Good skin care isn’t just about the products you apply to your face. A large part of it is internal and influenced by your gut microbiome. You might be asking yourself, “What in the world is that?” Don’t worry, we’ll get into it in just a minute.
If you suffer from adult acne, there is not necessarily a cure-all method to preventing breakouts altogether, but there are certain things you can do to improve your gut health, which has a direct effect on the number of breakouts that you might experience.
What is a gut microbiome?
Let’s address this first.
Your gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria, viruses, and yeasts that live in your intestines. The microorganisms that inhabit this part of your body are responsible for helping with proper digestion, absorption of vitamins, and regulating weight and immunity. The gut microbiome is a huge regulator of the skin-gut axis and, when it becomes unbalanced due to more bad bacteria than good, your skin will see the brunt of it. According to Dr. Aisling Dwyer — gut microbiome expert at OptiBac — people with gastrointestinal illnesses often have corresponding skin issues. This demonstrates how closely related gut health and skin health truly are.
The imbalance of good and bad bacteria is referred to as dysbiosis. When this imbalance occurs, your intestinal barrier is weakened, which causes inflammatory compounds produced by the bad gut bacteria to leak into your bloodstream.
According to Dr. Dwyer, this leads to inflammation and the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, which can contribute to the development of acne.
“This inflammation can also damage the lining of the gut, allowing the bacteria by-products to pass from the gut through the bloodstream to the skin, where it can locally affect skin health, enabling the growth of bacteria that can trigger acne,” Dr. Dwyer tells Net Doctor.
How can you fix it?
Now that you know how gut health can have a direct effect on your breakouts, there are ways to fix it. The first step is by being more conscious of the types of food you eat, as this can directly influence the health of your gut microbiome. Filling your diet with fruits and vegetables, a healthy source of fats and proteins, and minimizing the number of processed foods and refined sugars you ingest, can help you achieve a healthier gut, leading to overall healthier skin.
If you are prone to acne, steering clear of animal-based products like milk and dairy is your best bet because these types of food can trigger breakouts.
You can also improve your gut health by working probiotics and prebiotics into your regimen. Probiotics are healthy gut bacteria that you can take as supplements or get through foods like yogurt, pickles, and kombucha. Prebiotics are a source of food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. You can get them through apples, bananas, berries, and green vegetables.