As regular followers will know, I am truly passionate about natural, healthy, glowing skin and often share tips on how to feed your skin through nutrition to complement your choice of natural skincare. Healthy looking skin starts from within and is a reflection of what we put into our bodies as well as topically on it. Having a healthy gut microbiome can really make a difference and support that glowing skin we all desire.
So does the gut really impact the condition of our skin I hear you ask?…
Our gut is filled with millions of different bacteria that hugely influence our digestive and immune system functions, in a positive way when we achieve a healthy balance of good v bad. Many modern-day lifestyle factors affect the balance, for example, poor diet lacking in fresh produce, processed foods, overuse of antibiotics and stress. A negative balance of the gut bacteria can result in poor skin, weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and in some cases inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. Even acne, spots and pimples can be a cause of an imbalance in the gut microbiome.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
The good news is, there is plenty we can do to keep the balance positive, not least prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics occur naturally in many foods such as oats, garlic, asparagus and onions so including them in our daily diets is a great way to start. Probiotics are live microorganisms and are widely available as a supplement or, and my preference, you can find them in fermented foods like kefir, live natural yoghurt, kombucha tea and sauerkraut.
Personally I love kombucha tea and raw sauerkraut and find it very easy to simply incorporate them into my daily diet. My absolute favourite kombucha is the China White from Go Kombucha – its packed full of antioxidants which are great for the skin as they naturally fight off free radicals which are one of the main causes of premature ageing. Its one of their lightest teas and is such a refreshing, naturally caffeine-free drink that can be enjoyed any time of the day, or as a ‘prosecco’ style choice for an early evening aperitif served chilled in a champagne flute – perfect for a summer’s evening.
When it comes to choosing a sauerkraut my go-to is the Spicy Cortido Sauerkraut from Loving Foods – red chillies and oregano give this Spanish Style Sauerkraut a real fiery kick that is a fabulous tasty accompaniment to fish, cheese or meat. I absolutely love it with Halloumi cheese and tomato and rocket salad, a quick, simple tasty meal that tastes delicious and is great for my gut microbiome.
I am delighted to say that Loving Foods are kindly offering Lisa Armitage readers a 10% discount of their products – just use the code ‘MICROBIOME’ to give them a try and start looking after your gut microbiome.
Skincare … Naturally
As we’ve discussed, a health skins starts from within and hopefully I’ve given you just a couple of ideas to start supporting your own positive balance of gut microbiome from within. Like the gut, the skin has its own unique ecosystem consisting of millions of bacteria. We have long known about the health benefits of maintaining balance in the gut microbiome but when it comes to skincare, bacteria have generally been considered as something we need to remove. Scientific evidence is now showing that the skin microbiome when in balance is increasingly thought to be the key to enhancing skin health and can address many skin conditions.
Whilst I have first and foremost said that a healthy skin starts from within, you can enhance and keep your skin’s microbiome in tip-top shape from the outside too. Modern-day life and external environmental stressors such as pollution, UVA/UVB and blue light radiation can all disrupt the natural balance of our skin and when we reach for solutions its good to remember that harsh retinol treatments, skin peels and chemically produced skincare products can strip and weaken the skin, breaking down its natural barrier, and conversely further disrupting it’s natural balance. It’s no surprise then that inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea are on the rise as the skin’s very own protective barrier is being weakened and broken down Leading to an increase in pigmentation, dryness, breakouts and sensitivities not to mention premature ageing!
So it makes complete sense to think about nurturing and nourishing, naturally, rather than stripping and depleting our skin. By maintaining healthy amounts of good skin bacteria our skin is naturally more resilient.
I have specifically created my skincare collection to include prebiotics and probiotics such as oat beta-glucans, lactobacillus, mushroom, tonka bean and radish root ferments to help keep your skin’s microbiome balanced, which in turn will preserve the skin’s precious barrier function and give you balanced, moisture-rich, naturally protected, glowing skin.
If you would like a little more information on these pre and probiotic ingredients then please click on my A to Z.