5 Skincare Ingredients for a Vibrant and Healthy Glow!

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 [1].”

 NAT REV MICROBIOL.

 
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

 

DIY skincare ingredients for skin healthAll-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

 
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 [2].

 

Oats

 
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 [3].
 
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

 
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 [4]. 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 [5].

 

Aloe Vera

 
Aloe vera is a who’s who for skincare ingredients. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals that heal and repair the skin [6].
 
Important skin-healing compounds in aloe vera include:
20 Amino Acids
Calcium
Choline
Sodium
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) [7]. 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.

 

Probiotics

 
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 [8].
 
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.

 

toxic beauty ingredientsRead the labels. They’re warning signs!

Keep an eye out for some of these usual suspects in beauty products:
Parabens
Triclosan
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Formaldehyde
Phthalates
 
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

Resources

 
[1] Grice, E. A., & Segre, J. A. (2011). The skin microbiome. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 9(4), 244–253. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro2537.
 
[2] 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.
 
[3] 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.
 
[4] Gehring W. (2004). Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 3(2), 88–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00115.x.
 
[5] 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.
 
[6] 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.
 
[7] 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.
 
[8] 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.
 

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Gut Health 101: Microbiome, Probiotics & How to Fix an Unhealthy Gut

“All disease begins in the gut,” proclaimed the “Father of Medicine” Hippocrates centuries ago. Today’s science increasingly confirms Father’s hunch about health issues. Our gut bacteria play a significant role in our overall health. They influence critical human functions, including our mental health, immune system, digestive functions, skin health, and weight [1]. The key to a healthy gut is maintaining a delicate balance of good bacteria and bad. Gut Health 101 covers everything you need to know about gut health, probiotics, and getting rid of harmful bacteria that may be causing you symptoms. 

 

Why Gut Health Is Important

 
In Gut Health 101, we are going to break down all the complexities that make up up the microbiome. We’ll discuss probiotics, health-related conditions associated with poor gut health, and ways to fix your gut health naturally.
 
Most of us are born with a clean slate. We develop from a zygote into a fetus into a kicking and screaming little baby all within the safe environment of a mother’s womb.
 
This environment nurtures the development of the gut microbiome. Once we enter the world, we are greeted by a plethora of different germs that we’ve never encountered before. 
 
Some of these foreign bodies will cause us to get sick but, ultimately, boost our immune system. In other instances, these invaders can cause chronic inflammation that may result in a number of different conditions and diseases. 

 

What Leads to Poor Gut Health?

 
The biggest takeaway of Gut Health 101? Whatever the problem is, chronic inflammation started it!
 
Foreign bodies inside our system are known to trigger immune responses. When the responses become reoccurring and constant, inflammation can become chronic.

 

Pathogens enter our system in many ways, including:
• Eating Foods Contaminated with Pesticides or Bad Bacteria
• Continuously Poor Food Choices like Sugar and Trans Fat
• Eating Foods That Trigger Food Allergies, Celiac Disease, etc.
• Nutrient Deficiency Caused By Poor Diet or Illness
• Toxins Re-Entering Our Bloodstream From Our Waste
• Wearing Cosmetics Made with Synthetic Ingredients
• Long-Term Use of Medications
• Breathing in Toxic Chemicals and Heavy Metals
Underlying Stress like Bills, Work, Relationships
• Catching an Illness From Another Person
 
There are many ways to enter the body, but there is one way out. As pathogens enter the system, gravity takes over. These pathogens enter from pores, your mouth, or the respiratory tract. Inevitably, they drop down into the gut, where they can either get flushed out or eventually ignite inflammation.

 

Chronic Inflammation and an Unhealthy Gut

 
Just as all disease begins in the gut, inflammation is the root of all disease. All germs, viruses, or food that comes into the body ends up entering the digestive tract. Our body is either trying to get all the nutrients out of this potential energy source or attempting to get it out of the system. 
 
Our immune system has a “better safe than sorry” approach. Its innate immune function is to cause inflammation. The innate immune system rids the body of the potential issue, and then curtails the inflammation when the threat goes away [2]. 
 
Unfortunately, threats become more common as we age. The once-booming metabolism we used to enjoy starts to slow down. Eventually, poor dietary choices, inflammatory foods, and other toxins begin to have a cumulative effect on the system. 

 

Chronic Diseases Associated with Chronic Inflammation 

 
The over-arching lesson Gut Health 101 is that leaving your gut unhealthy is a precursor for many illnesses. Over time, our digestive issues may begin to worsen. They’ll start to coincide with other symptoms of an unhealthy gut. 
 
Inevitably, you may develop issues pertaining to:
• Immune System (Allergies, Food Intolerances, Colds, Flu)
• Leaky Gut Syndrome
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
• Other Digestive Issues (Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD], Heartburn, Bloating, Constipation)
• Weight Gain
• Skin Conditions (Acne, Rosacea, Psoriasis)
• Autoimmune Diseases
• Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety, Mood Swings)
• Poor Sleep
 
The reason for these issues is that your immune system becomes overworked by chronic inflammation. That leaves your body more susceptible to pathogenic overgrowth. Plus, chronic inflammation starts to destroy healthy gut bacteria. This battle for survival all takes place in an internal community known as the microbiome.

 

What Is The Gut Microbiome?

 
Your stomach is home to trillions of microscopic living beings known as microbes. There are thousands of different microbes identified by science and probably will be more discovered for centuries to come [3]. 
 

gut health 101 common types of gut microbiota
 
However, the most common types of gut microbiota are:
• Yeast
• Fungi
• Bacteria
• Archaea
• Protists
 
Of the bunch, gut bacteria are the most abundant and studied. Science has confirmed that there are hundreds of bacteria strains. Each plays a specific role in the internal ecosystem that is the gut microbiome. 

 

Common Gut Flora in the Microbiome

 

gut health 101 common gut flora
 
The dominant bacteria phylums typically found in the body fall within the following groups:
• Firmicutes
• Bacteroidetes
• Actinobacteria
• Proteobacteria
 
Around 90% generally fall specifically within the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla.
 
All of these commensal bacteria work together for optimal health of its host — you! They all work in unison, applying the crafts that are their specialties. 

 

The Importance of Gut Bacteria Diversity 

 
It seems like every bacteria has a role. Even Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria strain behind the potentially life-threatening staph infection, can help keep other opportunistic Staphylococcus strains from becoming unruly [4]. Unfortunately, if probiotic bacteria can’t check Staphylococcus aureus, it can become overgrown and result in deadly consequences. 
 
The most beneficial gut bacteria will create metabolites that help prevent other bacteria from overgrowing. For instance, many bacteria strains produce short-chain fatty acids [5]. These serve as electrical currency for our gut cells to rejuvenate, divide, and strengthen the intestinal barrier. In particular, probiotics create the short chain fatty acid, butyrate, which is vital in repairing the gut lining and promoting probiotic bacteria growth. 
 
When everything is going smoothly in the microbiome, then you shouldn’t notice any signs of an unhealthy gut. Things go smoothest when gut flora communities remain in balance. As we age and our cumulative life choices start catching up to us, it might begin to cause a deficit in beneficial bacteria opening up room for harmful bacteria to overtake the system. 
 
As harmful bacteria spread, your immune response ignites inflammation. Unfortunately, most harmful bacteria species thrive in these sorts of environments. It’s your probiotic bacteria that suffer.
 
In the end, this microbial imbalance kickstarts a chain of health-related events that can impede your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to boost your immune system with probiotics and a healthy gut diet plan. 

 

What Are The Symptoms of Poor Gut Health?

 

There is strong evidence that our gut bacteria pretty much run the ship. Different types of live bacteria play unique roles in countless physiological processes. When the diversity of bacterial cells becomes compromised, key aspects of our overall wellness can be jeopardized, too. Here are some of the most vital ways gut issues can impede our day-to-day life. 

 

Weak Immune System 

 
Our gut bacteria and immune cells are besties. They go back to the womb. Live bacteria live within the vaginal microbiome inside of our mother’s amniotic sac and placenta.
 
These beings helped shape our first immune cells [6]. As we formed, what would become our skin traps in our immune cells and gut bacteria to create our gut microbiome. 
 
Over 80% of immune system cells reside in the gut [7]. That’s because everything we ingest ends up there. Our innate immune system kicks in and creates inflammation to eliminate threats and then turns off the fire hose when the danger is a goner. 
 
Unfortunately, our innate immune system gets a bit overworked. We’re always feeding our gut with processed foods, breathing in polluted indoor air, and smearing on gut biome-disruptive cosmetics. 
 
