Gut health plays a crucial role in how your skin looks and feels. Everything within our bodies is connected, so when one system is not working properly, it will often affect another. And the gut, in particular, can affect many other systems and organs, including the skin.
You can pay all the money in the world for the best skincare products, and you could still struggle with common skin issues if your gut microbiome is out of balance. So it is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system if you want to have clear, glowing skin.
The foods we eat, of course, have a significant impact on our gut, but many other things can affect the digestive system and how well it works. Maintaining a healthy gut requires a whole-body approach, which often includes holistic and alternative medicine methods.
This article will discuss how the skin is affected by the gut, as well as the many ways you can improve your gut health to achieve better-looking skin.
How Your Gut Health Affects Your Skin
When thinking about the gut, it’s helpful to think of it as an entire ecosystem living within your body, and if any part of that system is out of balance or not working, it throws everything else off. The gut as a whole includes the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine—otherwise known as the digestive system. And within all these areas of the digestive system, there are thousands of living microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi—all of which are essential and play an important role in how the system functions.
There is even gut mucus, which sounds less than pleasant but is a vital element of the gut and its health. The many microorganisms and gut mucus all work together to keep your digestive system protected and balanced. They help you fight against harmful bacteria and toxins, rid your body of waste, help your cells communicate, and more. Overall, when the gut is working properly, it can help regulate your mood, control your weight, protect you from disease and infection, and promote healthier skin and aging.
When the gut is balanced, it also helps keep other organs in our bodies working properly, such as the brain, the heart, and our skin. For many years, doctors and dermatologists have suggested that there is a significant overlap between our gut health and skin conditions, particularly where inflammation is concerned. When the gut is not working properly, it often leads to inflammation, and the skin is an organ that is especially sensitive to inflammation and can quickly change and become altered as a result.
Ways to Improve Your Gut Health to Benefit Your Skin
There are many ways you can improve your gut health and get everything balanced again to see the benefits in your skin. Some people don’t even realize that they have a gut disorder or that their microbiome is imbalanced because the gut can cause lots of issues that can be hard to narrow down.
In general, however, the more you improve your overall health, the more you can improve your gut health. So even if you aren’t sure if your gut is struggling or not, it is still beneficial to consider adopting a more whole-body approach to benefit your gut and improve your skin.
MCT, or medium-chain triglycerides, are a type of saturated fat that comes from coconut oil. For years, people have used coconut oil for its many benefits, but it has recently been suggested as being particularly beneficial in regulating the digestive system. When MCT oil is ingested, it works its way through the intestines and gets diffused into the bloodstream, providing the body with numerous benefits. It can fight inflammation, balance your hormones, balance gut bacteria, support energy levels, and more.
If you do think your gut is struggling, but you aren’t sure what the exact problem is, you can try doing an elimination diet. Many people who struggle with their gut health have sensitivities to food or may even have food allergies without even realizing it because not all allergies or sensitivities cause extreme symptoms. So to identify what is causing the issue, it’s helpful to remove foods from your diet and then slowly reintroduce them one at a time.
This method can help you better understand how your body reacts to certain foods. Even foods that are normally considered healthy can negatively affect your gut if you have something like SIBO or leaky gut syndrome, for example. Once you know what foods are okay and which ones are not, you can start rebalancing your gut biome and improving your overall health and skin.
Manage Stress Levels
Though stress seems like something intangible, it can directly affect your gut health. So it’s important to not only eat right but to take measures to regulate your stress levels as well to benefit your gut. This can be done by getting better sleep, meditating, doing yoga, practicing breathing exercises, or even using essential oils or acupuncture. Essential oils are excellent for managing stress, but they can also be directly used to benefit your gut health and your skin as well.
The foods you eat have a direct connection to your gut health. Even if an elimination diet is unnecessary, you should still be mindful of the foods you eat, as they can positively or negatively affect your gut microbiome. If you are struggling with your skin, your diet should be the first thing you evaluate. Certain vitamins and minerals are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system, such as vitamins A, C, E, and B, and the minerals zinc, selenium, silica, and omega-3s. So try eating foods that are rich in these vitamins and minerals or look into taking supplements if needed.
Exercising is not just about losing weight; it also helps regulate various systems in the body and keeps our organs healthy. A sluggish and slow-moving digestive system could be the result of too much inactivity. So to keep your gut working and improve your overall health, it’s important to get regular exercise, even if it’s only 20-30 minutes a day.
Many things can affect your skin, and your gut might not always be the culprit. However, if you are struggling, the gut is a good place to start, as it does have a connection to your skin and your overall health. Overall, the healthier your gut is, the healthier your skin will be.