While your first instinct to achieving a healthy, glowing complexion is nailing your skincare regimen – there’s another aspect of your body that is equally important – and that’s your gut.

What you put in your mouth impacts so many elements outside your stomach. Food and alcohol not only influences your digestive system and overall health, but it plays a significant role in the health of your body’s largest organ – your skin. Coming off the back of the silly season, we tend to notice that our skin doesn’t look as clear or as fresh as it usually does. Your complexion may seem dull or lifeless, and a stubborn break out is all part and parcel of over indulging. But this can all be prevented by refuelling your body with fresh, wholesome foods and plenty of water.

There are so many talks around digestion these days, but it is also connected to your skin. The main function of our skin is to act as a protective barrier. Gut inflammation can interfere with normal function of epidermal barrier. It also influences lipids and tissue fatty acid profiles as well as sebum production. Our skin does not need to be stripped clean. We need the lipid barrier to protect and retain moisture. The acid mantle on your skin can fight off bad bacteria that can cause acne. We need friendly flora that are a vital part of the immune system.

  1. Start with a good probiotic – A good probiotic is a great starting point for promoting good gut health and skin. Great for the digestive system, a good probiotic assists in decreasing yeast and urinary infections, bloating, strengthening your immune system, promoting healthier skin and weight loss. Taking probiotic supplements is an easy but even more effective and cheaper way to include probiotic element is to include fermented foods in your diet. Try fermented vegetables such as kimchi, sauerkraut, as well as fermented beverages such as coconut kefir, kombucha.
  2. Diet high in prebiotic and fibre – Fibre is important for our digestive health and regular bowel movement. There are three types of fibre (soluble, insoluble fibre and resistant starch) and they all have different functions and health benefits. Make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables and fruits as well as proper prepared whole grains and legumes (if you are not grain or legume free).
  3. The obvious one – Water. You’ve heard it all before, but H2O is one of life’s cheapest and greatest pleasures. Water helps keep your skin plump when hydrated, it not only helps keep your skin clear, it flushes out all the bad toxins. Water also helps maintain a normal bowel function which is highly important for overall health.
  4. Boot the sugar – Sugar is not only bad for weight loss, but it also has a big impact on your skin. Excess consumption of sugar can result in major break outs and dullness. Indulging in foods with a high-glycemic value can result in raising your insulin levels which produces enzymes that breaks down our skins natural elastin.
  5. Omega 3 – Omega 3 is not only great for heart and brain health it is shown to decrease inflammation and other skin conditions by decreasing insulin like growth factor. When it comes to omega 3 it is essential to watch the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 as too much omega 6 can create inflammatory skin conditions.
  6. Keep it green and clean – Vegetables are full of antioxidants and vitamins which is not only good for your skin but your over health as well. Including fruits and vegetables like avocados and sweet potatoes, which are both high in Vitamin E, is great for fighting the effects of ageing and protects your skin’s membrane from UV damage. Vegetables such as broccoli and other leafy greens are rich in vitamin C which assists immunity and potentially slowing down the ageing process, as well as sulfur which is necessary for collagen synthesis which provides structure and strength to the skin.
  7. Herbs that clear up your skin – Not one supplement or herb can work all the skin conditions. The most important thing is to determine what is causing your skin problems.

Here are a few herbs that may help you:

–       Camomile

–       Peppermint

–       Rosehip

–       Dokdami

–       Dandelion

–       Burdock

–       Pearl

–       Aloe Vera

–       Schisandra berries

–       Goji berry

–       Chrysanthemum


Yoko Inoue
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