We tend to think of our gut and our skin as two separate things but really, they are one connected surface! Any gut disorder will immediately map itself onto your skin. If you want to achieve clear, glowing, radiant skin, the easiest and most efficient way to accomplish that is to improve your gut health, says Shann Nix Jones, nutritional advisor, gut health expert, and founder of Chuckling Goat
Recently it has been discovered that skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea are autoimmune disorders, that stem from the gut. This is why these issues can be so difficult to clear – you can apply endless amounts of steroids or topical ointments, and never resolve the problem – because the problem is not actually the skin, but the gut! You must heal the gut, to clear the skin.
Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system – four-fifths of which sits inside the gut – turns on itself inappropriately, and mistakenly attacks your body.
Why does this happen? It’s largely due to the stresses and chemicals that surround us in modern life. Your immune system is controlled by your gut microbiome, which is composed of trillions of living bacteria. This natural ecosystem – like any natural ecosystem – is fragile and can be easily damaged.
Sugar and stress
The things that damage your internal ecosystem are sugar, antibiotics, stress and environmental toxins, like the ones in common household cleaners or personal care products. The average woman ‘hosts’ over 515 unique chemicals by the time she steps out of the bathroom in the morning. Many of these compounds leach into your system and alter your DNA, making your cells unrecognisable to one another. This is the origin of autoimmune, or ‘friendly fire’, when your immune system turns on itself. It is also, perhaps, the reason why 78 per cent of the people who suffer autoimmune disorders are women. So, what can you do to restore healthy, glowing skin?
Drink therapeutic-grade kefir daily. This natural multi-strain probiotic drink will help restore and repair the living ecosystem inside your gut. Choose an unflavoured, unsweetened kefir made with real kefir grains, for maximum benefit. Note: sweetened ‘supermarket kefirs’ often do more harm than good to the gut, because of the sweeteners and flavourings they contain. Avoid kefir made with cow’s milk, as it contains the A1 casein which is allergenic, inflammatory and can trigger autoimmune conditions and skin disorders.
Take a complete prebiotic daily. If you imagine that kefir ‘put the fish in the fish tank,’ then prebiotics ‘feed the fish’. Gut bugs eat fibre, and each variety of gut bug consumes a different type of fibre. It’s difficult to get all those different exotic types of fibre into your diet, so a combined prebiotic powder is an efficient and easy option to improve gut health.
Take a microbiome test. This recently developed cutting-edge technology allows you to find out exactly what is going on inside your gut and gives you a personalised list of foods that you need to eat, in order to boost your gut microbiome.
Go green and clean with your beauty products. Clean out your bathroom cupboards! Take a good hard look at every product that touches your skin and throw out anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce. Replace with items that are free from any dyes, perfumes, petrochemicals, parabens or phthalates.
Use the natural healing power of herbs. Herbs like Meadowsweet leaf, Peppermint leaf, Chamomile flowers and Marshmallow root all protect and soothe the gut, allowing it to heal and helping your gut bugs to flourish. Drinking three cups daily of an herbal tea containing these natural powerhouse ingredients will allow your gut garden to bloom.
If you’re a regular exerciser (exercise is great for your gut microbiome, thus helps with your skin as well!) then be sure to cleanse thoroughly – and immediately – after each workout. J Lo swears by this routine, and if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us! Kefir is as good for your skin as it is for your gut; Soothing Kefir Cleanser from Chuckling Goat won silver for Best Cleanser in the 2020 UK Global Makeup Awards. Combining probiotic kefir with goats’ milk and all-natural rosemary essential oils restores the healthy biome of your skin and cleanses your face without drying.
Shann Nix Jones is a nutritional advisor, gut health expert, and best-selling author on the topic of gut health. These include; The Good Skin Solution: Natural Healing for Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea and Acne. In 2020, Hay House will publish Shann Jones’ upcoming fourth book: How to Start a Business on Your Kitchen Table. Gut-friendly kefir, skincare, teas, cleansers and Microbiome Test are available from Chuckling Goat, www.chucklinggoat.co.uk.