In simple terms, our immune cells are always on duty, working on the messes we make! These actions undoubtedly compromise our immune health. Eventually, they’re going to miss a significant threat, like an opportunistic gut bacteria.
 
Additionally, an overworked innate immune system causes chronic inflammation. Inevitably, that will start to destroy epithelial cells that make up the gut lining.
 
Subsequently, chronic inflammation starts to destroy healthy bacteria. As we’re about to discuss, all of this is how disease starts. That’s why so many scientific journals point to gut health as a key promoter of autoimmune diseases.

 

Leaky Gut Syndrome

 

According to one Harvard paper, “we all have some degree of leaky gut [8].” That’s due to the design of our gut lining. There are porous holes along the barrier that allows for ventilation in the intestines. More importantly, it will enable nutrients from our food to permeate into our bloodstream. 
 
Our gastrointestinal tract starts the food breakdown process as soon as we smell our food [9]. We then chew the food so we can swallow it and allow our stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and organs to break these food sources down to the simplest particles. 
 
These compounds enter the small intestine, where they get sorted out as nutrients or waste. Waste enters the large intestine, where water is siphoned out, and toxins are expelled from our backside. Meanwhile, the small intestine allows nutrients from our foods to be distributed throughout the entire body.
 
The small intestine plays a vital role in nutrient absorption. It relies on a barricade of 40 different proteins known as tight junctions [10]. Tight junctions protect the epithelial cells that line our gut. 
 
However, tight junctions are always under attack from chronic inflammation happening on the other side of the gut barrier. Eventually, their tightly-wound structure starts to break down. They become loose, which allows for gut bacteria and other toxins in your intestines to enter the bloodstream. 
 
Also, certain foods can trigger tight junctions to move. For instance, gluten contains a protein known as zonulin. Zonulin can activate the tight junctions to open up [11]. Therefore, toxins, bacteria, and food particles in your intestines can leak into your bloodstream. This preemptive opening may disrupt the appropriate absorption of food nutrients and trigger inflammation. 
 
Leaky gut develops over time. It can become a precursor to many life-threatening illnesses. It’s vital to repair the gut barrier by removing inflammatory foods, eating probiotic foods, antiviral foods, and foods rich in collagen, like bone broth.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are two common GI conditions that people may experience simultaneously. Many of the symptoms of IBS and SIBO overlap one another. However, fixing them are two completely different processes. 
 
IBS is a condition that impacts the large intestine. Chronic inflammation messes up metabolic functions that affect muscle contraction. So, bathroom frequency can be thrown off. 
 
Most common signs of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Here, they may experience either diarrhea or constipation. 
 
People with SIBO experience many of these symptoms. However, the cause isn’t muscle contractions. It’s due to a bacterial overgrowth from the small intestine. 
 
When you have SIBO, your gut bacteria are severely impacted. You must take a particular test to diagnose SIBO. From there, you have to eliminate potential foods that trigger inflammation, kill the bacteria with either antibiotics or a high-quality supplement recommendation from a naturopath. You must then reinoculate your gut with a probiotic supplement and feed that bacteria a healthy dietary fiber diet. 

 

Other Digestive Issues

 
Many chronic illnesses can be caused by poor gut health. A few of the more common ones include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is actually a blanket term to describe two digestive illnesses — Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease.
 
UC is caused by inflammation of the cells within the large intestine [11]. In addition to bloody stools and intense abdominal pain, those with UC are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. 
 
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract [12]. That means it can spark anywhere from the esophagus to the anus. Treating these conditions will require a doctor’s care. 
 
Another common GI condition associated with poor gut health is acid reflux/GERD. When you experience GERD, food particles can backtrack up your esophagus. You can experience severe heartburn and may cause long-term damage to your throat and gut lining. 

 

Weight Gain

 
It’s not shocking that poor gut health can cause weight gain. After all, many of the reasons for an unhealthy gut are dietary choices. However, our gut bacteria play a role in this, too. 
 
We rely on our gut bacteria to help with food breakdown. So, if less probiotic bacteria are working, there’s less productivity going on in the GI tract. Many of these foods can sit around the belly. Eventually, this can cause long-term inflammation. Scientific evidence shows that there is a strong connection between obesity and a lack of gut diversity [13].
 
Also, gut bacteria can manipulate us. When pathogenic bacteria infest us, we’ll start to crave sugars and other food additives actively. These unhealthy foods make it easier for them to survive and for beneficial bacteria to die. 
 
The best way to lose weight is to change your diet habits. You might want to consider intermittent fasting for gut health a few times a week. Also, increase your physical activity. Cut down on foods rich in animal fats and opt for leaner proteins, like fish, legumes, and whole grains. 

 

Skin Issues

 
If you’re inflamed on the inside, it’s going to show on the outside. Your body becomes a pressure cooker, and it’s burning off healthy skin cells. In turn, these dead or dying cells clog up the skin barrier. This backup will manifest as itchy, red, or blotchy skin. 
 
An unhealthy gut, leaky gut, has been strongly tied to many skin conditions, including:
• Rosacea
• Psoriasis
• Eczema
• Acne
• Allergic Reactions
• Arthritis
 
Furthermore, our skin also protects our gut biome from infestations. There are many viruses, fungi, and opportunistic bacteria on other people and surfaces trying to find a new home in your stomach. So, your body relies on your own skin bacteria as the first line of defense.
 
In fact, our skin has its own microbiome. This microbiome communicates with cells on the inside via the gut-skin axis to ensure its host’s overall health. Unfortunately, we destroy these healthy bacteria with toxic beauty ingredients. The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her face every day [15]. So, our skin microbiome is always on high alert!

 

Mental Health Problems

 
Our gut is the second brain…or is it? The gut-brain connection is more than a metaphorical statement or declaration of being hangry. These two are joined at the hip…or at least by a series of nerves. 
 
At the bottom of the brainstem is our vagus nerve. This barometer-of-sorts relies on information from the gut up through the central nervous system [16]. It can influence and collect information from every essential organ along the way!
 
When harmful bacteria overtake our gut, your vagus nerve lets the brain know. In turn, we can develop many symptoms of neurological disorders, including depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. 
 
Like most things, the key to regulating the gut-brain axis is balance. A diverse gut is essential for mental health. Actually, one meta-analysis on gut diversity and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) found that children diagnosed with ASD had lower levels of Veillonellaceae, Coprococcus, and Prevotella bacterial cells [17].
 
Even more notably, these children also lacked bacterial species, Bifidobacterium and Blautia. These two are essential for making tryptophan, the precursor to our joy molecule, serotonin. In fact, up to 90% of our serotonin neurotransmitters are derived from the gut [18]. 
 
Furthermore, a recent study found that a few microbial species, particularly Bacteroides, produce the neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) [19]. GABA is known as our inhibitory neurotransmitter. It helps calm our racing thoughts, which lowers our cortisol levels. 
 
Cortisol is one of our stress hormones. When we endure stress on a daily basis, it can cause chronic inflammation. As we’ve discussed, chronic inflammation is the root of all life-threatening conditions that compromise human health.

 

How to Improve Your Gut Health Naturally

 
how to fix your gut health 101
 
You didn’t ruin your gut overnight. In fact, many unexpected things ruined your gut health. So, fixing it isn’t going to happen in a day, either. Taking care of your gut is an ever-evolving process. Make little changes that ease common digestive symptoms and then slowly chip away at the bigger picture items. Here’s how!

 

Get Your Gut Tested

 
The first step to fixing your gut health is to know what you’re working with. A surgeon wouldn’t operate without an x-ray. You can’t reintroduce good gut bacteria into your body until you know the bad ones you’re dealing with.
 
We send you everything you need to take a gut test safely in your own bathroom. Just bring the kit in when you do #2. Wipe like normal with toilet paper. Then use one of the sterile swabs to collect a small sample from the toilet paper. 
 
Dip the swab into the vial with a preservative liquid that’s provided. After 20-30 seconds, the liquid will change colors, meaning your DNA is secure. Seal the bottle and dispose of the swab like you would a newborn’s diaper. 
 
Mail your vial to us in the pre-addressed envelope we provide. In just a few weeks, we will give you in-depth insights into your gut health. Most importantly, we tell you which gut bacteria are overstaying their welcome. Based on that info, we can give you a bunch of actionable plans to repair your gut. 
 
For one, we can tell you which foods are causing you digestive issues. Different microbes have a penchant for different foods. So, if you have a surplus of one type of bacteria, there’s a high likelihood that specific foods caused that overgrowth.
 
Furthermore, our gut health program offers you hundreds of recipes that can help you grow the bacteria you need. As we will discuss later, specific foods will give beneficial bacteria the energy necessary to reclaim your gut health.

