You have probably heard that probiotics, the “good” live bacteria, helps keep your gut healthy. A considerable amount of research has also shown they can help support a healthy immune system, boost weight management and even improve your mental health. But one New York City dermatologist claims the “helpful” bacteria can even lead to clear, radiant skin.

“There’s ground breaking new science showing that the gut and the skin are intimately connected,” Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist and author of “The Beauty of Dirty Skin” told Fox News. “People don’t realize we have live bacteria covering our skin and swimming through our intestines and if we find a way to harness the power of these microscopic warriors we can do magnificent things with the skin. They can target things like acne, rosacea, eczema, premature aging, and skin cancer.”

In her book, Bowe describes how your gut’s microbial inhabitants, also referred to as your intestinal flora, are workhorses.

“They assist with digestion and the absorption of nutrients: you can’t nourish yourself effectively without them,” she said.

“Because gut bacteria can control certain immune cells and help manage the body’s inflammatory pathways, it is said that the gut (including its inhabitants) is akin to your immune system’s largest ‘organ.’ Gut bacteria may ultimately affect your risk of all manner of chronic afflictions…[including] dermatological issues,” she explained.

The global skin care products market is projected to reach $177 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Bowe said her patients often think they have to spend a fortune on expensive creams and procedures to get gorgeous skin, but realistically those avenues are like putting a Band-Aid on.

“They’re not getting to the root of the issue, if you want to get to the source of the problem you really have to think about what you’re eating, what your putting into your body and the health of your gut. An inflamed gut shows up as inflammation of the skin,” she said.

To start introducing probiotics into your life, begin adding certain foods and beverages, a daily probiotic supplement and then skin care products if you want to target a specific skin issue, Bowe said.

“When it comes to your diet you want to start incorporating foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, sipping on some kombucha, that’s a fermented tea,” Bowe said. “If you’re somebody who likes to use say protein powder in your shake or smoothie, you want to look for the words ‘fermented’ on the label.”

For a daily supplement, Bowe warns that starting with a high dosage could lead to uncomfortable gas if you introduce too many probiotics at once. Aim for 10 to 15 billion CFU each daily, Bowe recommended.

Since your gut contains trillions of bacteria, there are different bacteria strains that can address specific health issues. You can look for supplements that contain certain bacterial strains that are good for acne or other conditions like eczema, but Bowe’s believes diversity is key.

“We know that the more strains we incurporate in both our diet and in our skin care, the better,” she said.

Skin products are also finding their way into the probiotic industry. While research on topical probiotics is still in its infancy stage, Bowe has been testing and vetting such products to find out which ones really work.

“Using a probiotic topical not only provides a protective shield, preventing harmful bugs in your environment from taking hold and causing infection, but also triggers the production of natural moisturizers in the skin, keeping the skin barrier healthy,” she said.

Your skincare routine and product choices all contribute to whether your skin is irritated, inflamed, or prematurely aging on the one hand or glowing, healthy, smooth, and hydrated on the other. At the heart of The Beauty of Dirty Skin is the science that healing and nourishing our skin’s “microbiome” is critical to sustain healthy, glowing skin. There are more than one trillion bacteria in the skin, originating from approximately one thousand different species. Our antiseptic cleansing styles and obsession with antibacterial soaps and cleansers have stripped our skin of its healthy bacteria. If your skin’s healthy microbiome is disrupted by harsh cleansers and other abrasive skincare products, this discontent results in breakouts, rosacea flares, psoriasis, eczema, and even sensitive skin. In sharp contrast, when your good bugs are healthy, your skin is, in turn, healthy and radiant. That’s because these essential bugs fight infections, combat against environmental damage, boost our immune system, and keep our skin hydrated and radiant. Even better, the results are lasting. When your skin flora is restored, its health is sustainable.

Your skin’s good bugs can prevent infection, control inflammation, aid in wound healing, and keep your skin looking young. This video, all about your skin’s microbiome, will help you to understand these bugs and their role in your skin’s health!

There are more than one trillion bacteria in the skin, originating from roughly one thousand different species. They vary by body part, based on the amount of light in the area, precise pH levels, and other conditions, like climate (moist or dry) and topography (hairy or smooth). When they’re happy and harmonious, your complexion is, too. But when disrupted—by harsh cleansers or dietary missteps—their discontent can surface as breakouts, rosacea flares, psoriasis, eczema, even random bouts of sensitivity.

I can’t wait to share all of this cutting edge information with you guys because this really is the future of skincare and skin health!

And, for early access to Videos 2 and 3 in this Microbiome Series, be sure to sign up below to be a Bowe Glow Insider.

Video Transcript

Antioxidants are absolutely essential when it comes to radiant, healthy skin. Let’s start with what antioxidants do: antioxidants pack a powerful punch to fight free radicals. Free radicals are like bullets or missiles, and they destroy everything in their path. They are highly reactive forms of oxygen whose effects can damage cell membranes and other structures in the body, including DNA and collagen. Free radicals come from both normal metabolic processes such as exercise and respiration, but they also come from external sources such as pollution and the sun. When you are exposed to a lot of free radicals, it means you are suffering from oxidative stress, and too much oxidative stress can lead to premature aging, skin cancer, and chronic skin conditions like acne. The take home message here: we do not like free radicals.

Enter antioxidants! Antioxidants help squelch and neutralize free radicals so they stop them from damaging your skin. Studies show that antioxidants not only slow down the development of wrinkles and age spots, but they also fight against skin cancer and even keep inflammatory skin conditions under control—conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. The take home message here: we love antioxidants!

When it comes to addressing skin conditions, antioxidants are key! For example, because antioxidants help control inflammation, if you’re prone to any skin issue rooted in inflammation- which can mean eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis – they will help relieve those stubborn conditions.

Antioxidants are also proving to be helpful in combating acne. New evidence suggests that free radicals and oxidative stress play a role in the initiation of acne. It is now documented that people with acne tend to have lower levels of cellular antioxidants and higher levels of markers of oxidative damage. We are learning that inflammation is actually one of the very first steps in the acne process. One theory is that free radical damage to skin’s natural oil, or sebum, appears to be a match that lights the inflammatory process. The process is called “lipid peroxidation,” or “sebum oxidation.” If we can stop this process from happening, could we possibly prevent acne from spinning out of control? Based on this exciting new knowledge, I recommend my acne-prone patients in particular make sure they are getting plenty of antioxidants.

And last but not least, numerous studies have demonstrated that antioxidants can slow down or even reverse signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. They do so primarily by protecting the skin from the ravages of sunburn, inflammation, and DNA damage.

So, it’s clear that antioxidants are important for your skin’s health. But, the question I get all the time in my office is – what’s the best way to get them? Should you use antioxidants topically through skincare products or orally through what you eat?

The answer is: BOTH.

Antioxidants are unstable, and they get used up very quickly, especially if you produce or are exposed to lots of free radicals. So it’s critical to replenish your antioxidant stores both internally and externally morning and night, and even more frequently if you engage in intense exercise, live in an urban center with lots of pollution in the air, or expose your skin to the sun.

For specific product recommendations, keep your eye on my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page and sign up for my VIP newsletter because I will be sharing much more on this topic with my VIPs!

@DrWhitneyBowe

The newest product on my Dr. Whitney’s Picks Page is @OLLYnutrition’s Goodbye Stress Gummies! Find out why I select… https://t.co/s5NQvt6qNM

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