How Your Digestive System Impacts Your Skin Health
The gut, and the skin. Two areas of the body which might seem unconnected, but in fact share a profound relationship, and whose link has become an increasingly fascinating area of study. Yes, we’re talking about the gut-skin axis: the connection between your internal health and external health, via which a happier gut can lead to a glowing complexion. Here, we delve into the scientific underpinnings of this all-important relationship, and the ways in which we can take advantage of it.
Photography by Matt Krygowksi Words by Joe and Anthony
Understanding the Microbial World Within
Picture this: trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, residing within your gut and on your skin. Sounds alarming? It’s actually a good thing. This vibrant community, collectively known as the microbiome, acts as a regulatory force for your immune system. The gut, with its vast surface area and constant interaction with the external environment, is a hub of microbial activity. And then the skin, despite being your body’s outermost layer, is teeming with its own microbiome, influencing the immune responses right at the surface.
The Gut-Skin Axis: A Bidirectional Communication
At the heart of this connection lies the gut-skin axis, a dynamic bridge between your digestive system and your skin health. Research has shown that an imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne. But the relationship isn’t one-sided. Skin diseases, too, can be accompanied by an altered gut microbiome. This bidirectional communication involves intricate signalling between the gut microbiota, the immune system, and skin cells, shaping the delicate balance of skin health. In other words, they’re in constant conversation.
Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions
A healthy gut is all about equilibrium, which is why dysbiosis - a term denoting microbial imbalance - plays a pivotal role in the development of skin conditions. When the balance of good and harmful microorganisms in the gut gets out of sync, it can trigger an altered immune response, exacerbating skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. So it’s all about knowing your enemy - understanding these microbial imbalances is crucial in developing new therapeutic approaches.
The Role of Diet and Metabolites
We could talk about microbes all day, but diet and metabolites play an important role in your gut health too. It will probably not come as a surprise to hear that the food you consume significantly impacts the composition of your gut microbiome. Certain compounds, like short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and neurotransmitters produced by the gut microbiota, have far-reaching effects, influencing both the gut and skin health. Studies have begun to unravel the mechanisms through which these dietary elements influence the immune system, underscoring the importance of a balanced diet in maintaining skin health.
That’s why the YLW Regime is as much about what you put into your body as what you apply to the outside. Whilst the Day Pill targets the gut microbiome using a clinically-proven triad of probiotics, the Day Cream takes care of the topical side of things, with a Microbiome Complex comprising pre- and post-biotics to fortify the skin barrier. Meanwhile, the Night Pill and Night Cream are all about rest and renewal, ensuring a 24/7 approach to taking care of your internal and external health in tandem.