You may have heard the term ‘beauty from the inside out’, and we like to apply this phrase to the health of our skin. A beautiful complexion is all down to how you care for your skin, and this starts from the inside of your body. Gut health, in particular, is essential for healthy skin thanks to its role in creating nutrients. Hair, skin and nails are the last parts of the body to receive nutrients, as the more vital organs take priority. So if your gut isn’t producing enough nutrients thanks to poor health, guess which part of the body it’ll have a direct effect on? Your skin. A lack of nutrients will affect skin elasticity and collagen production, and will result in dull skin with poor tone. Why Probiotics? Bad gut health can be caused by a number of factors, but one of the most common factors in an imbalance of bad bacteria versus good bacteria in the gut. One of the best ways to fix the issue (and improve your skin health by doing so) is take probiotics. Probiotics are essentially beneficial bacteria that’ll help keep your gut healthy, by balancing out the presence of bad bacteria. They’re especially important in winter, when gut health is often at its worst. The gut is where 70 percent of the immune system lies, so it’s not hard to see why, when the immune system is weakened thanks to colds and flu, there is a flow on effect to other parts of the body. The Different Forms of Probiotics Probiotics come in different forms; including digestive forms and topical forms, and there is no one form that is best for everyone. Instead, it’s a case of trial and error, although topical probiotics have been known to help treat skin conditions such as eczema, so if this is a particular concern you wish to focus on, topical probiotics may be the right form for you. Otherwise, digestive forms of probiotics such as pills and supplements are best for balancing gut bacteria, and returning your gut to full health. We recommend speaking to a naturopath or herbalist for further advice. Adding Probiotics to Your Diet How do you increase probiotics in your diet? Here’s three easy ways to top up that good bacteria: Food & Drink Believe it or not, we really are what we eat, and if it’s clear, radiant skin you’re after then start by looking after your gut health. No amount of moisturisers, oils or cleansers will get you glowing skin until you’re healthy on the inside first, and as winter kicks in it’s more important than ever we keep a wholesome diet. The trick is getting a good balance between the good and bad bacteria in the body, where the good bacteria (the probiotics) are responsible for creating a barrier to reduce inflammation which can be the cause of some skin conditions. There’s been an increase in demand for probiotic drinks lately, as we start to realise collectively just how important a healthy, happy gut is for our physical well being. Try out a reputable kombucha, kefir water, sauerkraut or increase your uptake of good quality probiotic yoghurt – all will support healthy digestion, boost your immune system, regulate your moods and work to enhance your skin from the inside out. Supplements If getting your daily dose of probiotics is more appealing done in supplement form, then there’s plenty to choose from. Supplements contain all the same ‘life promoting’ living bacteria in one easy capsule, and if there’s others in your family who could do with a dose of probiotics but don’t enjoy the taste of any of the above foods, then supplements are a great alternative. Aside from probiotics, antioxidants are also highly beneficial for skin health, and our Antioxidant Complex – Ultra is just the thing you need this winter to protect your skin against harsh environmental elements. – If you are new to Total Body Concept then our Guide to Healthy Skin is a great place to start on your skincare journey with us! At our Christchurch-based skin care and laser clinic we offer a full range of facial treatments, from skin peels and microdermabrasion to laser facials including Laser Genesis (aka the ‘Hollywood’ Facial) and IPL for skin rejuvenation. Our highly trained skin specialists will expertly navigate your skin concerns and real results you can see. We will give you a comprehensive skin consultation at your first appointment at Total Body Concept followed by a detailed at home skincare plan.