Breaking Out

June 27, 2024

How your gut behaviour can influence acne breakouts, and the best way to bring both back into harmony.

We all know about the gut and mind connection but what’s less known is how closely our gut health is linked to instances of acne and breakouts. If you’ve tried every topical solution on the market and you’re ready to delve beneath the surface, here’s a deep dive into the many ways your gut health can be your ultimate skin health barometer.



While gut health is directly influenced by lifestyle, stress and diet, the state of our microbiome can provide a real challenge to the resilience and happiness of our skin. This can be particularly frustrating when an unhappy gut leads to breakouts, pimples and acne. But why does this happen and what can we do about it? Put simply, imbalances in our gut microbiome can lead to inflammatory responses throughout the body, disturbed regulation of hormones, and issues with detoxification. Individually, each of these outcomes can lead to acne, but when they happen at once – all bets are off. To keep our skin looking as nourished, hydrated and healthy as possible, it’s best to ensure your gut has a balanced mix of good bacteria. This won’t just leave you feeling better, it will help you treat and prevent instances of acne breakouts.



Various forms of acne

Yep, there are a few. From pimples to blackheads, whiteheads and cystic acne – there’s a range of ways our skin can experience acne when the balance between good and bad gut bacteria is out of whack. Not only can an unhappy gut promote inflammation and disrupt this delicate balance within the body, but it can also affect the way our skin naturally produces oils and sheds dead skin cells – clogging pores and creating the ideal breeding ground for a breakout.

Balancing the biome

So, what can you do about it? To help get your gut back on track, start by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle where possible. Are you eating too much sugar or processed foods? Perhaps you’ve been through a stressful period at work, or you’ve just finished a course of antibiotics? All these examples can cause disruption to the protective lining of our gut. When in its optimum state, this lining keeps toxins within the body on the inside so they can pass through your system naturally as intended. However, if your gut lining is compromised, the toxins break through this lining and leave your body through your skin instead. This can then lead to a flare of existing skin issues or acne breakouts.



Location, location, loaction

Beyond creating the ultimate breeding ground for breakouts, a poorly functioning gut microbiome can also influence where your acne appears on your skin. According to traditional Chinese medicine, our gut health can influence where we experience acne on our face. The age-old concept relates back to the idea that certain parts of our face align to particular internal functions and body parts – such as the gut. For acne related specifically to gut health, Chinese medicine suggests these breakouts tend to emerge across areas such as the jawline, chin, and forehead.

Listen to those gut instincts

If you’re wondering whether your acne may be caused by a gut imbalance, there are a number of things to watch out for and consider. First, keep a food diary. Have you ever noticed your skin reacts particularly poorly after you consume certain foods or drinks? Write everything down for a month and try to track the way your skin responds to your diet. Can you see any obvious links? The answer might be right before your eyes. If you experience flares of acne or skin issues after particular foods and ingredients, this may also indicate a food sensitivity or intolerance, which can lead to additional inflammation. Your skin may experience this reaction as acne among other things. Another indicator of poor gut health lies in the way you’re feeling each day. If you’re bloated, constipated, or suffering from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as acne – your gut may need some extra TLC. This might include the use of probiotics, focusing on a slower lifestyle, and getting more sleep. By listening to these symptoms and signs, you’re allowing yourself to focus on the underlying issues that need attention. Less acne will simply be a beautiful added bonus.



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