Many often forget that the skin is the body’s largest organ, with the average person having roughly 300 million skin cells. Just like the gut, the skin has a microbiome that hosts five trillion bacteria. To put this into perspective, a galaxy contains about 100 million stars.
Unlike other organs, because the skin is easily seen, it is obvious when dysfunction occurs and abnormalities form. Wait! Before you run to purchase hundreds of dollars of skincare products, try digging deeper to discover any possible root causes. The two most common root causes include poor gut health and blood sugar imbalance.
Conditions such as eczema, acne and rosacea can all be linked to poor gut health. The gut’s microbiome works in synergy with the skin’s. According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this connection is “likely due to a combination of both neurologic and immunologic responses to environmental shifts, resulting in chronic systemic inflammation that can ultimately affect the skin.”
Along with poor gut health, imbalance in blood sugar can also lead to inflammatory issues in the skin. When blood sugar is imbalanced, the increased levels of insulin increase follicular hyperkeratosis which hinders the cells from normal turnover. This leads to inflammation and possibly acne. High insulin levels can also lead to skin tags and the darkening of skin folds.
Working with a practitioner that specializes in nutrition and root causes is imperative for proper skin protocol. Your microbiome and biology is unique, therefore the requirements for your skin will also be unique.
Aside from harnessing your body’s specific protocol, there are some general tips and tricks to achieve glowing skin by utilizing food and nutritional staples. It can take up to four to six weeks for your skin to completely turn over. This means that results will not be visible until the skin has a chance to rebuild and repair. Be patient, consistent and always seek help from a professional before beginning any protocol.
How to Get Glowing
While these nutrients are beneficial for long-term health and healing skin issues, it can take some time for them to work. When breakouts and eczema do pop up, there are some food-based items you can use right away to rebalance the pH.
Apple cider vinegar is not only beneficial for the gut and enhancing stomach acidity, but it can also be used topically to rebalance the skin’s pH. If you have a pimple, dab a little bit of apple cider vinegar on top to prevent the spread of bacteria. Same thing goes for small eczema patches. With eczema, you may also want to add a hydrating blend like coconut oil and essential oils. Forces of Nature has an eczema-specific herbal and essential oil blend that is a fantastic solution.
Struggling with skin dysfunction can be a challenging process. Helping your body heal on a consistent basis will pay dividends for your skin!
About the Author
Shannon Dolan is a functional nutritional therapy practitioner that focuses on the root cause of symptoms for optimal function. Her business, Health With Shannon, supports women on their health journey through hormonal balance and menstrual health. She also consults for corporations to help employees build resilience in career longevity.