 

Order A Custom Probiotic Supplement

 
The goal of gut health is to create a diverse microbiome. Probiotics are one of the best microbiome supplements.
 
However, you don’t want to take a generic probiotic supplement because it might be laden with gut bacteria that you already have plenty of. With our gut health test, we can determine which stomach bacteria your gut biome truly needs. 
 
Our custom probiotic supplement is a delivery service. You can easily manage your subscription in our database to change your delivery date or hold your service. You can also get retested in a few months and compare your recommendations and results!

 

Cut Out Inflammatory Foods

 
While you wait for your custom probiotic supplement to come in the mail, there are plenty of actionable things you can do in the meantime. For one, you should cut many of the “usual” suspects.”
 
From there, try alternating some your diet choices. Opt for a different meal plan, like going keto or paleo vegan. In the meantime, try eliminating these foods.

 

Gluten

 
Gluten is the top inflammatory food in the world. It’s in everything from baked goods to cosmetics. While many think that gluten is an issue for people solely with Celiac Disease, that is not the case. Celiac Disease only accounts for about 1% of the population. 
 
Many of us are sensitive to products that commonly contain gluten, such as bread. Many whole grains grown in Western agriculture are made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Research indicates that GMOs might have the ability to alter DNA [20]. They also change microbial communities in soil [21]. So, what’s to say GMOs won’t do the same to our microbes?
 
Also, we mentioned earlier, the protein zonulin increased by consumption of gluten products, relaxes our tight junctions. Therefore, gluten increases intestinal permeability for people who don’t even have severe gluten sensitivity. 

 

Lactose/Dairy

 
Approximately 65% of us lose the ability to digest lactose after infancy properly. [22] Therefore, many of us are lactose intolerant and are probably unaware of it. 
 
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Abdominal Pain
• Cramping
• Bloating
• Constipation
 
Many of these lactose intolerance symptoms also mirror the common signs of an unhealthy gut. We’re the only mammals to drink milk past infancy. Plus, we’re the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. These might be clear indicators that we should limit our dairy intake. 
 
Not to mention, many dairy cows are preemptively treated with antibiotics. That’s because female calves are milked mechanically. These machines can cause the udders to rupture and get infected by bacteria. So, they’re given antibiotics to stop this inevitable occurrence. Unfortunately, we drink that milk and those antibiotics [23]. 
 
The purpose of antibiotics is to wipe out bacteria — good and bad. So, consuming antibiotic-rich milk can play a major role in depleting your probiotic bacteria levels. 
 
In addition, calves are always kept pregnant so they continue to produce milk. For optimal fertility, dairy cows are treated with estrogen. This might also be why there’s a strong correlation between poor gut health and infertility.

 

Soy

 
Soy is a very protein-heavy plant-based protein. Unfortunately, it’s a common food allergen. For those with a soy allergy, their immune system sees its proteins as a potential threat. Therefore, it will cause inflammation. 
 
There are many soy products, including some you might not be aware of, like:
• Edamame
• Tofu
• Tempeh
• Soy Sauce
• Soy Milk
• Miso
 
It is not uncommon for people with a soy allergy to also have an allergy to legumes. So, you might want to stay away from chickpeas, peanuts, and peas.

 

Lectins

 
Speaking of legumes, some people are sensitive to plant-based compounds known as lectins. Lectins are deemed “anti-nutrients [24].” They latch on the vitamins and minerals our bodies rely on for energy. In turn, we are left bloated and with depleted energy levels.
 
Some of the foods that contain lectins include:
  • • Dairy (Casein in Cheese, Milk, Yogurt)
  • • Legumes (Black Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peanuts, Soybeans)
  • • Nightshades (Eggplants, Goji Berries, Peppers, Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes)
  • • Whole Grains (Baked Goods, Bread, Corn, Crackers)
 
Unfortunately, lectins are in some of the most nutritious whole foods. Therefore, it can make following a vegan diet difficult. However, it is possible to eat a lectin-free vegan diet.

 

Start Eating Prebiotic-Rich Foods

 
After you eliminate foods that are causing digestive issues, you need to replenish the good gut bacteria that you have. The best way to do this is to feed them dietary fiber. 
 
Our gastrointestinal tract can’t break down all dietary fibers. So, our probiotic bacteria eat these carbohydrates for energy. These food sources are known as prebiotics. Feeding stomach bacteria prebiotics allows these microbes to also create short-chain fatty acids that help repair the gut lining, such as butyrate.
 
Prebiotic-rich foods include:
Bananas
• Jerusalem Artichokes
• Onions
• Garlic
• Leeks
• Apples
• Chicory Root/Inulin
• Barley
• Kefir
 
When eating fiber, start off slow. Going overboard can cause serious cramping. Also, some people have allergies to members of the allium family (onions, garlic, scallions). If you notice issues when you consume these prebiotics, cut back on your intake.
 
The Thryve Gut Health Program has hundreds of prebiotic-rich recipes that are tailored to feed bacteria we’re attempting to grow in your gut. We don’t leave you alone in the kitchen to fend for yourself. Our database provides you with countless recipes to tailor weeks worth of healthy gut meal plans.

 

Eat Probiotic Foods

 
As your first probiotic supplement are on their way to you, you can get ahead of the game by eating probiotic foods. Many foods have live bacteria in them that can help get your digestive juices flowing. Even better, they’re derived from whole foods that are rich in antioxidants that help repair your gut.
 
Some of the best sources of probiotic foods include:
• Pickles
• Kraut
Kimchi
• Yogurt
• Kombucha
• Tempeh
• Natto
• Miso
 
Fermentation is an excellent way to preserve whole foods and to create gut-healthy snacks. Creating an airtight environment allows bacteria to feast on carbohydrates within the fibers of sealed fruits and vegetables. In turn, these bacteria enrich the brine and foods with digestive enzymes, amino acids, and other essential vitamins. 
 
Also, try incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. For instance, try adding star anise for its antiviral benefits. Then, include some spirulina, which can provide your body with an array of nutrients necessary to boost your healthy gut bacteria.

 

Exercise

 
All of the dieting in the world will mean nothing if you don’t exercise. Exercise will not only burn fat off your waistline; it helps shake up your probiotic bacteria.
 
Movement causes chemical reactions to take place in the body. That can cause clusters of harmful bacteria to become displaced…and hopefully shown the door.
 
Also, exercise can cause beneficial gut bacteria to interact. In turn, they might create more beneficial short-chain fatty acids or microbes. That’s why research suggests that exercise improves stomach bacteria diversity. 

 

Meditate 

 
Stress is a serious health risk. Unfortunately, many of us take it as a way of life. It doesn’t need to be that way. Chronic stress destroys us mentally and physiologically. 
 
One of the cheapest ways to combat stress is to meditate. All you need is yourself and a quiet room. Stay away from the urge to check your email. After all, too much screen time is compromising your mental and gut health!
 
Pay attention to your breath, repeating a mantra that you feel comfortable saying. Otherwise, mentally think of the words “inhale” and “exhale.” This kind of focus will help stop your wandering thoughts.
 
Just start with five minutes. Work your way up. If your mind wanders, just reel it back to your mantra. Try relaxing your racing mind by using essential oils. In time, five minutes will fly by. Also, the stress will melt away!

 

Talk to Doctor About Alternatives to Medications

 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written each year [25]. We’re setting our bodies (and the immune systems of others) up for antibiotic resistance!
 
First and foremost, lower your risk of needing medications by improving your health. Try looking up all-natural ways for boosting your overall wellness.
 
For instance, you might find drinks to improve your prostate, recipes to support your immune system, or try incorporating more probiotic foods into your diet. All of these hacks can be preventive measures for worsening ailments.
 
Make changes to your diet and take all-natural supplements. In fact, research suggests that probiotics might reduce the need for antibiotics [26]. 
 
Also, many medications have long-term side effects that can impact your overall health. Try to get to the root cause of your problems. Try a Thryve Gut Health Test and share your results with your physician. Discuss custom probiotic treatments for your symptoms. 

 

How to Fix My Gut Health

 
Fixing your gut health will take time. However, it’s time well invested. Improving conditions in your gut biome play a crucial role in your overall health. Stop playing guessing games with your health and get solid answers. 
 
Order a Thryve Gut Health Test and get a custom probiotic recommendation. Based on these results, stay away from food that has a high probability of causing an immune response. Then, eat a bunch of prebiotic-rich foods that Thryve suggests will feed your probiotic bacteria.
 
