A thriving gut means a healthy immune system. However, did you know that our gut also has control over our skin? Everything from your hair length to nail strength to skin conditions like psoriasis all might be because of your gut health. This complex relationship is known as the gut-skin axis. Here are the best natural skincare ingredients your diet and skin needs to remain vibrant
It is all the more critical, then, to be extra cautious about what to put on your skin. If you want both your skin and your gut to thrive, you should only be using ingredients that would benefit the skin microbiome.
What is the Skin Microbiome?
Without going too much into the technicalities, the skin microbiome is basically a whole community of organisms that live on the skin. However, it’s a tad more complicated than that. Certified dermatologist Carsten Flohr explains that the skin microbiome includes bacteria, viruses, and fungi and that this ecosystem controls a lot about our skin tone, moisture, and health.
These beings are our protectors. They stop toxins and potential pathogens from penetrating the skin’s barrier and entering the system. In fact, they’re smarter than some of our human cells.
One meta-analysis of the skin microbiome explains,
“Many of these microorganisms are harmless and in some cases provide vital functions that the human genome has not evolved…These microorganisms may also have a role in educating the billions of T cells that are found in the skin, priming them to respond to similarly marked pathogenic cousins .”
That’s right! Your skin bacteria even influence immune responses. So, they can help fight off the growth of free radicals that develop into melanoma, modulate inflammation that causes eczema or improve skin texture by destroying pathogenic bacteria.
Considering how there are hundreds of species of bacteria and thousands of strains that coexist in harmony, having a diverse balance is crucial to having a happy microbiome. This means that you should see to it that it’s well taken care of, and that includes being careful about the clothes you wear and the things you put on the skin.
From how well the products are absorbed all the way to the overall health of the skin, the products we use play a big part in ensuring our wellbeing. The last thing you want is to throw off the skin’s microbiota, which can lead to acne, skin inflammation, and other issues.
Best Skincare Ingredients for a Healthy Skin Microbiome
All-natural skincare ingredients you can get anywhere!
We all want to look our best. Looking healthy begins with the skin. This exterior is the first thing people see. We all have specific skincare needs.
Some have sensitive skin. Others are looking for naturally hydrating creams. While many others need an anti-aging remedy.
The best skincare ingredients for a healthy skin microbiome check all those boxes. Here are some items to add to your shopping list!
Collagen happens to be the most abundant protein in your body. It makes up 90% of the connective tissue and organic bone mass and 70% of the skin. If you think about it, it holds the body together.
A review of Frozen Collagen on PrettyMe highlights, collagen offers tons of other benefits. Collagen promotes a more youthful complexion, firmer, tighter skin, and fewer acne breakouts. It can even stimulate your body to produce collagen on its own, hence why it’s useful in reducing wrinkles.
There are many collagen-based skincare products that you can add to your beauty list. Just be aware of artificial ingredients in the formula. These additives can penetrate the skin’s barrier and cause an adverse immune reaction.
One of the most effective ways to add collagen to your routine is by consuming bone broth. Bone broth is also enriched with collagen’s buddy, elastin. As the name implies, elastin helps maintain skin elasticity.
Your body needs Vitamin C in order to produce collagen. Be sure to enrich your bone broth with Vitamin C-rich foods, such as bell peppers and broccoli.
Plus, these particular bone broth ingredients are excellent sources of ascorbic acid. This plant-based molecule promotes skin health on a cellular level. Research indicates that ascorbic acid reweaves skin fibers and binds cells together to create a natural, radiant glow .
Many skincare products are laden with fillers that contain potential allergens like gluten that give certain creams or lotions their texture. Other companies might even include a chemical exfoliant to wipe away dead skin cells. Oats are a wonderful exfoliant and are naturally gluten-free!
Oats shouldn’t only be your go-to breakfast — they should be your go-to for skincare ingredients, too. They are an abundant source of avenanthramides. Research shows that avenanthramides in oats are potent antioxidants that exhibit strong anti-inflammatory properties .
Studies also note that oats are useful for preventing itching. So, try throwing some oat into your bath if you break out from poison ivy, eczema, or psoriasis.
Lastly, oats are ideal for acne-prone skin because they have the ability to absorb oil from the skin’s surface. It’s no wonder why big brands have oats in their products!
Avocados are more than just a brunch upgrade. They’re the perfect base for DIY face masks! This fruit contains an abundance of fatty acids.
Fatty acids help soothe inflamed skin. They also contain amino acids that help create new skin cells.
In addition, avocados contain a significant amount of niacinamide (Vitamin B3). Niacinamide is essential for retaining moisture. It works in unison with healthy fatty acids to create a lock along the skin’s barrier that prevents water from escaping into the atmosphere.
Also, niacinamide is vital for keratin production . Keratin is a protein that binds to your hair follicles. When keratin is present, your hair will look thicker, fuller, and more voluminous.
