Our internal ecosystem supports our health in a vast amount of ways and we can now add healthy skin to the list. New research is starting to reveal just how beneficial probiotics can be to the health of our skin.
When taken internally via fermented foods or supplements, probiotic organisms help to heal an inflamed and leaky gut lining. This results in less overall inflammation in our body, including our skin. Some researchers are even starting to find a direct link between problems in the gut and problems in the skin. This shows potential for treatment of conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema with probiotics internally.
Another exciting area of research is topical probiotics. The skin surface is home to many beneficial bacteria that protect it and help to reduce inflammation. This external ecosystem can be disrupted by many factors in our harsh environment. Using probiotics topically can help balance the skin flora, reduce inflammation, fight acne bacteria directly and even potentially stimulate collagen production. This is a really exciting new area of research and I imagine that it will be the next big trend in skin care.
This underrated and under-eaten super food deserves more attention especially when it comes to clear and healthy skin. Sardines are packed with vitamins and minerals, notably the B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and selenium. They are also a great source of that wonderful omega 3 fat that we hear so much about. All of these nutrients are vital to skin health and reducing inflammation, making sardines a perfect ‘skin food’.
Some people find the flavor difficult. I usually just add them to a spicy fish cake recipe or mix them in with tuna salad. You can find some recipe ideas here.
That’s right, curry’s darling spice. Turmeric gives curry its famous yellow hue. It’s active constituent is curcumin which is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. There is also research to support that turmeric can effect melanin production making it useful for conditions where hyper-pigmentation is a problem, such as melasma. Turmeric can be used both internally as a food or supplement and topically as a paste, added to moisturizer or a face mask.
Stay tuned for Part Two when I discuss more skin healing substances and provide a healing face-mask recipe!