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Gut Health and Skincare

Now let's start talking about the gut microbiome and how it is linked to the skin.

It's a fascinating subject with new studies coming out all the time. The fabulous news is, that, if you have skin issues, there is a lot you can change by simply tweaking your diet and using scent-free and water-free products... and possibly even showering less.

In future posts, I will elucidate on the use of pre and probiotics and how stimulating the growth of gut bacteria DIRECTLY affects the recovery from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

We have both a gut and a skin microbiome that consist of billions of microbes, all living on or in our bodies. When they are in balance and happily working together, digestion will work well and skin should look great.

We're becoming more used to the idea that the gut microbiome is a living 'superorganism' and can be kept in good health by eating lots of greens, fibres and fermented food. However, the idea that the skin is also host to millions of microbes, fills many with dread. To the detriment of our skin, we've become obsessed with antibacterial gels and soaps that kill the ecosystem our skin supports and that in turn supports our skin. Microbes take about 30 minutes to regroup after a shower. If you keep washing them off with more and more powerful cleaning agents and if 'hostile' microbes that create skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis gain control, an uncomfortable battle begins.

I wish I could persuade more people to wash less and treat the skin with oils.

Gut microbes thrive on fibre, skin microbes thrive on oil. Having long showers in hot, chlorine-saturated water isn't great for your skin, your lungs or the environment. This piece isn't about what chlorine does to the lungs (I'm sure there's enough information on the internet about that), but chlorine does dry out your skin. Dry skin is not good at curing itself from any skin conditions.

Because chlorine gases evaporate from tap water, please don't put babies and children straight into the bath after you've filled it. Open the window first, close the bathroom door and let the chlorine off-gas for 30 minutes. This isn't fail safe, but it helps. You may consider bathing children less, much less. They are mostly born with a healthy skin microbiome that is best left undisturbed. Adults also on the whole should wash much less. Surprisingly, if you eat healthy food and drink clean water, your body doesn't really smell. If you're going to the office less, these are great times to experiment with washing less.

I also recommend reading this book that I have spoken to many of you about when you've been to see me at my pop ups!

CLEAN: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less, by James Hamblin. He's a doctor turned writer. He writes well and with humour. This book will open your eyes to how much we're influenced by the huge marketing budgets that some brands use to make you feel inadequate and dirty....

We've found great satisfaction in watching the journey to healthy skin that many of our supporters have had, by using straight forward oils such as our Tamanu, Kukui and Nangai Balms or Macadamia and Tamanu Oil, in conjunction with our simple, scent-free Soap no.1. When we start to explain the evolution of common skin conditions, it will become clearer why these oils work so well.

Thats all for now, we will be back with more soon!