As we advance in science, we also return to appreciate ancient wisdom, but we now view it with more scientific tools and mindset. We learn to appreciate a more holistic approach to wellness and beauty and understand that how we nourish our body, mind, and soul literally shows on our skin. 

It’s not about an isolated biomarker; it's about the whole person—and today, we can even be more accurate; the whole person and its bacteria residents. With this view of holistic wellness and beauty, the age-old saying that "beauty comes from within" has taken on a new, literal dimension with the emerging science surrounding the human microbiome. 

This exploration offers a fascinating glimpse into how our internal ecosystems can influence and even enhance our external appearance. Interestingly, in the case of the microbiome, it's not only our internal gut bacteria, but also our external ecosystem—what we call skin microbiome—that influences our skin. Everything and everyone we touch shows on our skin microbiome. Once we touch something or someone, we are literally “not the same;” they leave their “mark” on that aura of bacteria that surrounds us, and something of them quite literally stays with us. How beautiful is that?

That also means that leveraging the microbiome for skin health has truly transformative potential if utilized intentionally. The concept of the gut-skin axis suggests a profound and bidirectional connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the skin. These microorganisms are not mere passengers; they actively engage in a complex dialogue with our bodies, influencing everything from immune responses to the production of metabolites that affect the skin.

Scientific advances have shown that the state of our gut microbiome can directly impact skin health—for better or for worse. In fact, dysbiosis is linked to the pathology of skin disorders while positively influencing the diversity and assisting a healthy balance of the microbiome, holds the potential for healthier-looking skin (which is also a reflection of an overall more balanced body).

The mechanisms behind the effect of the gut and the microbiome on the skin are diverse. First, our gut flora influences basic processes like oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and skin. This directly affects the skin. For example, collagen is a sensitive molecule and an increase in oxidation or inflammation directly causes collagen degradation, which is critical to the youthful firm and healthy appearance of our skin. Moreover, systemic inflammation and oxidation that influence body balance are reflected in the skin. Simply put: When our microbiome is out of balance, we are out of balance and this shows on our skin.

Additionally, our gut flora plays a critical role in our immune system, which is affecting our skin in many ways. Naturally, this is critical when it comes to inflammatory skin conditions. But on the other side, restoring and supporting the flora in our gut and aiding proper functioning of immune cells holds the potential to also support the balance and proper function of our skin.

The integrity of the gut barrier is also a critical component for overall health and comfort, as well as to the leakage of harmful molecules from the gut and their ability to reach the skin and trigger a harmful inflammatory response. 

Another factor: Probiotics aid in the production of metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs have anti-inflammatory effects that benefit the skin and support the skin barrier function so the skin is better able to retain moisture inside and to prevent harmful molecules or bacteria from entering. When the skin barrier function is compromised, that’s when we see redness, and may experience itchiness, etc.

Our gut flora also actively influences how our body interacts with and absorbs nutrients. Healthy gut flora creates a positive cycle, allowing us to better absorb and utilize the nutrients we get from our food (and nutritional supplements). As an example, some bacteria are vitamin B producers and help the synthesis of biotin (which is a vitamin that is known for its role in maintaining healthy hair skin and nails, while other bacteria are vitamin B consumers. Thus, it’s clear that the type of bacteria in our gut directly influences the level of some vitamins and nutrients

Lastly, the gut directly affects our brain, and this gut-brain-skin connection is at the heart of the mind-body connection, giving a very tangible and scientifically backed meaning to holistic Well-Beauty. So to support how you look and feel, start by listening to your gut!