Many people don't make that association because they just think of their skin as an "outside thing," but it is very much tied to our gut. I believe that optimal digestion is imperative for good skin health.
So, first a little about the gut. Something you may be surprised to hear is that our gut houses the largest lymphatic organ in the body and is responsible for over 70% of our immune system. This is a first line of defense in deciding what is good vs bad. That isn’t the only responsibility, it also is the home of our microbiome (aka gut bugs), balances parts of the nervous system, eliminates waste, acts as a barrier to let certain things through (like nutrients), and is part of the detoxification process.
Things that decrease our gut immunity are nutrient deficiencies, high sugar/carbohydrate diets, frequent use of antibiotics, toxins, infections, cancer, stress, not getting enough sleep, medications that suppress the immune system, and living in too clean an environment. Using lots of disinfectants and sanitizers doesn't allow our immune system to be challenged and it can’t get stronger, just like building muscles without working them. This decrease in immunity makes people more prone to skin diseases.
Think of inflammation as a smoldering fire within you. Where does it come from? Well, a variety of places. One very important area is, as you guessed, the gut. Inflammation is driven by food intolerances (this is different than food allergies), having the wrong amount of acid in the stomach or the wrong balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, and leaky gut. Think of leaky gut as a pipe with a bunch of little holes in it. When something goes down that pipe, instead of going straight through, some of it leaks out through the holes. When that happens in our body, the immune system attacks those particles because they are where they don’t belong and this increases food intolerances and inflammation.
When I support people in implementing my 3C Skin Saving Method, here are some of the main things that we tackle to increase gut immunity and reduce inflammation.
We want to boost our gut immunity and lower inflammation. This can be done by incorporating nutritious foods, fiber, fermented foods, probiotics (and prebiotics), antioxidants, and vitamins/minerals.
Obviously, we don’t have the space to cover all of these in detail, but I at least want to get you started in the right direction.
Here’s an example of 3 foods that lower inflammation:
You can easily incorporate these into your diet on a regular basis. One simple way is to make a salad that includes these ingredients!
We make sleep a priority! Sleep is needed to be able to regenerate our skin cells and to detoxify ourselves. Sleep doesn’t come easily to everyone, but there are steps you can take to improve (if this is an issue for you). Check out my article, "5 Skin Saving Tips Through Better Sleep" for more information.
It is imperative to keep a positive mindset. Negative thoughts affect our whole body. What the brain thinks, the body accepts as true… even when it isn’t. Speak to yourself like you would speak to a 3-year-old, with kindness. Tell yourself things like, “I love my clear skin,” even when your skin isn't clear yet. By telling your body that it is, will help support it in making this your reality in the future.
Getting in movement matters. It is important to keep our mitochondria firing for good skin health. One way to do that is by getting in some exercise each day. It doesn’t have to be intense, but being sedentary is horrible for your skin and health.
Stress is so important and often overlooked, or just accepted to be the way it is. We need to work on our stress levels. It is impossible to remove all sources of stress from our lives, but we can do simple things, every day, to limit the effects that stressors have on our body.
In order to love your skin, you must address your gut health. If your gut isn't happy, your skin won't be either.
For more ways to help improve your skin health, check out my FREE eBook "The 3 Day Jumpstart to Loving Your Skin." Click the image below.
My #1 Go-To for Gentle Detox
We are bombarded day in and day out with toxins in the environment. It is so important to have a regular detoxification regimen to get rid of them in order to support our skin and general health. Read more to see my favorite way.
Two Foods That Wreak Havoc On Your Skin & Easy, Delicious Swaps
Can you guess what they are? Read more to find out the 2 foods, how they affect your skin, and easy swaps to reduce your exposure.