How to improve gut and skin microbiome the natural way
You would have heard about gut microbiome. But there is a skin microbiome that you need to really start caring about. Although the gut health, rightly known as the ‘second brain’, has been a buzz word for some time now, the concept of skin microbiome is seeping into the collective consciousness of the beauty industry only now. While we understand the importance of prebiotics and probiotics that help our microbiome (eg: lactic acid bacteria in curd), did you know that our skin too needs a balance of microbiome to maintain its health? It is even more important now given the lifestyle we all follow, the rhetoric on preservatives and other ingredients in the skincare products and the talk about strengthening the skin barrier function with the harsher environments we live in these days with pollution, HEV/ blue-light damage due to devices, UV and other environmental stressors wreaking havoc on our skin.
A delicate balance of microorganisms living in the digestive tract of humans, which include a great range of friendly bacteria and that help regulate harmful bacteria, parasites, or an overgrowth of candida. The gut has its own nervous system called the Enteric Nervous System. And while its main purpose is to regulate digestion, it also affects everything from skin health and sex drive to energy levels and hormone imbalance. Thus, a major impact on your wellbeing.
When we typically talk about skin health, knowing about skin microbiome - the balance of microorganisms on our skin - and its impact on how our skin look is really important. After all, our skin is the major interface between us and pretty much everything outside of us.
How do our skin microbes affect our health
Our skin is home to a vast array of microbes, and our lifestyle and environment determine whether they have a positive or negative impact on our health. Studies have shown that the skin microbiota and immune system work in sync and that is probably why when certain bacteria living in soil, including non-pathogenic Acinetobacter bacteria, can trigger local immune responses in the skin which then steer the immune system away from developing allergic-type inflammation. That is one reason why humans living in rural environments have a lower risk of developing allergic and other immune-mediated diseases, including asthma and eczema.
How to enhance the right microbes in our skin and gut?
A healthy microbiome protects us against infections, aids in wound healing, limits exposure to allergens and UV radiation, minimizes oxidative damage, and keeps the skin plump and moist.
Since our lives have become more urbanised, with limited access to the rural environment and green spaces, we risk losing microbial species from our skin’s microbiome. Let us find you a holistic way to improve your gut health -
- Maintain your sleep cycle and stress less
Maintaining the circadian rhythm (biological clock) of the body is very important. It is no brainer to know that sleep and stress play a pivotal role in keeping your gut health in check and thus your overall health. There is enough science to prove that the stress hormone epinephrine allows gut bacteria to grow rapidly which then bind to the intestinal wall and cause inflammation. And sleep loss can disrupt the regulation of the brain’s flow of epinephrine resulting in its increased concentration.
Try to set a goal to settle down in your bed 15 minutes sooner each night to ease your sleep schedule and manage the suggested seven to eight hours. Also, incorporate some small changes like brief morning meditation or a short walk during the day to calm anxiety and stress levels. These are proven to yield big results.
- Add probiotics to your diet
Probiotics are live ‘good’ microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that powerful benefits to your body and brain. It keeps your digestive system balanced and promote heart health. There are probiotic-rich foods, from yogurt, fermented drink like kefir to cultured veggies like miso and kimchi.
- Practice a gut resetting cleanse every once in a while
Gut resetting cleanse is a good way to up-end your diet, as it delivers good bacteria to the gut’s lining and prevents leaky gut, a condition in which pathogenic bacteria permeates intestinal walls and cause food particles and toxic waste to enter bloodstream which causes inflammation. Teaming plant-based meals, smoothies, and supplements can be of total body benefits - more energy, better sleep, brain clarity, and glowy skin.
- Understand the Skin Microbiome and choose these products:
Finally, when we talk about skin, it is very important to know what you apply to it, as it can potentially affect the skin’s microbial balance. Most ( read almost) of the conventional skincare products contain harmful preservatives and emulsifiers, to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi thereby giving longer shelf lives, and allow the mixing of water and oil in products, respectively. They are powerful antimicrobial chemicals and detergent-like molecules which deeply upset your skin microbial balance. This is just one of the reasons why we use no preservatives in our anhydrous products. Our products are not made to sit on shelves and you’d notice that the shelf life we indicate on our products is much much lesser. And in the cases where we must use a preservative (water-based emulsions), we choose safer and gentler alternatives instead of cheaper parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. We strengthen our formulas by adding natural antimicrobial actives such as rosemary, tulsi, and other herbs. Each of our products harnesses the healing power of ingredients found in nature and are aimed at supporting the nutritional wellbeing of your skin. Something that would improve your skin microbiome and barrier function.
- pH balance
Formulations that are pH balanced are designed to support the skin microbiome. These are usually also gentler on the skin and do not wreak havoc on your skin by damaging the skin barrier.
- Eight glasses of water is a solid rule of thumb
Our bodies need water for supporting almost all its actions, from skin health and immunity to energy and digestion. While bacteria does its job for gut health, we also need fluids to keep everything moving as it should. So keep hydrating yourself with at least eight glasses of water and also include decaffeinated digestion-supporting teas, such as ginger and chamomile.
- Exercise regularly - you are your best judge to see results!
Is bloating, nausea and indigestion becoming your chronic issue? We recommend you to make a 30 minutes exercise routine at least thrice a week and you’ll be surprised to see how much better you feel afterward. There are studies which show that exercise can enhance the number of beneficial microbial species and enrich microflora diversities, thus improving overall health and preventing diseases in the long run
Achieve the glowing skin and vibrant health you deserve by embracing the simple lifestyle, nutrient-rich diet and minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals both in your homes and your skin.