. Embrace your beauty! But also know, there are definitely ways of managing skin conditions for optimal healthy skin all day, every day. 

Having healthy skin is probably one of the best things for your body – inside and out. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It protects all of our internal organs from external threats like environmental pollutants, UV rays and microorganisms. 

In fact, our skin absorbs everything we expose it to including products, which can ultimately affect your gut health… so if you’re someone who has had any ongoing gut troubles and skin problems, the two could actually be more closely linked than you might think. 

Sometimes when problem skin conditions do not respond well to skin care treatments, the source of the issue may actually be in the gut. Gut problems and indigestion can actually affect the way your body retains the nutrients found in your diet, leading to poor absorption of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to keep skin looking healthy and potentially worsening existing skin conditions. 

As mentioned before, our skin protect us from pollution, UV rays and other environmental toxins but too much of these exposures can ultimately affect your gut health, which can create significant reactive oxidant species leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, discoloration, aging and skin cancer. So the products you put on your skin is extremely important to not only protect your skin, but gut and digestive system too. 

Only this year have I become more aware of what I consume, use and expose my body to – and I can’t say it enough for you to be as well, because having a healthier gut and digestive system will help improve common skin conditions by ensuring nutrients are correctly absorbed. 

The gut is known to contain a wealth of good bacteria, which needs to be supported properly in order to limit the growth of bad bacteria. Without this balance, our immune systems have to work harder in order to keep us healthy, so it’s important to feed the good bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods to ensure healthy body function and general wellbeing. 

When you’re suffering with an unhealthy gut, this can be caused by infections, parasites or overgrowths growing within the gut, which ultimately won’t leave until treated. This kind of explains my psoriasis breakout last year, mid winter. My overgrowths, low immune system, lack of vitamin D + other beneficial vitamins and antioxidants did not serve me well. You can find my story about it here

Research even shows a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders. For example, rosacea and psoriasis has an association with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with an inflammatory skin condition, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and rosacea. 

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet rich in fibre is incredibly important in ensuring your gut stays healthy. Also, drinking plenty of water is key for healthy skin, as well as optimal digestion from flushing out toxins and circulating fluids through the body, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and trying to minimise stress as much as possible. 

You should also limit your desserts. Even if you’re opting for raw, refined-sugar free options, ingredients such as nuts found in raw desserts can be too harsh on the gut and lead to pain and irritability. Another tip would be to limit your dairy intake, and be well aware of food products that contain additives, thickeners, stabilisers and emulsifiers, as they can cause excessive gas and bloating. 

Also, if you suffer from irritable or a sensitive digestive system eating too many processed foods, sugar or alcoholic drinks can actually trigger or worsen acne, inflammation and rashes. I like to use the rule 5 ingredients or less when it comes to food. 

It honestly takes time to rebalance your gut health but through these healthy lifestyle changes you can make great headway to having a healthy body inside and outside, sooner rather than later. 

– Eat a diet rich and balanced in fibre
– Move frequently through exercise
– Get 7-9 hours sleep
– Limit processed foods, dairy, alcohol, sugar and additives in foods to avoid overloading the gut – Consume easy to digest warm foods to help cleanse the gut
– Stay hydrated
– Reduce stress through yoga, meditation, going for walks or having a self-care day 

Additionally, taking a supplement rich in vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants can help support digestive function for optimal skin. Chances are, you may already be on the probiotics train but if not, it’s also good to help with your bowels, as good bacteria can assist in positive effects on your gut as well as your skin as they are passing through. 

The main vitamins necessary for skin health include the B family – B5, Biotin, B3, as well as A, C, E and D 

B vitamins are known to produce energy by breaking down fats and carbohydrates. They are known for many benefits including skin, hair, eyes and liver health, maintaining a healthy digestive tract, stimulate hormones, boost the immune system and may assist in relieving stress, which ultimately are the key factors for maintaining healthy skin. Natural products that contain these vitamins are also known to have anti-inflammatory benefits for dry skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and more. 

Vitamin B5 also known as pantothenic acid, is a member of the powerful B- complex vitamin family. This vitamin is well known to increase energy production, improve wound healing and reduce symptoms of acne and dermatitis. B5 is essential to breaking down fat, including sebum, and producing healthy hormones, which are important for skin cells and skin protection. 

Biotin – also part of the B family. A deficiency in this vitamin can result in hair loss and scaly, red rashes on the skin. 

Vitamin B3 – known as niacin. Low levels of this vitamin can lead to chronic skin conditions including symptoms such as red, blistered, dry and cracked skin, sometimes with an itchy rash, known as dermatitis. 

Lacking B vitamins in your body can cause a range of health issues and have you feeling weak and exhausted most of the time. These vitamins are well-deserving of their status and are known to be the most important vitamins for skin and hair health. But because they are soluble in water, they are excreted in urine, which means that our bodies do not store it – so it is highly recommended to replenish supplies through foods in your diet, or opt for a supplement or skincare product to help fill in the gaps. 

Vitamins C and E have the potential to act as antioxidants to fight against UV damage and other oxidative stress in the skin, which can contribute to aging. Carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for skin health, and they not only protect against aging but also provide benefits to the skin’s immune response. 

Vitamin D helps keep skin hydrated to prevent dry skin. 

Collagen – an important protein that’s been shown to improve skin elasticity and hydration while also fighting wrinkles. Not only that, but it’s also been linked to enhanced immunity, which may help reduce inflammation related to skin conditions like acne, rosacea, dermatitis or psoriasis. 

– Key minerals such as zinc, selenium, and copper. Many of these also provide antioxidant properties as well as elements in the structure of the skin. For example, copper plays a role in maturing collagen and melanin synthesis. 

To help you find some beneficial products which include all the essential ingredients above, I highly recommend SkinB5’s natural skin care products: 

SkinB5’s Extra Strength Acne Control Vitamins. 
They contain key ingredients as such: Vitamin B5, B3 & A, Biotin, Copper, Zinc and more – (oral option to replenish nutrients). 

Skin B5’s Superfood Booster.
The superfood contains many ingredients to supply your body with key vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, digestive enzymes, probiotics & prebiotics – which you can find here

It is a blend full of Marine Collagen, Australian Organic Hemp Protein, Organic Zinc, Maca, Probiotics Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium, Prebiotics, Vitamins A, B5, C, D & E, Omega-3, -6 & -9, Silica, Ashwagandha, Alkalising Greens & High Antioxidant Superfruits, to help boost your metabolism and promote healthy digestive function. With high levels of Vitamins C, K and D as well as fibre and pre and probiotics, this supplement helps to bring the body back into balance by delivering essential nutrients and assisting healthy gut bacteria. You can add it to your meals or smoothies, or just plain water or juice! 

Skin B5’s Skin Purifying Mask
Which I recommend using on your “stress free/self-care” days, as it is a gentle mask that actively soothes, heals & detoxes troubled skin. It is also made with therapeutic natural extracts and smells delicious. 

Skin B5 also ranges in many other products, including vitamins from the -B family (B5, B3 & Biotin), as well as other essential ingredients to maintain healthy skin and optimal healthy digestive system. 

All their products are natural, Australian made and contains no Benzoyl Peroxide, No Parabens, No SLS or SLES, No Synthetic Fragrances (I’ve actually hyperlinked that for you to see a post on my Instagram to learn a little more about their negative effects on your skin and gut health). 

I can happily say whilst on the mend to fixing my gut health and ensuring to have all these beneficial ingredients and foods in my diet, plus making better lifestyle choices that I have not suffered any outbreaks this winter… yet! 

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