HORMONES AND SKIN HEALTH: WHAT YOUR SKIN COMPLAINT MAY BE TRYING TO TELL YOU
In today’s culture, consumers have become accustomed to treating skin conditions topically.
Rather than looking at the root cause of skin concerns, our conditioning means heavy makeup is applied to cover up blemishes. Harsh solutions are used to dry out excess oil. And delicate cells are scrubbed with abrasive exfoliants to remove flaky skin.
If you experience acne or other inflammatory skin conditions, you may also have tried to reduce spots and blemishes by taking antibiotics, or even the contraceptive pill.
Hormones and your skin
Many skin issues are the direct result of a hormone imbalance hence prescribing artificial hormones to clear up symptoms. But, did you know, hormone dysfunction can also occur as a direct result of a gut issue?
A functioning digestive and endocrine system are signs of overall good health and often, the two go hand in hand. If one is unhealthy or out of balance, the other might be too.
How does the gut cause a hormone imbalance?
If the digestive system doesn’t function properly, typical side effects can be bloating, stomach pain, and nausea. Perhaps most significantly for your skin, though, the production of essential hormones – which occurs in the gut – can also be affected.
Leaky gut is a digestive condition where the junctions that release nutrients into the bloodstream don’t close properly as designed. The gut then fails to act efficiently as a barrier giving toxins an avenue to leak into the bloodstream.
Not only can this trigger significant health issues such as inflammation and allergies, but it can also have a direct impact on hormone production. Common issues include estrogen dominance, estrogen and progesterone imbalance, over or under active thyroid and inflammation of hormone receptors.
These hormone imbalances can also become a primary cause of skin conditions linking what’s on your plate directly with what’s happening to your skin.
How do I know if my acne is caused internally?
We recently spoke to Byron Bay-based nutritionist Katherine Hay. She revealed the simplest way to see if skin issues originate in the gut is by the placement of the pimples.
“The skin is an elimination organ so if you’re experiencing cystic acne around the jawline and under the neck, that’s a clear indication that it’s a gut issue and toxins are trying to escape. As hormones and gut health are so closely related, working on treating the gut and establishing a healthy biome is one of the most effective ways to treat the causes of skin conditions and reduce the symptoms.”
Three steps you can take today to heal your gut
Everyone’s gut microbiome, hormone levels and skin journey are unique. While the following can be used as a guide only, it’s essential that through research and trial and error, you discover what works for your own body, gut and therefore your skin.
Here are three general ways to improve the overall health of the gut:
1) Eat more fibre
Eating more fibre helps the body excrete food, toxins and pathogens through the digestive tract and out of the body. Add healthy fibre to the diet in the form of whole, natural food such as fresh fruit and vegetables. While this is dependent on the individual, aim to eat enough fibre to aid at least one bowel movement a day.
2) Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water each day is critical to flushing toxins out of the body. Katherine recommends aiming for a minimum of three litres of water a day including the water in smoothies, shakes and herbal tea (caffeinated beverages don’t count!), adding more depending on exercise level and climate. Water will also soften stools to ease constipation and help the digestive system function optimally.
3) Manage stress
If not managed efficiently, stress can interfere with the gut microbiome and overall wellbeing, which can impact the balance of hormone production.
The stress hormone cortisol penetrates every cell creating an inflammatory response that may present as redness, irritation or dry skin.
Introduce meditation and regular exercise, regulate sleeping patterns or remove a specifically stressful situation from life to help manage the stress that can potentially lead to breakouts.
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and the loudest internal messenger. While the active phytonutrients in Biologi can help treat the skin on a cellular level, we also recommend you pay attention to the condition of your gut and hormone levels to apply a holistic approach to skincare.
For a more personalised, in-depth consultation, contact our customer service team today.