Stressed lives make for stressed skin. For those seeking solutions, thinking small – very, very small – could alleviate all manner of skin concerns, and it all starts with the intertwined relationship between the skin, the brain and the beneficial bacteria of the gut.
Feeling stressed? With the January blues, festive-fallout and the global pandemic continuing to cause chaos, 2021 is kicking off under a potent cloud of concerns. As worries swirl, counteracting the impact of stress on the skin and the body is becoming a key priority for many.
According to the Office for National Statistics in November 2002 over 75% of adults in the UK felt worries about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, with over 50% reporting feeling of anxiety or stress.
Anecdotal and scientific evidence has long-linked skin-concerns to increasingly stressful lifestyles and to periods of unique stress. Clients dealing with break-outs, problem skin and sull, sallow or tired complexions may often blame stress as a trigger.
A developing area of skin research suggests that one of the causes of these stress complaints can be traced he body’s internal microbiome. This is the amalgamation of all micro-organisms – including bacteria, fungi and viruses – that live in synergy with the human body. Alongside factors such as antibiotic use and poor diet, stress can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, which negatively impacts the skin.
As skin care professionals treating stressed and problem skin, targeted support of the gut microbiome is a powerful tool: balancing the internal environment to support skin health.
The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s newly launched Skin Clear Biome blends four skin-friendly bacterial strains together with zinc: targeting the gut to skin connection. Formulated for problem skin, it works to balance the internal biome, combating stressed and compromised complexions.
Emerging evidence showing the intertwined workings of the brain, skin and gut links together two commonly accepted adages for skin health: good skin starts from the inside and excessive stress can cause skin problems.
The nuances of the relationship are subject to ongoing study, but mounting research confirms a close physiological connection: responses in the brain trigger changes in the gut, and if the gut falls out of balance, so can the skin.
“The gut-brain-skin axis suggests a mechanism that links gastrointestinal health, [influenced by interactions with oral probiotics], to the health and well-being of the skin,” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology.
As understanding of the axis evolves, innovative methods of enhancing skin health via the gut are emerging. Using probiotics and beneficial bacteria supplements has been demonstrated to have a significant, positive impact on skin health.
A study published in the Journal of Physiological Pharmacology noted that the body’s stress signals have a powerful impact on the intestinal microbiome. Stress signals from the brain trigger the release of neurotransmitters and proinflammatory cytokines: signalling molecules causing inflammation. These molecules can ‘profoundly affect the gastrointestinal physiology’, leading to imbalanced internal flora and an increased likelihood of intestinal permeability. When intestinal permeability is compromised, toxins and other substances seep out of the gut and into the bloodstream, this can trigger skin problems.
Concerns such as break-outs inflammation and excess sebum production have all been attributed to the gut’s physiological response to stress, and imbalances in gut bacteria – known as dysbiosis – have also been found in those suffering conditions such as acne and rosacea.
A Balancing Act
With their nourishing properties for the gut, probiotic and beneficial bacteria supplements, have soared in popularity with wellness focused shoppers. A report from market research agency Meticulous Research in August 2020 noted a 100% increase in Google searches for probiotics during the lockdown in March 2020 with 43% of probiotic takers supplementing for immunity and 17% for skin health.
As clients become aware of the additional potential of probiotics and bacteria supplements to support skin health and stressed skin, their popularity looks set to soar even further.
The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Youth Biome and newly launched Skin Clear Biome, are sophisticated solutions to add into a client’s regime to assist both the gut and the skin. In addition to bacterial strains beneficial to the maintenance of a healthy gut flora, these innovative formulations contain skin-specific strains shown to have a notable impact on skin concerns. Skin Clear Biome also contains bacteria shown to help alleviate the signs of stress on the gut.
Bacteria For Breakouts
Lorraine Perretta, Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Head of Nutrition, explains that impressive results in testing of Skin Youth Biome inspired the development of the new Skin Clear Biome formulations, designed to target stressed and problem skin.
She explains that balancing from the inside out was the cornerstone of the new formulation: “During the development of Skin Clear Biome, we analysed strains of bacteria that appeared to be playing a role not only in digestive health but also stress, immunity and problem skin” she says. “additionally, we added zinc to this unique mix to further augment its impact on skin”.
The supplement synergises four strains of skin-friendly bacteria with zinc to promote skin. The four bacterial strains: S.boulardii, B.bifidum, L.helveticus and L.paracasei, were selected for their researched abilities to target the causes of problem skin. The strains have been shown to decrease sebum production, regulate inflammation, assist with healing and maintain immunity.
Perretta notes that trials at the IIAA Skin Health Research Centre have yielded exciting results. “Participants in our testing are reporting significant improvement both to their skin and to their confidence,” she says. Testers reported fewer breakouts, decreased oiliness and faster healing, and our skin analysis displayed:
42% reductions in forehead sebum
32% reduction in nose sebum
28% in chin sebum
A Capsule Wardrobe
For clients with problem skin and stressed complexions, Skin Clear Biome’s balancing bacterial matric is a potent first step. The profound impact stress has on the gut can slow down or hinder the absorption of nutrients, therefore, restoring nutrient levels becomes a necessity. As a result, clients will benefit from incorporating skin specific nutrients into their routines.
Combining Skin Clear Biome with Skin Accumax, award-winning skin supplement for problem skin, is a potent option for those suffering with problem skin. Adding the benefits of Vitamins A, C and E which support skin health and clarity to Skin Clear Biome’s beneficial bacterial matrix.
Skin Vit C is another smart addition for those suffering from severe stress. When the body is stressed, it triggers the fight or flight response in the adrenal gland, which uses a lot of vitamin C. Replenishing vitamin C can help brighten stress-dulled skin, and provide additional support with its antioxidant and immune supporting properties.