Combine these actions with healthier lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to medicines. Increase your physical activity. Also, make sure to carve out some self-care time. All of these go great lengths in improving your quality of life.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 
[1] Huang, T. T., Lai, J. B., Du, Y. L., Xu, Y., Ruan, L. M., & Hu, S. H. (2019). Current Understanding of Gut Microbiota in Mood Disorders: An Update of Human Studies. Frontiers in genetics, 10, 98. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00098.
 
[2] Xiao T. S. (2017). Innate immunity and inflammation. Cellular & molecular immunology, 14(1), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1038/cmi.2016.45.
 
[3] King, Charles H., et al. “Baseline Human Gut Microbiota Profile in Healthy People and Standard Reporting Template.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, 11 Sept. 2019, journals.plos.org/plosone/article/metrics?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0206484.
 
[4] Cogen, A. L., Nizet, V., & Gallo, R. L. (2008). Skin microbiota: a source of disease or defence?. The British journal of dermatology, 158(3), 442–455. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08437.x.
 
[5] Parada Venegas, Daniela, et al. “Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)-Mediated Gut Epithelial and Immune Regulation and Its Relevance for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 31 Jan. 2019, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00277/full.
 
[6] Collado, Maria Carmen, et al. “Human Gut Colonisation May Be Initiated in Utero by Distinct Microbial Communities in the Placenta and Amniotic Fluid.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 22 Mar. 2016, www.nature.com/articles/srep23129.
 
[7] Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and experimental immunology, 153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 3–6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x.
 
[8] Marcelo Campos, MD. “Leaky Gut: What Is It, and What Does It Mean for You?” Harvard Health Blog, 24 Oct. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451.
 
[9] “Body Basics.” Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, Oct. 2012, www.rchsd.org/health-articles/digestive-system-2/.
 
[10] Anderson, J. M., & Van Itallie, C. M. (2009). Physiology and function of the tight junction. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 1(2), a002584. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a002584.
 
[11] Fasano A. (2012). Zonulin, regulation of tight junctions, and autoimmune diseases. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1258(1), 25–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06538.x.
 
[12] “Ulcerative Colitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Dec. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353331.
 
[13] “Digestive Diseases.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 9 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/advances-in-the-treatment-of-crohns-disease-and-ulcerative-colitis/mac-20454634.
 
[14] Davis C. D. (2016). The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity. Nutrition today, 51(4), 167–174. https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0000000000000167.
 
[15] Organics·Need to Know·March 29, 2017·5 min read. “Women Put On 515 Synthetic Chemicals On Their Bodies Every Day.” Organics, 7 May 2019, www.organics.org/women-put-515-synthetic-chemicals-bodies-every-day/.
 
[16] Breit, S., Kupferberg, A., Rogler, G., & Hasler, G. (2018). Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044.
 
[17] Svoboda, Elizabeth. “Could the Gut Microbiome Be Linked to Autism?” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 29 Jan. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00198-y.
 
[18] “Study Shows How Serotonin and a Popular Anti-Depressant Affect the Gut’s Microbiota.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 6 Sept. 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190906092809.htm.
 
[19] Strandwitz, P., Kim, K.H., Terekhova, D. et al. GABA-modulating bacteria of the human gut microbiota. Nat Microbiol 4, 396–403 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-018-0307-3.
 
[20] Scott Simonsen, et al. “Demystifying GMOs: New Research Shows Unexpected Changes in Plant DNA.” Singularity Hub, 7 Apr. 2019, singularityhub.com/2019/02/11/demystifying-gmos-new-research-shows-unexpected-changes-in-plant-dna/.
 
[21] “Impact of GM Crops on Soil Health.” ISAAA, 20 Aug. 2020, www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/57/default.asp.
 
[22] “Lactose Intolerance – Genetics Home Reference – NIH.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance.
 
[23] Sachi, S., Ferdous, J., Sikder, M. H., & Azizul Karim Hussani, S. M. (2019). Antibiotic residues in milk: Past, present, and future. Journal of advanced veterinary and animal research, 6(3), 315–332. https://doi.org/10.5455/javar.2019.f350.
 
[24] Roos N, Sørensen JC, Sørensen H, et al. Screening for anti-nutritional compounds in complementary foods and food aid products for infants and young children. Matern Child Nutr. 2013;9 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):47-71. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00449.x.
 
[25] “Appropriate Antibiotic Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Nov. 2019, www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/index.html.
 
[26] “Probiotic Use May Reduce Antibiotic Prescriptions.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 14 Sept. 2018, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180914084840.htm.



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Rejuvenate Your Skin Naturally With These Tips

Don’t use abrasive cleansers and toxic cosmetics to find your natural glow. Use these healthy hacks to rejuvenate your skin naturally.
 
Beauty fades, as does our health. Unfortunately, our health can decline much sooner due to our obsession with maintaining our outward appearance. According to a 2019 analysis by the Environmental Work Group, the average American woman puts 168 chemicals on her face and body in the name of beauty, while a man uses 85 [1]. These potentially toxic beauty ingredients can do more harm than good. Here are some ways to rejuvenate your skin naturally.

 

Why Rejuvenate Your Skin Naturally?

aging rejuvenate skin naturally
 
Serums, creams, and exfoliation creams seem like amazing quick fixes. However, they’re the same as putting on makeup. They’re just helping or covering up what’s going on at the superficial layer. However, there are plenty of things going on underneath that won’t go away on their own.
 
Our skin aging accelerates as we age because we miss out on many vitamins and minerals we used to. Compound that with toxins in the air, hormones in your food, and synthetic ingredients in your cosmetics, you’re looking at less vibrant skin.

 

How to Rejuvenate Your Skin Naturally

 
Our skin has its own microbiome. The microbes on your skin interact with the bacteria in your gut. Thanks to the gut-skin-axis, there are steps you can take to improve your gut health that will rejuvenate your skin naturally.
 
In the same breath, whatever you do to improve your skin health will have a positive impact on your gut. Your skin is super porous. So, toxins can get in easily and make trouble for your immune cells and stomach bacteria. Here are some tips to strengthen the symbiotic relationship between gut and skin.

 

Avocado-Honey-Coconut Moisturizer

avocado rejuvenate your skin
Nature’s medicine works far beyond eating superfoods. You can also include these organic food choices in your beauty routine, as well!
 
Avocados are high in healthy fats. They contain the amino acids necessary to provide the building blocks of life that make healthy skin cells.
 
Plus, the fats in avocados are long-chain fatty acids. Too many of these can prove troublesome for a diet. That’s because the average person won’t burn off the fats during the day.
 
However, the skin doesn’t need to digest the food like our gut does. So, the long-chain fatty acids serve as long-lasting hydration on the skin.
 
Adding honey to the mixture provides you with an all-natural exfoliant. Our ancient ancestors used to use honey to improve wound healing. It’s also excellent for burn treatments.
 
One study on the skin benefits of honey found,
 

“The free radical control by honey, due to its anti-oxidant effect, limits damage and subsequent multi-organ dysfunction. Honey’s anti-bacterial action, low pH, high viscosity, hygroscopic effect, and its hydrogen peroxide content all play a combined role in honey’s effectiveness in burns treatment [2].”

Ann Burns Fire Disasters.
Making an avocado-honey-coconut moisturizer to rejuvenate your skin is easy and cost-effective. Place 3 T of coconut oil, 1/2 an avocado, and 1 T of honey into a blender.
 
Rub the moisturizer into your skin and allow it sit for an hour before washing off.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

 
ACV isn’t an old maid’s tale your grandparents like to tell. This stuff is the real deal. It’s an amazing way to get your gut and skin in perfect harmony.

 

ACV Topical Use

 
Apple cider vinegar (especially “with mother”) is rich in probiotics. Research suggests that diluting ACV with water can help yeast and bacteria related to skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema [3]. However, reports are conflicting and dependent on the person. So, please talk to a doctor first.
 
In addition, ACV is highly acidic. Therefore, it can bring balance to elevated pH scales. However, this acidic nature might be too much for sensitive skin. Again, be sure to talk to a dermatologist before applying.

 

ACV Tonics

ACV TOnic for skin health
In the meantime, make an apple cider vinegar tonic, such as:
 
Ginger Green Tea
Fire Cider
Apple Cider Turmeric Detox
 
You can also just add ACV to distilled water and drink. Just don’t do ACV shots. They can do a lot of harm to your gut lining and stain your teeth!

 

Shorter Showers

 
Cleanliness is not always godliness. We live in an overly-sterile environment. These concerns are only going to get worse in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you go through periods of self-isolation, maybe forgo the shower?

