HEALTH & BEAUTY: Probiotics, Digestion, & Acne
When I was in high school and college, my skin suffered from moderate to severe acne. My lower cheeks, neck, and forehead were speckled with red, inflamed spots that left unsightly post-acne marks. I was frustrated and couldn't understand how to make the hot mess on my face just go away!
There is no doubt that stress and the harsh skincare products I was using at the time may have aggravated my skin condition. But I later realized that poor digestive health was a possible contributor to my acne. A dermatologist I saw actually suggested that I re-examine my dietary habits and make sure that I was taking care of my gut. This makes sense to me now; in fact, some evidence suggests that "gut microbes," along with other factors (like stress, low fiber, and a high fat diet) may have implications for the development of acne (Bowe & Logan, 2011; Katzman & Logan, 2007). When we get stressed and or fail to eat a healthy diet, the good bacteria in our stomach change and decrease, and more unhealthy bacteria form. This eventually releases toxins into the bloodstream, which leads to inflammation. This whole process may lead to breakouts on the skin, mainly for people who are predisposed for getting acne.
For five years now, I've been doing everything I could to make my skin look and feel better. I've been exercising to decrease stress levels, using higher quality products on my skin, avoiding processed food, and increasing my intake of fiber. But I believe the most significant change that I made to my lifestyle was eating yogurt regularly and taking probiotic supplements. Based on my own observations, I believe this made such a big difference not only to my skin (as I rarely get pimples now), but to my overall health and well-being. My stomach has been feeling very happy and my skin has never looked better!
If you're experiencing acne and or digestive health issues, talk to your doctor and see if taking probiotics is the right thing for you. I'm happy to say that it worked for me, and I hope it will work for you, too!
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