How to heal your gut for radiant skin
The skin, which is our largest organ, is really a mirror for what is going on inside our bodies, specifically our gut.
Skin sensitivity and redness can often be linked to an immune system in overdrive, a “leaky” or inflamed gut or a histamine intolerance that can cause skin flushing and redness! These conditions are all linked to a gut imbalance and in order to achieve radiant and healthy skin, topical products will only take you so far. Taking some time to address your gut health and work on balancing your gut bacteria will be the key to achieving calm and healthy skin.
A “leaky gut” means the lining of your bowel has become compromised (certain foods, stress, medication, infections, and auto-immune conditions can all be to blame!). This results in certain proteins penetrating through the gut wall, which is normally intact. Inflammation along with an increase in skin sensitivity, skin flushing, and redness can ensue.
My favourite inside beauty tips to reduce skin sensitivity and redness are as follows:
Eliminate triggers. There are certain foods which can be beneficial to eliminate from the diet when managing redness. Avoid citrus, cheese, nightshades, alcohol, chocolate, yeast and vinegar. These foods can cause a histamine reaction, leading to dilated blood vessels, a red complexion and skin irritation. Avoiding spicy foods is also a good idea! Spicy foods promote heat in the body, leading to flushing and redness. If you are experiencing any redness-related skin conditions, it is best to avoid these in your diet altogether.
Say goodbye to refined sugar and dairy. Dairy contains lactose, a sugar which is often unable to be digested as most of us do not produce the enzyme lactase to break it down, resulting in fermentation. Eventually this leads to gut inflammation. Proteins found in gluten can irritate the gut, resulting in gut permeability. When this happens, food proteins leak into the blood stream, paving the way for allergies, auto-immune disease and low mood. Sugar and processed foods feed the bad guys and deplete our gut and body of precious minerals and nutrients needed to heal and repair our gut lining.
Focus on friendly fibre. Aim to have at least 30 grams of fibre daily. This ensures you are sweeping away toxins and bad bacteria. Take care to not consume fibre-rich foods such as wheat bran, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) which promote a large amount of gas production in the large intestine. The best sources of fibre to enjoy include flaxseed meal, oats and chia seeds (soaked)
- Supplement. Supplementing gives your gut healing diet a boost and ensures that you are doing everything you can do repair and seal your gut lining.
Our favourite gut-healing supplements:
- Gut Replenish Powder– 1 tablespoon daily, polyphenol rich superfoods in this powder help to balance gut bacteria and soothes and calms the gut lining.
- Native Collagen Powder – 1 teaspoon daily, Vitamin C found in this powder helps to boost skin capillary strength and immunity to reduce skin flushing and redness.
- Aloe vera juice (find a preservative free brand) – 50ml daily, soothes and supports gut lining.
- Enzymes (containing protease, amylase, lipase) – take 1-2 capsules or as recommended by product manufacturer with each meal.
Boost Fatty Acids. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may prevent skin reddening and reduce skin and gut inflammation. Aim to have at least 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily. Adding other healthy fats such as avocado and walnuts to your diet is also a good idea.
Sadly, in many cases, the products we use to combat our skin concerns can be the very cause of them. Avoid synthetic fragrances, sulfates (commonly added to face wash to make it foam) along with preservatives, harsh peels, retinol and PEGS which can all disrupt the delicate balance of the skin microbiome.
Topically, focus on calming and soothing serums along with nourishing creams that rebuild the skin barrier. My favourite products for addressing sensitive skin on the outside can be found in our Sensitive Skincare Set.