If you ever experience bloating, gassiness, skipping bowel movements, diarrhea, stomach aches or cramping, start taking probiotics!
Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when taken orally, provide numerous health benefits. Comprised mainly of beneficial bacteria, you can take probiotics as supplements as well as eat foods prepared using bacterial fermentation such as sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi.
Discomfort in your stomach is a clear sign of gut imbalance.
Gut imbalance can occur when you’ve eaten food that your body is sensitive to or food that’s gone bad. Taking Accutane or antibiotics―which wipe out your gut biome (more on that in a moment)―often causes nausea. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s or Celiac disease, or leaky gut also cause gut imbalance.
Essentially, when you have gut imbalance, the bad bacteria or viruses inside your gut outnumber the good, causing stomach upset and inflammation.
Why is your gut health important?
Living inside your gut is a complex universe of bacteria―300 to 500 million!―exhibiting nearly 2 million genes. Along with viruses and fungi, these tiny beneficial organisms make up your gut microbiome. The bacteria in your gut line your entire gastrointestinal tract, comprised of your mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
Your microbiome plays an extensive and critical role in your well-being1., impacting your:
- Digestion and nutrient absorption
- Immune system stability
- Hormone balance
- Cognitive function
- Heart health
- Skin appearance
Did you catch that last bullet?
That’s right! Upset and inflammation in your gut result in inflammation and breakouts in your skin.
Here’s what you can do:
To help restore and maintain optimum gut health AND help your acne, start taking a high-quality probiotic every day. Ideally, it should ideally be at least 40-75 parts per billion and contain at least 8 different strains of beneficial bacteria.
Also note that specific strands have been scientifically proven to be helpful for acne, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, while others are not. Therefore, not all probiotics will help acne specifically.
Don’t be fooled by the wrong probiotics
Keep in mind, it’s not uncommon for probiotic supplements to only contain 6-10 parts per billion per day, so read labels carefully. Price is also a great indicator of strength. If you’ve only spent $10-20 on a bottle (with 60 capsules), then you’ve likely chosen a low, ineffective dose. Either way, you won’t help your gut and you’ll only be wasting your money. Instead, a good quality probiotic, as described above, typically costs at least $35-55.
Also, avoid dairy-based probiotics! Fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir contain active bacterial cultures and are one of the most common sources of probiotics available. However, if you have acne, beware of dairy, a common acne-triggering food!
Note that secondary triggers are likely impacting your acne as well.
While gut imbalance may indeed be a significant acne trigger for you, note that almost all our clients typically experience 3 to 4 additional triggers impacting their skin at one time.
These common secondary acne triggers include hormonal imbalances, diet, stress and pore-clogging ingredients in your skincare, hair care, laundry and beauty care products.
While high-quality probiotics with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are a key element in your quest for clear skin, they can only do so much. Because it’s highly likely you also have secondary acne triggers, it’s critical you address and conquer each, all at once, to help your skin thoroughly heal.
- “Why Scientists Are Searching the Gut for Cures to All Chronic Diseases.” Viome. August 29, 2019.