Acne is one of the most common skin disorders in the world. What we know is that the skin acts as the second largest detox organ of the body. Much of the research suggests a hormonal component to most forms of acne. While regulating your hormones can be difficult without professional assistance, you may be able to control your hormonal acne by maintaining your gut health. Discover the connection between hormonal acne and your gut health below.
A Look at the Gut-Skin Connection
The gut is home to an incredibly diverse array of bacteria known as the gut microbiome. These bacteria play a role in a wide range of bodily functions, from metabolism to immune response. The complexity of the gut microbiome has led to many scientists to consider and even recognize it as its own organ system.
Your skin is also unique and complex, providing protection from external threats while also playing a role in important neuroendocrine and immune roles.
Cumulative evidence suggests that your gut and your skin may actually be more connected than you think. This evidence shows an intrinsic, bidirectional link between your gut and your skin, known as the gut-skin axis, which proposes that gastrointestinal health and skin homeostasis are closely linked. This is exemplified by numerous studies that show that gastrointestinal disorders are often accompanied by cutaneous issues, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and acne
The exact association between skin and gut health still requires further study. However, it’s known that the appearance and consistency of one’s stools can reflect improper absorption of nutrients in the same way that skin can display malabsorption of nutrients. The gut may also be responsible for the release of chemicals that potentially contribute to skin issues. Dysbiosis, which refers to a state of imbalance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut, has also been linked to improper inflammatory response in the skin and the development of skin diseases.
4 Ways to Improve Your Hormonal Acne by Improving Gut Health
While the link between acne and diet still remains tenuous, understanding the link between gut health and acne invariably means that taking care of your gut may result in fewer blemishes and improvements to your hormonal acne.
1. Maintain a balanced diet.
Foods have a direct effect on your gut. There may be a whole host of trendy diet plans, you shouldn’t have to think too hard about it. The best way to keep your gut in check is with a balanced diet that focuses primarily on whole fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein, while avoiding highly processed foods and foods containing artificial additives.
2. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods.
Another component of eating right means avoiding the wrong foods, which are generally any foods that are capable of causing inflammation in the gut. Gut inflammation may result in skin inflammation, which is one of the main contributors to acne. While everyone has different reactions to different foods, some notoriously pro-inflammatory foods include
Essentially, anything that causes a sudden spike in blood sugar may potentially contribute to an increase in inflammation. Keep a food diary and record any foods that cause a painful reaction in your gut. Then, do your best to avoid these foods, even the hidden sources.
3. Consider pre- and probiotics.
If dysbiosis is your concern or if you just want to support your existing gut bacteria, you may want to consider prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics refer to fiber-rich foods that help to feed your gut bacteria, allowing them to grow and thrive. While prebiotic supplements exist, eating almost any food that is rich in dietary fiber will feed your gut microbiota. This includes whole grains, fruits, and green leafy veggies, like kale and cabbage. You get the added benefit of eating foods that are generally high in other essential nutrients.
Probiotics are bacteria that you can introduce into your gut to replenish the population. These usually come from foods that have been fermented with live and active cultures. Yogurt and kefir tend to be the most common of the probiotic-rich foods, but you can also look to other fermented foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. If you choose yogurt or kefir, go for the plain, non-sweetened versions (i.e., no sugar or artificial sweeteners). You can also take the guesswork out of it and take probiotic supplements
4. Take bovine colostrum.
A leaky gut, which refers to a state of increased intestinal permeability, may also contribute to ongoing inflammation in the gut. The increase in permeability essentially allows undigested food particles, toxins, and metabolic debris to enter your bloodstream, which can then cause an overactive immune response that can extend to your skin, potentially resulting in acne and other skin issues.
Colostrum, a nutrient-rich, milk-like fluid, offers a wide range of antibodies, growth factors, vitamins, and minerals, along with a plethora of immune factors. Studies have found that the nutritious mix in colostrum may effectively reduce intestinal permeability without producing any noticeable negative side effects. Other studies suggest that colostrum may help to balance intestinal microbiota and enhance the growth and repair of intestinal tissue.
Taking care of your gut health may go a long way to maintaining clear, blemish-free skin. If you’re not sure where to start, consider trying a liposomal bovine colostrum supplement from Sovereign Laboratories to start the road to better gut (and skin) health.