If you do make an avocado face mask, consider adding some organic cane sugar as your natural exfoliant. Sugar cane is rich in alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), including glycolic acid. Glycolic acid improves skin elasticity and diminishes the appearance of wrinkles .
Aloe vera is a who’s who for skincare ingredients. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals that heal and repair the skin .
Important skin-healing compounds in aloe vera include:
• 20 Amino Acids
• Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene and Retinol)
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin B12
• Zinc Oxide
In particular, aloe vera is an excellent source of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide has been shown to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays naturally. That’s why aloe vera and zinc oxide are commonly listed skincare ingredients in mass-produced post-sun skincare products.
Before you go shopping for aloe vera gel, make sure you read the labels carefully. Many of the synthetic ingredients in these remedies can clog your pores or cause inflammatory responses.
Research shows that zinc oxide derivatives of aloe vera can also prevent skin infection by preventing the growth of Escherichia coli (E.coli) . These antibacterial benefits are precisely why aloe vera is one of the top 12 supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome. Aloe vera also contains digestive enzymes that help break down sugars that might cause digestive issues.
The probiotics you take for your gut can help boost the skin’s microbiome. New York-based dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin M.D explains how probiotics can decrease inflammation that occurs with conditions like acne and rosacea.
Probiotic bacteria communicate with immune system cells. They can prevent inflammation from destroying healthy skin cells. Simultaneously, probiotics also protect the entire gut microbiome from toxins within our small intestine.
Without sufficient probiotic bacteria, pathogens get on the loose. They can incite inflammation that creates dead skin cells along the skin’s barrier. It also leaves the body susceptible to free radicals that can cause cancer or accelerate aging skin.
Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics. It also contains lactic acid, which is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). Lactic acid helps maintain pH balance on the skin so that pathogens don’t cause inflammation.
When you’re looking for probiotic-rich products, be sure to include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as they’re known for locking in moisture and smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While there still needs to be further research on topical probiotics, early lab studies suggest that they may regulate the skin microbiome and restore barrier function .
The key to improving your skin via the gut-skin axis to make sure you have a diverse gut microbiome. However, the only way to know which bacteria you truly need is to get your gut tested. At Thryve, we send you everything you need to test your gut at home.
We take those results and offer you a probiotic recommendation that’s tailored to your gut. That way, you don’t run the risk of adding extra bacteria into your system you already have.
If that were to happen, you would run the risk of creating an environment conducive to bacterial overgrowth. Therefore, generic probiotics might not be the answer you’re looking for. Take the guesswork out of your natural skincare routine by using your own DNA. Get a Thryve Gut Health Test Kit today!
What to Look Out For in Skincare Ingredients
There are many toxic skincare ingredients out there. Just make sure you read the labels carefully so that you don’t reverse all the benefits you were hoping to achieve.
Read the labels. They’re warning signs!
Keep an eye out for some of these usual suspects in beauty products:
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
When in doubt, make your own skincare products. Create face masks with avocados or honey. Use clay and sugar to make a rejuvenating scrub. Mix and match citrus essential oils with thicker carrier oils like rosehip oil to introduce some beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), like salicylic acid, deep into your pores.
The fun part about DIY skincare is you can tailor the formula to meet your needs and preferences. You have all the say on your skin-care ingredients. Be sure to do your due diligence. Protect your gut and skin at the same time by using organic whenever possible.
Healing your body from the inside will shine through on the outside. Stop eating artificial foods and preservatives. Then, quit adding them to your skin! By caring for the gut-skin axis, you will look good AND feel good, too!
Click Here To View Resources
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 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. “The Benefits of Topical Vitamin C.” UW Health, 4 Mar. 2013, www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-topical-vitamin-c/13462.
 I. Alkalay, A. Yaron, et al. “Avenanthramides, Polyphenols from Oats, Exhibit Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Itch Activity.” Archives of Dermatological Research, Springer-Verlag, 1 Jan. 1995, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00403-008-0858-x.
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 Bernstein, Eric Ferenec, et al. “Glycolic Acid Treatment Increases Type I Collagen MRNA and Hyaluronic Acid Content of Human Skin.” ResearchGate, Dermatologic Surgery 27(5):429 – 433, May 2001, www.researchgate.net/publication/227897984_Glycolic_Acid_Treatment_Increases_Type_ I_Collagen_mRNA_and_Hyaluronic_Acid_Content_of_Human_Skin.
 Hekmatpou, D., Mehrabi, F., Rahzani, K., & Aminiyan, A. (2019). The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review. Iranian journal of medical sciences, 44(1), 1–9.
 Athiban, P. P., Borthakur, B. J., Ganesan, S., & Swathika, B. (2012). Evaluation of antimicrobial efficacy of Aloe vera and its effectiveness in decontaminating gutta percha cones. Journal of conservative dentistry : JCD, 15(3), 246–248. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-0707.97949.
 Kober, M. M., & Bowe, W. P. (2015). The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging. International journal of women’s dermatology, 1(2), 85–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2015.02.001.