How your gut contributes to sensitive skin and rosacea

Green juice for your gut health

Our diet and nutrition have a direct impact on our skin. This is probably something we all know already and isn’t new information.

One of the biggest motivations for eating well is for our skin. Breakouts after eating too much sugar or junk food are pretty common and prove the point that bad food has consequences on your skin. 

People everywhere of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles suffer from skin conditions and sensitivities. Acne, rosacea, dryness, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis to name a few can be very upsetting when there isn’t a clear cause or solution. In recent years there has been more of a focus on the gut and the idea that a healthy gut can solve a lot of problems. More and more studies have proven the importance of the gut in relation to our overall health and have shown that a thriving gut keeps our immune system healthy and our mind strong. But another point that’s also getting attention is the link between a healthy gut and healthy skin. 

What is the gut microbiome? 

The gut microbiome is the term used to describe the host of microorganisms living in our intestines. On average, every person has at least 200 different species of virus, bacteria and fungi in there. While this might sound a little bit gross, many of these are incredibly beneficial and even essential to the overall health of our bodies. Having a good variety of these bacterias actually reduces the risk of many illnesses and conditions.

Is there a link between rosacea and the gut? 

As you might know already, rosacea is a common condition that affects the skin by causing redness, visible blood vessels, and/or small acne-like bumps. It mainly affects the face, particularly the cheeks and nose and can come and go in terms of severity. The exact cause of rosacea isn’t clear. Some say it’s down to genetics, some say demodex mites, some say abnormalities in blood vessels. To this day the exact cause hasn’t been proven. Another theory is that it could be a response to ongoing inflammation in the body. Immune system changes and gut bacteria imbalance may also be factors on whether you’ll experience rosacea, and if you do, how severe it will be.

Last week we published a blog on how diet can affect rosacea both positively and negatively. You can read the full post here if you’re interested. There have been a lot of journal articles and literature on the topic of rosacea and the link with the gut microbiome. Targeting activities or foods causing an imbalance in the gut have proven to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity or rosacea outbreaks. There’s a lot of dialogue around the skin and gut relationship, which has come to be known as the “gut skin axis”. Symptoms of an unhealthy gut can manifest in a lot of ways, but the skin can be a great indicator of what’s going on in the gut. A whopping 70% of our immune system lives in the gut which makes it extremely important to keep your digestive health in check.

The “gut” in itself is not one single thing, but trillions of strains of bacteria and microbes which make up the gut microbiome. When it becomes imbalanced or unhealthy, it affects our organs. And our biggest organ is our skin! Scientists have confirmed the link between gut health and skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Typical symptoms that can indicate if there is something going on with the gut include dryness, breakouts, rashes and inflammation.

How can I keep my gut healthy? 

Prebiotics and probiotics

Before understanding how probiotics and prebiotics work, it’s important to understand the microbiome. The microbiome is the group of living things (eg. bacteria, viruses etc) that make up and thrive in our body. This is connected to every area of our health. Probiotics are usually taken orally and look like vitamins. They contain a combination of yeast and good bacteria to help balance out any bad bacterias and improve overall gut health. Probiotics are great for balancing the bacteria to keep your skin cool, calm and protected.

Prebiotics come from special plant fibers and are what feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. They come in the form of carbohydrates that your body doesn’t digest, and goes straight to the lower digestive tract. Prebiotics can be bought as supplements but are also found in many foods, see lower down in this blog..Prebiotics can be really helpful in reducing inflammation and redness.

Rest and relax

Not getting enough sleep can have serious impacts on your general well being and gut health. The guideline to follow is roughly 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Aside from sleeping, make sure you are keeping your stress levels as low as possible and relaxing when you need it. Some examples include meditation, walking, getting a massage, reducing alcohol intake, doing yoga and laughing. 

Drink plenty of water 

Staying hydrated and drinking the recommended amount of water a day (6-8 glasses as per the NHS website) is important for your gut. This is because drinking plenty of water can help with increasing the diversity of bacteria in the gut. According to a study done earlier this year, researchers found that people who drank more water had less of a type of bacteria associated with gastrointestinal infections. In general though staying hydrated improves your health overall, helps with preventing constipation is an easy way to improve your gut health. 

Watch your diet

There are certain foods out there which have a positive and a negative effect on the gut. It’s good to know which foods you can eat to benefit the gut and which to be more cautious with. Some good options for a healthy gut according to Forbes are as follows: 
  • Foods high in fiber such as fruit, oats, grains, nuts and beans

  • Probiotic foods. These include fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir

  • Prebiotic foods. These include bananas, asparagus, garlic, leeks and onions

  • Anti-Inflammatory foods like fatty fish, flax seeds and walnuts

  • Symbiotic foods (foods which are a mix of pro and prebiotics). These include yoghurt with blueberries or a banana smoothie made with kefir or yoghurt.

While having a closer look at your diet to see if it’s gut friendly or not, you might also want to think about whether you have any food intolerances. Some common signs of food intolerances include bloating, stomach pain, gas, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. If you identify a food intolerance (for example gluten, dairy, caffeine etc) and remove it from your diet, it’s likely you’ll notice an improvement in your digestive health! 

The bottom line

The gut microbiome isn’t straightforward. It’s a complex organism which needs taking care of to keep us healthy. Study and research continues to find links around the skin gut axis, but one thing is for sure and that’s that the gut impacts our overall health in a big way. A healthy gut contributes to a healthy body including our immune system, heart, brain, mood, digestion, sleep and more. Whether you suffer from rosacea or not, if you keep your gut healthy your body will thank you for it!

All Finca Skin Organics products are made using a minimal, plant-based ingredients list and formulated by me, a rosacea sufferer.

The Finca Skin Organics range has undergone a Harley Street clinical study. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin significantly improved. 

View the entire range of Finca products here or find out what subtype your skin is.

When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.

If you have any queries regarding your rosacea or how to use our products get in contact with us, we'd love to hear from you.

With love from Ireland,

*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.

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