 

Make Them Quicker

 
Long, drawn-out showers are great for getting your singing on. However, they’re bad for drying out your skin. Try taking shorter showers to maintain moisture. Otherwise, you might end up with flaky skin.

 

Get Colder

 
Also, be sure to turn down the heat. Hot water makes your skin turn red and blotchy. When it dries, it doesn’t remain much moisture. Most of it dissipated with the steam in your shower!
 
Many researchers suggest starting and ending your shower with cold water. It activates your immune cells. Therefore, they will be readily available to help the skin cells you almost dried out.
 
One study found that cold water boosted the amount of haptoglobin protein in our blood [4]. Haptoglobin regulates inflammation of Langerhans cells [5]. These are cells our immune system uses to keep microbial balance on the skin biome.

 

Exercise

 
There’s a reason why fitness models blow up their IG with selfies. Exercise makes you feel good and look good, too.
 
When you exercise, it helps tighten loose skin. In turn, your skin maintains its vitality. Otherwise, it becomes loose, hoards liquid, and starts to become wrinkly.
 
Also, exercise is essential for people to tighten up loose ends when they lose weight. Dropping pounds is amazing for your gut health, and eventually, your skin. However, if you lose a lot quickly, you are left with excess epidermis.
 
The skin won’t go away. You need to burn it off. Start exercising and transform your body into muscle. Your skin will wrap around that muscle, tighten, and naturally glow!

 

Healthy Oils

Fats are key to healthy skin. Our skin constantly secretes sebum oil. This moisturizer helps keep our skin from drying out, fights off ultraviolet (UV) damage, and maintains moisture around the skin barrier.
 
While sebum oil levels remain the same for aging men, women stop creating this important oil as they age. This decline begins around menopause. In turn, they can end up with dry skin or stringy hair follicles.
 
se fruit oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help rejuvenate your skin’s natural glow. It will help provide moisture and lock-in any nutrients you add. So, consider creating oil remedies for skin with essential oils!

 

Bone Broth

 
Thryve Inside Bone Broth recipe
 
Many people turn to collagen fillers to improve wrinkles. These can be expensive and provide other potential health and skin problems. Now, you can fix them from the outside in. Consider drinking bone broth to improve your skin naturally.
 
Bone broth is rich in collagen and elastin. Both of these protein peptides are what gives our skin cells their structure. In turn, they help keep your skin appearing healthy and elastic.
 
Also, bone broth helps heal your gut barrier. It provides your gut cells the power necessary to replenish themselves. Thanks to bone broth, you’re less likely to have pathogens enter the system and cause inflammation. That’s why there’s such a strong relationship between Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and acne.

 

Fruits and Veggies

 
Not many of us are too keen on the produce aisle. However, you should become well acquainted if you want to rejuvenate your skin. That’s because these dietary sources are rich in antioxidants.
 
Antioxidants are essential for any skin health care plan. They fight off the free radicals that destroy healthy skin cells. These powerful minerals also help clear out dead cells that litter the skin barrier. Left unchecked, this debris may cause puffy and irritated skin.
 
Perhaps nothing ages our skin quicker than too much sun. antioxidants are essential for repairing damage caused by UV rays.
 
One meta-analysis found,
 

“These compounds protect molecular targets by scavenging reactive oxygen species, including excited singlet oxygen and triplet state molecules, and also modulate stress-dependent signaling and/or suppress cellular and tissue responses like inflammation. Micronutrients present in the diet such as carotenoids, vitamins E and C, and polyphenols contribute to antioxidant defense and may also contribute to endogenous photoprotection [6].”

So, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help combat this consequence of summer fun. However, you shouldn’t rely on them instead of wearing sunscreen!

 

Probiotics

 
Beauty is truly skin deep. If you want to rejuvenate your skin naturally, you must start from the inside. Diversify your gut biome.
 
 
When you have probiotic bacteria in your system, they help keep pathogens at bay. As a result, your immune system won’t spark inflammation.
 
Any inflammation inside will reflect on the outside. It’s like burning down a house from the basement on up. The damage starts within, but you’ll see the results on the exterior soon.

 

Ready to Rejuvenate Your Skin?

 
Then what are you waiting for? Take little steps to rejuvenate your skin. Begin with eating healthier and getting custom probiotics. Then, start upping your exercise game and making your own skin products. Lastly, try out the tonics and bone broths. You’ll be amazed at how comforting going outside the comfort zone can be!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Personal Care Products Safety Act Would Improve Cosmetics Safety.” EWG, Oct. 2019, www.ewg.org/Personal-Care-Products-Safety-Act-Would-Improve-Cosmetics-Safety.
 
[2] Subrahmanyam M. (2007). Topical application of honey for burn wound treatment – an overview. Annals of burns and fire disasters, 20(3), 137–139.
 
[3] “Herbs and Natural Remedies.” Herbal Remedies for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, National Psoriasis Foundation, 21 May 2020, www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/herbal-remedies.
 
[4] Chomiczewska D, Trznadel-Budźko E, Kaczorowska A, Rotsztejn H. Znaczenie komórek Langerhansa w układzie immunologicznym skóry [The role of Langerhans cells in the skin immune system]. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009;26(153):173‐177.
 
[5] Chiabrando, Deborah, et al. “Haptoglobin and Hemopexin in Heme Detoxification and Iron Recycling.” IntechOpen, IntechOpen, 5 Oct. 2011, www.intechopen.com/books/acute-phase-proteins-regulation-and-functions-of-acute-phase-proteins/haptoglobin-and-hemopexin-in-heme-detoxification-and-iron-recycling.
 
[6] Fernández-García E. Skin protection against UV light by dietary antioxidants. Food Funct. 2014;5(9):1994‐2003. doi:10.1039/c4fo00280f.
 

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Skin Microbes Can Determine Your Age

You can apply all the makeup in the world, but the skin microbes don’t lie. Forensic scientists have used artificial intelligence for years, researching gut microbes to verify someone’s age. Now, a recent study finds that using skin microbes can be four times as efficient! Learn the connection between skin microbes, gut bacteria, and your overall health. Let’s take a closer look at this IBM-funded analysis.

 

Skin Microbes and Health Study

 
IBM recently teamed with the University of San Diego (UC San Diego) on what turned out to be a breakthrough in microbiome studies [1]. They tested samples provided by 9,000 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 90. These samples came from three different sources.
 
skin microbes study
Gotta cover all the bases!
The scientists tested:
 
• Feces Microbes (Stomach Bacteria)
• Saliva Microbes (Oral Bacteria)
• Skin Microbes (Skin Bacteria)
 
They used these cells with AI technology to determine how old people were. This system follows many of the same algorithms used in random forest regression that predicts the age of the tree.
 
The technology has a clear understanding of what the average bacteria looks like in healthy and unhealthy systems of various ages. So, it was able to pinpoint the ages of participants based on the samples provided. Some of these results were pretty accurate, while others some ways off.

 

Do Skin Microbes Provide the Most Accurate Age?

 
Many experts expected gut microbes to give the most accurate age. However, the researchers were pleasantly shocked. The awe wasn’t just because they were wrong. It was because of how wrong.
 
The team of scientists concluded in their piece,
 

“It was surprising to discover that the skin and oral microbiomes are much more predictive of age than gut microbiome [1].”

IBM/UC San Diego
Bacteria in the following areas allowed for a correct estimate of chronological age within a range of the following years:
 
• Skin Microbes: 3.8 Years
• Oral Microbes: 4.5 Years
• Gut Bacteria: 11.5 Years
 
These studies shouldn’t downplay the importance of maintaining optimal gut health for wellness. If anything, it opens a door for early diagnoses of gastro disease.

 

Why Skin Microbes Are Better Age Indicators Than Microbes

 
skin microbes age
Life’s a long journey for us, not our microbes
Your gut biome can change within three to four days [2]. These stomach bacteria are very responsive to changes in diet. Therefore, if an underlying issue is brewing, it will take some time to show up.
 
Oral and gut microbes are much more dynamic than skin microbes. It’s more difficult to tell how long their species has reigned supreme because the turnover rate is so quick.
 
Skin cells offer a better picture of what a person’s age can be. As people get older, they lose oils in their skin. In turn, it makes it more difficult for specific bacteria to survive on the skin microbiome. Their presence missing can help AI make a more accurate estimate at a person’s age.

 

How Skin Microbes Can Help Gut Health

skin microbes for aging
Be beautiful outside and in!
 
There’s a saying we quote around here often: “All disease begins in the gut.” Just like all disease begins in the gut, so does the genesis of new cells.
 
When we have new skin cells, they form at the skin barrier. Each time a new cell is created, it pushes the older one to the surface. Eventually, old skin cells become our exterior ones, where they ultimately flake off our bodies.
 
