When it comes to keeping your skin healthy and clear, there's more to it than just maintaining your skin-care routine. Yep— you also need to manage your microbiome. That is, the variety of bacterial communities that live on your skin. OK, yeah, thinking about populations of bacteria thriving on your face is admittedly a little weird. But it's a symbiotic relationship, so keeping them happy will keep your skin happy. To find out some more about how this relationship works and how microflora impact your skin, I emailed with Paula Simpson, holistic beauty expert and co-founder of ZSS Skincare.
According to Simpson, the diverse population of bacterial communities that live on your skin play a central role in skin immunity by protecting it from harmful microorganisms and substances. In fact, "Chronic skin conditions are often related to poor gut health and imbalance in gut and skin microflora," says Simpson. She explains that when your skin microbiome is out of balance, it can cause a development of pathogenic bacteria (i.e. the bad kind of bacteria that causes acne and other unwanted conditions). "Clinical research has shown that blemish-prone and chronic skin conditions have less diverse skin microbiome, over-populated with pathogens and damaging stressors compared to those with healthy skin," she adds. But if you're worried that your skin is affected by a lack of microfloral variety, fear not. There are three simple things you can do to better balance your microbiome and achieve clearer, healthier skin.
1. Eat High-Fiber Foods
Because gut health plays a role in keeping skin balanced and clear, Simpson recommends eating clean, high-fiber foods to help promote a healthy skin microbiome. If you're lacking fiber, try incorporating beans, green veggies, fruits, and/or whole wheats into your diet.
2. Eat One Probiotic-Rich Food Every Day
"Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to rebalance and detoxify intestinal microflora and indirectly have a positive effect on the skin," says Simpson. In order to help strengthen your skin microbiome and barrier function, she recommends eating at least one probiotic-rich food, such as yogurt, every day.
3. Supplement With Prebiotics And Probiotics
Try: ZSS Skincare Clear Skin Dietary Supplement Packets, $75, ZSS Skincare
Simpson also recommends supplementing your diet and skincare with prebiotics and probiotics. She explains that prebiotics help healthy bacteria in gut and skin microbiomes to flourish. And together, prebiotics and probiotics manage harmful bacteria and toxins in the body and skin so as to indirectly have a positive effect on certain skin conditions, thereby balancing your skin from the inside out.
Because when your skin is healthy, you'll feel it in your gut.