Probiotics: The Bacteria You Actually Want For Your Skin
I remember my first ever car, it was a baby blue Chevy Nova. I got it when I was 16 and I drove it until it started breaking down.
One day I was driving down the highway and my engine started steaming. I didn’t know what to do, so I pulled into a gas station and asked an attendant for help.
His solution was to pop the hood and pour a cup of water in the engine to cool it down. He told me I had drive to a mechanic immediately — and that the cooled engine should get me there safely.
Pouring water in the engine helped the surface problem, but it didn’t fix the faulty engine itself.
The reason I’m telling you this is because your body is similar to a machine. You can cover up certain problems for a while, but eventually you have to fix the actual “engine.”
In this case, I want to talk to you about your complexion.
Are you suffering from acne, redness, flaky, or oily skin?
Just like a car, problems that show on the outside of your face are a result of an issue on the inside of your body.
Several studies from the American Gastroenterological Association show the link between dysbiosis — the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut — and skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.
And rosacea is commonly linked to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO.
Other inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis have also been linked to intestinal issues such as IBD.
“Essentially, good bacteria strengthens the lining of the gut,” says Grace Liu, a pharmacist and nutritional scientist.
A strong lining is essential to preventing bad bacteria from wreaking havoc on the rest of the body — and in this case your face.
“The state of our guts has a lot to do with the 21st-century diet,” says Stanford University professor Justin Sonnenburg, co-author of The Good Gut. “Sugary, processed foods do nothing to feed the healthy gut flora.”
To keep a balance of more good bacteria than bad, you can incorporate simple probiotics into your diet.
Probiotics are good bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system and overall health.
Below, I want to share my favorite probiotics with you, with recommendations on how you can include them in your diet.
Yogurt contains the probiotic strain lactobacillus, which has been shown to help reduce acne lesions and improve skin radiance.
The best time to eat yogurt is in the morning on an empty stomach. This way you can jumpstart your day with a dose of healthy bacteria.
Tip: Look for yogurt brands that say “live and active cultures” on the label.
Kefir is the second most popular fermented dairy product in the United States. The thick consistency of kefir makes it perfect for adding in smoothies or drinking on its own as a light snack!
Like yogurt, it also contains the beneficial lactobacillus bacteria.
3. Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Sauerkraut is made from white cabbage and kimchi is made from Napa cabbage. Sauerkraut goes really well with potatoes, hot dogs, in sandwiches, and even on top of salads!
Kimchi is a mildly spicy Korean dish, which makes it great to add to noodles, stir fry, grilled meat, and in veggie bowls.
These fermented foods are both amazing for nourishing the bacteria in your gut.
Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented tea that has many gut benefits.
It contains beneficial bacteria such as acetic acetobacter and healthy yeasts that help populate the gut with probiotic flora.
I like to keep mine in the fridge and take a few sips whenever I reach in for an ingredient or snack. This way I’m getting the benefits throughout the day!
Tip: The brands Health-Ade Kombucha and GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha have the lowest sugar content (4 grams per serving).
If you’re still not convinced that the secret to supple, glowing skin is just a few bites and sips away, you can always take a daily probiotic capsule.
Look for “shelf-stable” capsules — this will ensure your probiotics last until expiration — with a range of 3-50 billion colony forming units (CFUs).
It’s really amazing that a simple addition to your diet can have such an impactful effect on the quality of your skin.
Try just one type of probiotic a day until your stomach adjusts to the new bacteria — this may take several weeks. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!
Which of these probiotics are you most likely to try? Let me know in the comments below!
And is there someone you know who could benefit from this information? Feel free to share using the buttons at the bottom of this post.