I have struggled with acne my entire teenage years as well as young adult life. It was a part of my life and such a constant that I could always predict when a burst will come simply by feeling those itches on the skin. Plus, I had them all: black dots, pustules, cystic acne, you name it. I also tried all the drugs you can think of: isotretinoin, benzoyl-peroxide, all kinds of lotions – nothing has worked.
But this article is not about my past suffering. Rather, it’s a manifesto for health, happiness and connection with your body as well as my sharing of what has finally worked not only on me but on many of my friends and others that have embraced what I am going to share now.
Your gut dictates how your skin looks
I know that you’ve heard countless times about how food influences your skin, but hear me out: if your gut leaks toxins into your blood stream, then that’s what makes your skin look the way it looks today. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Get comprehensive labs.
Stool Test: The first step to finding out about your gut-skin axis and your microbiome health is running a comprehensive stool test. Take a two- or three-day collection to look at your good bacteria levels and rule out any bacterial, yeast or parasitic infections.
Immunological Blood Test: This blood test will be able to assess if there’s been a breach of your gut’s defense system, allowing undigested food particles and bacteria to make their away in the blood, causing an inflammatory response throughout the body. This condition is commonly referred to as a “leaky gut.”
2. Address any underlying gut issues.
SIBO: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth happens when bacteria from the colon grows into the small intestines where it doesn’t belong.
Dysbiosis: Whereas SIBO is an overgrowth of normal bacteria, dysbiosis happens when there’s an imbalance of good to bad bacteria. An increase of harmful bacterial imbalances have been shown to be a factor in skin problems.
Hypochlorhydria: A decrease in stomach acid or hypochlorhydria has been shown to be higher in people suffering with skin problems such as acne.
Parasite or yeast infections: Chronic low-grade infections like these can be a source of continual inflammation of the gut-skin axis.
Leaky gut syndrome: All of the previous gut problems can lead to an increased permeability of your gut lining.
3. Avoid foods that will damage your gut-skin axis.
What will damage your gut will damage your skin, so it’s wise to avoid certain foods and drugs for a glowing, healthy complexion. These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
4. Use healthy foods to heal your gut-skin axis.
Here are some of the foods that I use to repair the gut-skin connection:
- Bone broth: Your grandma may have made this ancient healing food. Its beneficial collagen makes it great for healing the skin and gut.
- Fermented vegetables: Sauerkraut and kimchee are great ways to provide your microbiome with beneficial probiotics.
- Swedish bitters: I’ve found this herbal tonic to be very effective in healing chronic infections and balancing low stomach acid production.
- Kefir: Fermented dairy drinks like kefir, rich in the beneficial probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been shown to improve complexion over a period of 3 months.
- Fermented cod liver oil: Another ancient healing food, this nutrient-dense oil is a great source of skin-healing vitamins A, D and K2. It’s also a balanced and stable source omega fats.
- Coconut oil: Fats are essential to heal the gut-skin axis. This oil also has natural antimicrobial benefits. Coconut oil is also great to use on your skin!
- Liver: One of nature’s multivitamins, per ounce, liver is one of the most bioavailable nutrient-dense foods on the planet. If you eat meat, this is a great, whole food source for skin nutrients like zinc and pantothenic acid or vitamin B5.
All these represent a fantastic, life-long solution to your acne and skin problems, in general. Every single medical problem starts from within and, in this case, fixing your gut is the solution.
Quit spending money on expensive drugs, putting your health at risk, ditch those lotions that only address the effect, and start healing your body today the way not only nature, but also modern science intended to.