While the battle for supremacy is going on in your gut, your skin microbes are trying to make their way out. They carry with them information about what’s going on inside. The scientists are hoping to use this info to determine if you have a disease brewing within.
 
The IBM/UC San Diego team noted,
 

“The gut and oral microbes enriched in young subjects were found to be more abundant and more prevalent than microbes enriched in the old subjects, suggesting a model where aging occurs in tandem with the loss of key microbes over a lifetime. This observation sets the stage for future research on the role of the microbiome in the aging process. Taken together, the results demonstrate that accurate and generalizable indicators of age can be derived from using machine learning on microbiome data.”

IBM/UC San Diego
Figuring out how other microbes interact with gut bacteria is key to early diagnosis of disease. Researchers are hopeful this breakthrough will help determine cases of cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders.

 

Gut Test and Skin Health

 
A large reason the skin microbes are so intuitive is that the bacteria on our skin are in contact with the microbes in our gut. This communication network is known as our gut-skin-axis.
 
Skin health can be an
indicator of gut health
Inflammation caused by stomach bacteria is the root of many skin conditions, including:
 
Acne
• Eczema
• Rosacea
Collagen Loss
• Allergies
• Psoriasis
 
If you want to rejuvenate your skin naturally and recapture your natural glow, you have to work from the inside out. Fix your inner beauty by figuring out which stomach bacteria are causing your skin problems.

 

Gut Health Test

 
The most efficient way to determine which gut microbes are influencing your skin microbes with a Thryve Inside Gut Health Test. We send you everything you need to collect a sample safely in your own home. Simply mail the package back to us, and we’ll analyze your sample.

 

Probiotic Recommendation

 
Based on these results, we can help you in two ways. One, we’ll recommend a custom probiotic. This supplement will help replenish your gut biome with helpful bacteria that promote healthy skin cells. It’ll also contain bacteria strains that make it more challenging for pathogenic bacteria to exist.

 

Dietary Changes

 
foods for gut health thryve inside recommendations
We don’t leave you high and dry
Many of our skin problems are much in thanks to allergens in food. The more we eat these inflammatory biomarkers, the more inflammation will happen. In turn, beneficial skin microbes get destroyed.
 
Since we know which stomach bacteria are in your gut biome and in your supplement, we know which foods you should eat, too. The Thryve Gut Health Program will help you follow a healthy gut diet plan with a comprehensive recipe list. These dishes are rich in prebiotics that will feed your probiotics and nutrients that will nourish your gut and skin!
 

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Haiminen, Nina, et al. “AI Can Predict Your Age Based on Your Microbiome.” IBM Research Blog, 11 Feb. 2020, www.ibm.com/blogs/research/2020/02/ai-predict-age-based-on-microbiome/.
 
[2] Feltman, Rachel. “The Gut’s Microbiome Changes Rapidly with Diet.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2013, www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-guts-microbiome-changes-diet/.
 

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Toxic Beauty Ingredients You Have to Know About

At what price do you stop trying to achieve “beauty?” There are thousands of products tailored to each of our beauty insecurities. From acne astringents to eczema creams to collagen-boosting salves, our skincare regimen is a burgeoning health disaster. Toxic beauty ingredients are in everyday items, and they are destroying healthy microbes on our skin microbiome.
 
Not only can these products have lasting implications on our gut health and immune system, but they can do even more damage to your skin. Let’s take a look at some common toxic beauty ingredients for which you should keep an eye out.

 

What are Toxic Beauty Ingredients?

 
Toxic beauty ingredients are the fillers, artificial dyes, and emulsifying agents in health and beauty products. Their purpose is to make mass-produced items more appealing. Manufacturing companies use toxic beauty ingredients to give cucumber-inspired face masks a greenish hue or to increase the shelf life of a moisturizing serum.
 
toxic beauty ingredients
We are surrounded by skin irritants


Notice that there are many reasons why companies include toxic beauty ingredients in our products? Then you can safely make the assumption that thousands of skincare products contain toxic beauty ingredients.
 
Let’s take Jergen’s Original Scent “Cherry Almond” Lotion. This product smells like a nutty and tart treat. However, there is no cherry, almond, or almond oil in the formula. They use the ever-elusive “fragrance” to create the scent.
 
It also contains non-biodegradable synthetic ingredients, such as dimethicone, methylparaben, and ethylparaben. Suffice to say, of the 16 ingredients in the formula, the only one that seems to come from a natural source is “water.”
 
This lotion isn’t the only one guilty of implementing toxic beauty ingredients. One study found that the average woman has 515 synthetic compounds in their daily beauty routine [1]. Let’s take a look at why these sorts of skincare regimens can be detrimental to our health.

 

Why Are Toxic Beauty Ingredients FDA-Approved?

 
The reason why many people have such a blind eye to toxic beauty ingredients is that all of these additives are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved. Therefore, many of us assume all of these ingredients are okay. However, we fail to recognize that these items are analyzed under different circumstances and unique situations.
 
toxic beauty ingredients straw breaks camel back
How many products
will break your camel’s back?
When the FDA approves an item, such as triclosan (an antiseptic for things like toothpaste), there’s a vast asterisk attached.
 
In small doses, on its own, triclosan has low toxicity levels. The FDA isn’t taking into consideration how many products an individual uses per day that have this item. This list includes face wash, lotion, and night masks.
 
Then you also have to add in all the other 514 ingredients looming on our skin microbiome. It’s like adding a bunch of straws onto a camel’s back. Eventually, the camel will collapse. Our skin microbiome is that camel, and these FDA-approved products are the straw that’s destroying our gut health.

 

Top Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Look Out For

 
Anytime you go shopping for cosmetics, make sure to read the label. Get familiar with some words that should serve as a red flag. Here are some of the top toxic beauty ingredients you should stay away from.

 

Parabens

 
Parabens are skincare additives that have made some noise in the news over the last couple of years. We’ve been using these little bead-like molecules in beauty products for decades. Now, we’re finding out the lasting implications of this decision.
 
According to the FDA, the purpose of parabens are:
 

“Parabens are a family of related chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold, in order to protect both the products and consumers [2]. “

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
When looking at an ingredient’s list, don’t look for the word “parabens” to pop up. It’s a suffix added to individual ingredients.
 
Common parabens include:
• Methylparaben
• Propylparaben
• Butylparaben
• Ethylparaben
 
These FDA-approved additives have a low solubility level. Thankfully, these non-biodegradable additives haven’t disrupted our drinking water. However, they have popped up in swimming pools. Furthermore, parabens have been tested positive in wastewater, too. That means our skin is absorbing a lot of these synthetic ingredients [3].
 
Having elevated paraben levels can serve as a significant problem for humans. Research shows that parabens mimic estrogen [4]. As a result, long-term exposure to parabens can mess up hormone production. This consequence can lead to potential issues, such as breast cancer or infertility.

 

Triclosan

Don’t deep dive into triclosan
 
An analysis found that triclosan is present in the urine of 75% of Americans [5]. This antiseptic additive was believed to help destroy viruses and potentially harmful bacteria from penetrating the skin.
 
Now, it’s thought that elevated doses of triclosan can destroy beneficial bacteria, as well.
 
Our skin microbiome has evolved to provide the best line of defense for our microbes and immune cells. Unfortunately, triclosan weakens this wellness moat.
 
An analysis conducted by the Time confirmed,
 

“In the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Oregon State University exposed 45 adult zebrafish to either normal food or food with triclosan for up to seven days. After that, the researchers analyzed the microbiomes of the fish and found that exposure was linked to significant shifts in the diversity and structure of the fish’s microbiome [6]. “

Time
While zebrafish aren’t the same as humans, the analysis looks at what’s going on at a molecular level. When you break things down to the atom, we’re not much different than any another sentient being.
 
Unfortunately, this toxic beauty ingredient isn’t just in cosmetics. You can also find triclosan in cookware, toothpaste, and hand soap.

 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

 
toxic beauty ingredients
Go the opposite direction of SLS and SLES
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are additives that act as a foaming agent. They are very popular in hand soaps and cleansers. So, anything with a pump probably has one of these two items in it.
 
While SLS and SLES are great for creating suds, they actually are quite abrasive to our skin. In turn, some of us may receive allergic reactions when we use products that contain these additives. This sentiment is especially true for those with sensitive skin.
 
One study involving SLS and skin irritation noted,
 

“Results showed that of the 1600 tested patients, 668 (41.8%) had an irritant reaction to SLS which exceeded 2 + in only 41 patients. Seasonal variation was statistically significant, showing reduced SLS reactivity in summer vs. winter [7].”

