In an extension of the “you are what you eat” school of logic, it turns out there is a tangible link between the bacteria in your gut and the appearance of your skin. Intensive research following the launch of initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project in 2007 has revealed that the entire collection of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies, collectively known as the microbiome, operate like an ecosystem. The 100 trillion microorganisms that we shelter – mostly bacteria, some fungi and single-celled organisms – all communicate with one another, and their dialogue can have a profound effect on everything from our emotional wellbeing and cognitive ability to the onset of conditions such as rosacea, acne, eczema and dermatitis. The most up-to-date medics refer to this body-wide dialogue as the gut-brain-skin axis, a bi-directional conversation that builds on Hippocrates’ hunch that “bad digestion is at the root of all evil”.
Given that the the 21st-century diet consists of sugar and processed carbs, it’s no wonder the vast majority of us don’t have enough “good” inflammation-fighting bacteria roaming around our insides. A couple of simple tweaks to your diet could change all of that and, ultimately, impact the way you look. Here are three ways in which grooming begins in the gut.