The idea of bugs hanging out on your face is the stuff of nightmares. But that’s what’s happening, at least on a microscopic level – and it’s actually the dream scenario. “Just as cacti grow naturally in Arizona but not in the midwest, every bacteria has  an environment where it thrives,” says dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., the author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. Your gut has its microbiome – the 100 or so trillion bacteria lining your GI tract that are involved in everything from brain function to your weight – and now researchers have found that skin houses its own special bacterial blend vital to its health.

The war agains germs may be doing more harm than good to our health  – and skin – than good. Research has shown that the gut, the brain, and the skin may all be intimately connected. “If we learn to nourish and protect the bacterial components of our body,”  says Dr. Bowe, “we can find a connection to our skin issues.”

Healthy, glowing skin starts in the gut, says Cosmo contributing dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, who is known in the skincare world for her integrated approach to beauty and in-depth research on the connection between the gut and skin microbiomes (aka ecosystems of living bacteria). “Patients dealing with acne, rosacea, eczema, or premature aging can benefit from my three-week plan, which introduces diet, lifestyle, and skin-care habits to reset the gut flora and improve skin,” explains Dr. Bowe. Get the quickie download here, and pick up Dr. Bowe’s new book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, for healthy recipes, workout ideas, skin-care tips, and more.

“Probiotics” is now a household word — but we’re just beginning to discover the potential these bacterial cultures have to make our guts and our skin stronger and healthier. We asked Whitney Bowe, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center and the author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, to explain. “Taking an oral probiotic supplement can decrease the system-wide inflammation that plays a role in everything from arthritis and cardiovascular disease to acne, rosacea, and eczema.

Before you hit the pillow, apply an overnight-focused formula as the last step in your p.m. regimen. “Skin cells grow faster when you’re asleep, so a nighttime treatment can add nutrients that help to repair and restore even better, says NYC dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe.

Fade spots and discoloration – the top skin doctors reveal new treatments and at-home remedies that work magic. Melasma: “Visible light is especially harmful, since it creates a deadly tanning effect that even more intense than UVA,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe.

Your skin changes every day, so why shouldn’t your skin care? “I get all of my patients started on a serum if they’re note already on one,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe. “Some people think it sounds complicated, but a serum only takes seconds to use, and it’s the one step I say never to skip, because it makes the most meaningful changes in the skin.

@DrWhitneyBowe

Honored to contribute to this timely @nytimes article about adult #acne and why it is on the rise! #thatboweglow… https://t.co/DaDRg0eRjH

@DrWhitneyBowe

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