Contact Dermatitis. 
Even more interesting is that those who showed sensitivities to SLS tended to experience skin irritations from the following 10 ingredients:
 
• Fragrance Mix
• Cobalt Chloride,
• Balsam of Peru (Myroxylon Pereirae)
• Lanolin Alcohol
• 4-Phenylenediamine Base (PPD)
• Propolis
• Formaldehyde
• N-Isopropyl-N’-Phenyl-P-Phenylenediamine (IPPD)
• Benzocaine
• 4-Tert-Butylphenol-Formaldehyde Resin
 
While we’re not going to go in-depth about these ingredients like we just did for SLS, you should also get to know them. These are other potential toxic beauty ingredients that can dry out your skin, kill off beneficial bacteria, and harm skin cells.

 

Formaldehyde

 
Your eyes didn’t deceive you. The preservative we used on dead animals to experiment on in biology class is actually used in beauty products. While formaldehyde is most dangerous in a gaseous state, this preservative is still a potential danger as a toxic beauty ingredient.
 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released this statement about formaldehyde,
 

“Ingestion of as little as 30 mL (1 oz.) of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde has been reported to cause death in an adult. Ingestion may cause corrosive injury to the gastrointestinal mucosa, with nausea, vomiting, pain, bleeding, and perforation. Corrosive injuries are usually most pronounced in the pharyngeal mucosa, epiglottis and esophagus. Systemic effects include metabolic acidosis, CNS depression and coma, respiratory distress, and renal failure [8].”

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
While it’s doubtful that someone will use one ounce of formaldehyde in one sitting, why would you want beauty products that contain this item?
 
What’s even more unsettling is that the CDC noted that formaldehyde was commonly used in the production of:
Your beauty routine and tires should have nothing in common
Sugar
• Rubber
• Textiles
• Pharmaceuticals
• Food

 

Phthalates

 
These synthetic ingredients are used in so many products of our everyday lives. They are used to give products, including plastic, more flexibility. They provide softness to a moisturizing cream or can help soothe the abrasiveness of an exfoliant.
 
There are many types of phthalates out there, including:
 
• Butyl Benzyl Phthalate (BBzP)
• Dibutyl Phthalate (DnBP)
• Di-2-ethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP)
• Diethyl Phthalate (DEP)
• Di-Butyl Phthalate (DBP)
• Benzyl Butyl Phthalate (BBP)
• Diisobutyl Phthalate (DiBP)
• Diisononyl Phthalate (DiNP)
• Di-N-octyl Phthalate (DnOP)
• Dipentyl Phthalate (DPP)
• Di-Isobutyl Phthalate (DiBP)
• Di-Isononyl Phthalate (DiNP)
• Di-N-Octyl Phthalate (DnOP)
• Di-Isohexyl Phthalate
• Dicyclohexyl Phthalate (DcHP)
• Di-Isoheptyl Phthalate
 
One study involving DEHP and pregnant women found that this synthetic ingredient has a negative impact on the hormones of male embryos [9]. The analysis looked at DEHP usage during the first trimester.
 
In their conclusion, researchers noted,
 

“First trimester urinary DEHP metabolite concentrations were associated with increased odds of any newborn genital anomaly, and this association was primarily driven by isolated hydrocele which made up the majority of anomalies in newborn males.”

Environ Res. 
toxic beauty ingredients for babies
Know what you give your baby
These statistics are scary. Women are a primary target for cosmetic items, including pregnant women. They’re inundated with advertisements about creams promising to relieve stretch marks or bring volume back to their breasts after breastfeeding.
 
With women using 515 synthetic ingredients per day in their beauty routine, fetuses are absorbing these additives at alarming rates. Therefore, these toxic beauty ingredients are going to cause us to develop more problems, including infertility at earlier stages of our lives.

 

What to Do About Toxic Beauty Ingredients?

 
Your best defense against toxic beauty ingredients is education. Become familiar with many of these additives. Steer clear of beauty products that have names in the ingredients list you can’t pronounce. True beauty products should have faster shelf lives and be filled with organic plants and minerals.
 
Also, help give your skin and gut biome a chance for survival. Boost your immune system, skin cells, and gut health with custom probiotics. Join the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program so we can determine which harmful stomach bacteria have set up shop. These microbes flourish in a world created by toxic beauty ingredients. Therefore, we need to help you come up with an action plan to defeat these intruders.
 
With the Thryve Gut Health Program, we test your gut bacteria and recommend custom probiotics. Together, we can help you create a stronger line of defense against these harmful additives.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Persad, Michelle. “The Average Woman Puts 515 Synthetic Chemicals On Her Body Every Day.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Mar. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/synthetic-chemicals-skincare_n_56d8ad09e4b0000de403d995.
 
[2] Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Parabens in Cosmetics.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/parabens-cosmetics.
 
[3] Haman, Camille, et al. “Occurrence, Fate and Behavior of Parabens in Aquatic Environments: a Review.” Water Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25462712.
 
[4] Engeli, R. T., Rohrer, S. R., Vuorinen, A., Herdlinger, S., Kaserer, T., Leugger, S., … Odermatt, A. (2017). Interference of Paraben Compounds with Estrogen Metabolism by Inhibition of 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(9), 2007. doi:10.3390/ijms18092007.
 
[5] Weatherly, L. M., & Gosse, J. A. (2017). Triclosan exposure, transformation, and human health effects. Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews, 20(8), 447–469. doi:10.1080/10937404.2017.1399306.
 
[6] Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Triclosan Antibacterial Soap and Gut Bacteria.” Time, Time, 18 May 2016, time.com/4339866/triclosan-antibacterial-soap-safety/.
 
[7] Geier, J, et al. “Patch Testing with the Irritant Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Is Useful in Interpreting Weak Reactions to Contact Allergens as Allergic or Irritant.” Contact Dermatitis, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12694214.
 
[8] “Toxic Substances Portal – Formaldehyde.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=216&tid=39.
 
[9] Sathyanarayana, Sheela, et al. “First Trimester Phthalate Exposure and Male Newborn Genital Anomalies.” Environmental Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27567446.
 

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The Skin Microbiome and Exfoliation: Are We Scrubbing Good Bacteria Away?

Healthy skin isn’t pulled off by loading up on concealers and foundations. Accomplishing healthy skin starts with the microbiome. Most people think that the microbiome is only in your gut, but this is not the case [1]. Your skin is teeming with bacteria, and maintaining a healthy skin microbiome is important to help protect your skin and keep a healthy pH balance [2].
 
While exfoliating your skin will help keep its natural glow, you might not want to do it every day. This abrasive behavior may cause more harm to the skin microbiome than good. Let’s take a closer look at the skin microbiome and how overdoing it with the exfoliation might be a bad idea.

 

What is the Skin Microbiome?

 
skin microbiome
Our skin is ourfirst line of defense
The skin microbiome is a term used to describe the community of bacteria which reside on human skin. There are over a thousand skin flora species that derive from 19 phyla [3].
 
On the other side of the skin are your vital organs and gut biome. So, it’s the job of the skin microbiome to protect these essential parts of our system.
 
That’s why our skin is our largest organ. It covers us from head to toes, protecting our microbes from the outside world.
 
This connection between the skin and our insides is exactly why the skin microbiome has such a profound impact on our immune system.

 

The Skin Microbiome and Immune System

 
Your skin is the first barrier against the outside world, making the skin immune response vital to a robust immune system. Recently, studies have shown that a healthy population of beneficial bacteria is critical in making sure your skin’s immune system is in top condition [4].
 
A meta-analysis looking at the skin microbiome stated,
 

“The skin represents the primary interface between the host and the environment. Microbial profiling has revealed the presence of highly diverse commensal communities along distinct topographical skin sites. Moreover, cutaneous inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea have been associated with dysbiosis in the cutaneous microbiota. Indeed, microbial products from skin commensals are known to exert immunoregulatory effects [4].” 

Science
Your skin microbiome acclimates your immune system to the presence of non-pathogenic bacteria. This dipping of toes in water makes your skin’s immune response less sensitive. That way, your immune cells will only react when it’s necessary [5].
 
immune system and gut biome
Meet your immune system cells
 
When our immune response isn’t working properly, it can cause skin conditions, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, along with others [6]. Making sure you take care of your skin’s microbiome is essential in disease prevention. One way to strengthen your skin microbiome is by not over-exfoliating. 

 

What is Exfoliation?

 
skin microbiome
Say “bye” to dead cells!
Exfoliation is when you take an abrasive substance and rub it against your skin.
 
