Scenario: you’ve just spent your last paycheck on a skincare line that promises perfect skin with daily use. But it’s been a month and you’re not seeing any improvements. There can be a lot of reasons why you’ve been breaking out lately, and living with adult acne can affect your self-esteem. Though you’ve invested in expensive skin creams to help treat your flare ups, it’s time to consider that your issues often stem from what’s happening inside your body. External factors such as sleep quality, stress, and humid environments can also contribute to a poor complexion, but the answer to why your skin isn’t so clear can be predominantly attributed to poor absorption of nutrients. Achieving glowing skin starts with understanding what’s going on with your digestive system, and how to put your best face forward with good gut health.
Your skincare routine should first consider the microbiome
The large community of bacteria that live in the gut is referred to as the microbiome. A balanced microbiome supports your immune system and promotes digestive health, protecting mental acuity and brain function. Balancing the good bacteria in your gut can also improve well-being with benefits such as glowing, clear skin and an elevated mood for those prone to depression.
The best way to keep your microbiome in balance is with strategic consumption of natural and supplemental probiotics through nutrient-rich products such as fermented foods. These help your body absorb the vitamins in the food you eat in a way the medical community is only beginning to understand.
Are there other issues affecting your complexion?
If you’re living with or recovering from digestive issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), constipation or other gastrointestinal problems, it might be time to ditch the skin creams and instead introduce fermented foods into your diet. Skin benefits from the live microbes found in fermented foods to help balance the bacteria in your gut. And if you’re just looking to look and feel your best, fermented foods will add the nutrient-absorption enzymes that can lead to brighter skin, a tighter physique, and more energy.
Fermented foods for healthy skin
Fermented recipes have been developed over centuries as a means of preserving food. According to Harvard Medical School, the new popularity of fermentation helps diversify gut-beneficial foods to help you achieve glowing skin.
Here are some of the more familiar and most easily procured products, and many of them can be made right at home:
Eaten throughout Eastern Europe but most closely associated with Germany and Austria, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage usually served as a condiment.
Kombucha is having a modern moment, but this fermented drink is actually ancient. A blend of sugary tea and SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), kombucha is slightly effervescent and aids digestion.
In Korean cuisine, kimchi, a blend of fermented cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic is served with every meal. A number of publications in the National Library of Medicine outline the many health benefits of kimchi besides achieving a glowing complexion, including weight loss, and positive effects on high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Miso is a common component of Japanese meals. Made from fermented soy beans, miso is usually served as a soup, but in paste form it can be added to many recipes. Studies have also shown miso to lower the risk of breast cancer and stroke.
Boost your skincare regime by making your own fermented foods at home
Learn how to master delicious, homemade fermented foods with “No guts, no glory!”, a six-day, interactive online learning course led by functional medicine nutritionist Karin G Reiter. She’ll walk you step-by-step on how to prepare simple, fermented foods and incorporate them into a diet that will have you on your way to a confident, clear complexion.