The Microbiome & the Skin


The relationship between the gut and the brain is often described as the gut-brain axis. This idea is taken a step further with the concept of the gut-brain-skin axis.

This theory is quite simple and makes a lot of sense, simply put:

Our emotional health impacts our gut flora, which impacts our skin health, which in turn impacts our emotional health…. And so on, in a constant cycle.

Rebuilding the good gut flora will help to break the cycle, improving both skin and emotional wellbeing.


Did you know that 40% of those people who suffer with inflammatory bowel diseases also struggle with some form of skin disorder? Or that unbalanced gut flora is 10 times more common in people who are suffering with acne rosacea?!

This link between the skin and the health of the gut is not new.

Researchers as far back as 1930 suspected a link between gut health and skin health – modern research though, has confirmed the importance of this relationship.

Many studies have shown that stress and gut inflammation can result in a reduction in the anti-microbial peptides produced by the skin, causing an increase in infection and inflammation. In fact, many skin conditions including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and dermatitis have now been shown to be linked to increased levels of unfriendly bacteria in the gut.


The bacteria shown in research to be supportive of skin health include L. PlantarumL. Rhamnosus & L. Reuteri.

These bacteria have been studied in skin health and it appears that they may help to reduce the numbers of the following ‘unfriendly’ bacteria:

• Staphylococcus aureus – a bacteria linked to skin infections, pimples, boils & cellulitis

• Pseudomonas aeruginosa – thought to be responsible for skin inflammation, infection and dermatitis.

• Propionibacterium acnes – the bacteria linked to the development of acne and oily skin.

• Staphylococcus epidermis – an opportunistic bacterium which has been linked to the worsening of all skin conditions.

Look out for next week’s blog, where I will be discussing “the Microbiome and the Brain.”

Written by Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in health foods stores and private clinics for over 20 years)

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