This action helps open your pores, clean out debris, and balance out oils.
 
Typical exfoliants are dubbed on cosmetic products as “scrubs,” masks,” or “creams.” Otherwise, you use physical objects to rub against your skin. These types of exfoliants are sold in health and beauty aisles within close proximity of scrubs and masks.
 
Some people use all-natural products during their beauty routine. However, others may opt for a chemical-based product. Let’s take a look at the different types of exfoliation techniques and how they interact with the skin microbiome.

 

Different Types of Exfoliation

 
There are many different ways to exfoliate, but they generally fall under one of two categories:
 
• Chemical Exfoliants
• Mechanical Exfoliants
 
Chemical exfoliants use light acids to gently remove dead skin cells, while mechanical exfoliants use physical materials such as brushes or abrasive scrubs [7].

 

Types of Chemical Exfoliants

 
Many feel chemical exfoliants cause less physical pain than mechanical. They break up the lipids that hold dead skin cells together. Therefore, you can clean out your clogged pores much easier.
 
The two most common types of acids used in chemical exfoliants are:
 
• Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
• Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA)
 
For a deeper clean, opt for AHAs. They are water-soluble, so these acids can penetrate deep into your spongey pours. Meanwhile, BHAs are oil-based. So, their exfoliation is surface-based.
 
No matter what, make sure these are all organic sources. Many chemical exfoliants may be synthetically engineered. These can cause adverse reactions, such as drying out the skin or causing a rash.

 

Types of Mechanical Exfoliants

 
This approach is more abrasive. It’s like using sandpaper to polish up a wood floor. However, this type of exfoliation can also leave your skin feeling refreshed and bring about a more natural glow.
 
skin microbiome
Be careful of how rough you arewith that sponge!
Good organic sources of exfoliants include:
 
• Sea Sponges
• Walnut Shells
• Fruit Peels
• Coffee Grounds
• Mineral Salt
• Brushes
 
Depending on how sensitive your skin microbiome is, it’s crucial to pick a method of exfoliation that works best for you.
 
From there, make sure you don’t overdo it. Different ways of exfoliation can be used more or less often. If you have questions regarding what type of exfoliation is right for you, we would recommend talking to your dermatologist. 

 

How Exfoliation Can Hurt Skin Microbiome

 
We all know that maintaining a proper skincare routine is essential to keeping a healthy glow. Exfoliation can be a critical component in retaining that vitality. It also can be beneficial for the skin microbiome because exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells.
 
skin microbiome
Be kind to your skin!
Making sure to exfoliate appropriately is important, though. If you do not exfoliate correctly, you could end up doing damage to your skin and your skin’s microbiome. 
 
When you exfoliate your skin you are stripping your skin of its top layer. Therefore, your skin microbiome becomes more exposed. You’re leaving it more prone to infection and irritation.
 
It’s beneficial to give your face a fresh start every few days. However, exfoliating too much can cause more harm than good if done incorrectly. It’s important to be gentle when you exfoliate.

 

How to Boost Skin Microbiome

 
Along with being careful to not over-exfoliate, another way to boost your skin’s health is by taking care of your gut microbiome [8]. We already know that the health of the gut is directly linked to our skin. Making sure to eat foods that nourish your microbiome is essential. If you want to step up your skincare game, probiotics are a perfect way to do that.
 

Probiotics and Skincare

 
Topical probiotic creams and lotions are showing promise in helping to repair the skin microbiome. However, the research is still in its early stages [9].
 
Thryve Inside Probiotics for Skin Microbiome
Feel your best. Look your best. Thryve Inside.
 
Oral probiotic supplements, though, are a well-established method of improving your skin health. Here at Thryve Inside, we make a customized probiotic supplement specifically targeted to your microbiome. By making sure to maintain a proper skincare routine without over-exfoliating, and by taking care of your gut microbiome, you are well on the way to healthy, glowing skin.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Fredricks, David N. “Microbial Ecology of Human Skin in Health and Disease.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 167–169, Science Direct, Dec. 2001, www.jidsponline.org/article/S0022-202X(15)52900-X/fulltext.
 
[2] Lambers, H., et al. “Natural Skin Surface PH Is on Average below 5, Which Is Beneficial for Its Resident Flora.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 19 Sept. 2006, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00344.x.
 
[3] Grice EA, Kong HH, Conlan S (2009). “Topographical and Temporal Diversity of the Human Skin Microbiome”. Science. 324 (5931): 1190–1192. Bibcode:2009Sci…324.1190G. doi:10.1126/science.1171700. PMC 2805064. PMID 19478181.
 
[4] Naik, S., Bouladoux, N., Wilhelm, C., Molloy, M. J., Salcedo, R., Kastenmuller, W., … Belkaid, Y. (2012). Compartmentalized control of skin immunity by resident commensals. Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6098), 1115–1119. doi:10.1126/science.1225152.
 
[5] Schommer, N. N., & Gallo, R. L. (2013). Structure and function of the human skin microbiome. Trends in microbiology, 21(12), 660–668. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2013.10.001.
 
[6] Ayala-Fontánez, N., Soler, D. C., & McCormick, T. S. (2016). Current knowledge on psoriasis and autoimmune diseases. Psoriasis (Auckland, N.Z.), 6, 7–32. doi:10.2147/PTT.S64950.
 
[7] “How to Safely Exfoliate at Home.” How to Safely Exfoliate at Home, American Academy of Dermatology Association, 2019, www.aad.org/skin-care-secrets/safely-exfoliate-at-home.
 
[8] “Probiotics Hold Promise for 4 Skin Conditions.” LiveScience, Purch, 24 June 2014, www.livescience.com/46502-probiotics-hold-promise-skin-conditions.html.
 
[9] Farris, Patricia K. “Are Skincare Products with Probiotics Worth the Hype?” Dermatology Times, 8 Aug. 2016, www.dermatologytimes.com/article/are-skincare-products-probiotics-worth-hype.
 

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The Good, The Bad and The Acne — The Skin Microbiota

By Ericca Steele
 

Acne is the most common skin disease among Americans affecting 80%-85% of the population, largely being adolescents. It’s safe to say that there is no magic cure that works for everyone — I’ve spent a fortune on beauty products and medications over the years looking for the answer myself (Sorry, I don’t have it yet).
 
But, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Just as the gut is made up of good and bad bacteria, research suggests that the population of these bacteria is also different among people that suffer from skin diseases such as acne, rosacea, and eczema [1]. However, acne is a complex skin disease with bacteria being only one of several factors (e.g. environment, diet, hormonal status) involved.
 
Previous research has shown that, in general, there are 4 main phyla of bacteria present on the skin (Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes) [2]. A recent investigation conducted metagenomic shotgun sequencing to discover the role of the skin microbiome in skin health using acne as a model disease. The sampling of these individuals revealed that these 4 main phyla of bacteria were present with the addition of Cyanobacteria. The testing showed that these bacteria differed in abundance for individuals who had healthy skin and those affected by acne. These comparisons included testing the bacteria present on adults over the age of 55 (rarely known to have acne) as a control, and groups of young adults that had healthy skin compared to those that suffered from acne.
 
In this case, the composition of the skin microbiota varied between individuals (just like other areas of the microbiome). However, there were significant differences in presence of certain species and strains among individuals with healthy skin and those with acne. Individuals with healthy skin were found to have greater abundances of P.acnes and P.granulosum, suggesting these strains may contribute to maintaining healthy skin [3]. Research of the microbiome is increasing and although cannot be used as a diagnosis for skin disease, it points to the potential for further discovery of the role the microbiome plays and the use of probiotics to maintain healthy skin. This study analyzed several other elements beyond the role of bacteria and you can access the research in its entirety here.
 
As the study of the microbiome is steadily increasing, more companies are looking into developing products for balancing bacteria throughout the body. Specifically, companies such as AOBiome, TULA, and NERD skincare (just to name a few) are researching the skin microbiome and developing topical products to increase levels of “good bacteria” in order to maintain healthy skin.
 
We are excited about these new developments in the industry — at Thryve we envision a future in developing a variety of custom-made products focused on all areas of the microbiome.
 
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thryve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 
[1] Grice, E. A. (2014, June). The skin microbiome: potential for novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cutaneous disease. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425451/.
 
[2] Hannigan, G., & Grice, E. (2013, December 1). Microbial ecology of the skin in the era of metagenomics and molecular microbiology. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24296350/.
 
[3] Barnard, E., Shi, B., Kang, D., Craft, N., & Li, H. (2016, December 21). The balance of metagenomic elements shapes the skin microbiome in acne and health. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://www.nature.com/articles/srep39491.
 

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