Have you ever experienced any of these skin problems?
Chronic bouts of acne beyond adolescence?
Dry or red skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea?
If so, your gut may be to blame.
You’ve all seen the ads out there that promise smooth, acne-free skin along with infomercials featuring influencers singing the praises of a new anti-aging formula. It’s easy to believe this will be the product to solve all your own personal skin issues because hey, it worked for them didn’t it?
So you order and before you know it, another “miracle cream” has joined the forgotten collection on your shelf or in the back of your bathroom drawers. It happens to the best of us. We spend thousands of dollars each year on topical solutions to cure our acne, wrinkles, dry skin or eczema and seem to never come out ahead.
The skincare industry is booming. The anti-aging market alone is set to grow to over $300 billion by 2021. It’s estimated that the average person spends close to $60 a month trying to solve their skin conditions. But what if there was a simpler way? What if you didn’t need to rely on expensive creams with chemicals you can’t pronounce to solve your skin problems?
New evidence shows the foods we eat affect inflammation in our body and that skin conditions could be a direct result of this internal inflammation. If saving money on skincare solutions and getting your whole body to work for you in all areas at the same time sounds like a good deal, read on.
The Gut-Skin Connection
If we want to understand inflammation and how to prevent it, we need to first understand more about gut health. The gut microbiome in our intestines is made up of trillions of microorganisms that help us digest food and absorb nutrients. But these tiny bacteria also play a role in lots of other functions, influencing our metabolism, our body weight, our immune system, and even our brain activity and mood!
How can your gut affect your skin? Your gut isn’t the only microbiome on our body. In fact, our skin, the largest organ of our body, has its own protective layer of good bacteria. These hard-working bacteria act as a barrier against toxins and outside pathogens and help defend your skin against environmental impacts. We all want to do everything we can to keep these good skin bacteria happy and in balance.
If we eat a poor diet that causes inflammation, it can cause tiny holes to form in our intestines, leading to byproducts produced by the gut bacteria to leak out and wreak havoc with our immune system, hence the term “leaky gut.” You don’t want a leaky gut because it can send your immune system into overdrive, causing inflammation and knocking the skin microbiome out of balance. When your skin’s bacteria are upset, a lot can go wrong, especially on your skin.
But let’s look at the opposite scenario. What happens when your skin microbiome is in tip-top shape? Thriving bacteria on your skin can help in several ways:
Assist our skin cells with producing antimicrobial peptides or AMP’s to protect us from harmful microbes. Studies have shown that these beneficial microbes may actually decrease incidences of atopic dermatitis, like eczema 
Some skin bacteria produce specialized byproducts – like oleic acid - that keep repelling bad bacteria from multiplying on the skin 
Other bacteria can prevent infection and aid in wound repair in a phenomenon known as “heterozygous protection” 
Good bacteria can help our skin cells regenerate and assist with cell turnover. This can reduce the signs of aging and the appearance of blemishes 
You have a great reason to invest in your gut health and keeping your microbiome happy with a healthy diet. A poor diet can lead to a leaky gut and inflammation can disrupt the beneficial microbes that protect our skin cells’ integrity.
Unlocking the Anti-Aging Benefits of Good Gut Health
You might be wondering, “How can having a good gut biome give me more youthful looking skin with less wrinkles?” A healthy gut microbiome will have healthy levels of short-chain fatty acids or SCFA’s for short. SCFAs, like butyrate, propionate, and acetate, can produce anti-inflammatory effects. They can also encourage cellular DNA to replicate and improve their ability to regenerate.
Viome Customers Report Brighter, Healthier Skin
We see amazing testimonials on our site and this one from @balancedwellnessco shows how taking care of your gut microbiome with the right foods and nutrition can make a difference:
“The happy face of a girl who's FINALLY seeing a little relief with her skin :pray::skin-tone-2: • got my gut intelligence testing back + have been slowly cutting out A BUNCH of foods that were wreaking havoc on my gut health, not to mention causing excess gas, fermentation + bloating.
The past two years have been a CONSTANT battle with psoriasis + rosacea breakouts. Little did I realize that some of the HEALTHY foods I was putting into my body were adding to the breakouts. These are just a handful of photos I had in my phone over the past two years, many within the last few weeks. I can't even tell you the number of times I called my bf crying because I felt like I was eating 'all the right things' - I couldn't understand why after I cut dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol that I was STILL breaking out. I'm so, so, SOO happy that eliminating certain foods has started to clear this up. ”
When you understand the power of your body’s natural microbiome defenses, it’s easy to see why giving your body what it needs to maintain your overall health is important. Whatever age you are, improving your diet and improving your gut health can have lasting effects, making you look and feel like your best self!
*The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome is providing this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
Nakatsuji T, Chen TH, Narala S, et al. Antimicrobials from human skin commensal bacteria protect against Staphylococcus aureus and are deficient in atopic dermatitis. Sci Transl Med. 2017;9.
Bomar L, Brugger SD, Yost BH, Davies SS, Lemon KP. Corynebacterium accolens Releases Antipneumococcal Free Fatty Acids from Human Nostril and Skin Surface Triacylglycerols. MBio. 2016;7:e01725-01715.
Naik S, Bouladoux N, Linehan JL, et al. Commensal-dendritic-cell interaction specifies a unique protective skin immune signature. Nature. 2015;520:104-108.
Lai Y, Di Nardo A, Nakatsuji T, et al. Commensal bacteria regulate Toll-like receptor 3-dependent inflammation after skin injury. Nat Med. 2009;15:1377-1382.
Samuelson DR, Welsh DA, Shellito JE. Regulation of lung immunity and host defense by the intestinal microbiota. Front Microbiol. 2015;6:1085.