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The Skin-Gut Connection: How Women Can Nourish Their Bodies for Clear, Healthy Skin


When it comes to healthy skin, so many of us struggle to find a cure that works reliably for the long haul. Most of us focus on what is in front of our faces. No pun intended! But the real thing to focus on is that our skin, hair, and nails reflect our overall health. 

Our skin often purges the things we eat. The more sugar, fat, and unhealthy processed foods we consume, the more our bodies try to purge them in different ways. This includes the blemishes that pop up. 

Let’s dive deeper into the connection between skin and gut and how we can set ourselves up for success. 


How Our Body Reacts to a Poor Diet

Our bodies have a hard time regulating foods that are harder to digest. Because of this, it reacts in many different ways. We may feel bloated, constipated, and lethargic. But some of the most tell-tale signs are when our skin starts to feel oily or greasy, inflamed, and irritated. 

When our skin starts to show signs of inflation, grease, flakiness, and breakouts, this is our body’s way of telling us our internal system is off. While they may feel like short-term issues, constant stress on the skin can cause long-term aging stress. 

Focusing on incorporating foods that can boost healthy aging processes will allow us to eat other things we enjoy in moderation. Here’s what we can focus on. 

Foods That Nourish Our Skin

Certain nutrients and vitamins have a profound impact on how our skin reacts to both food and the environment. One of the best ways to retain the benefits of different vitamins and minerals is to eat them. Of course, supplements can be great, but our bodies digest natural food sources better, such as animal and plant proteins. 

When incorporating specific dietary needs, consider the role these vitamins play. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports cellular growth and is a natural repair system. With enough Vitamin A, your skin’s barrier is improved while overall inflammation is reduced. Fish and eggs are great sources of Vitamin A. 

Vitamin C

When it comes to powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C is definitely one of them. Any damage that can come from free radicals, such as UV damage, is harmful to the skin barrier system. Vitamin C helps to combat these free radicals and maintain its youthful experience. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to incorporate Vitamin C. Think oranges!

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is strongly connected with how our bodies regulate our immune system. When we have the right amount of Vitamin D, we minimize the risk of certain skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are great sources of Vitamin D. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is similar to Vitamin C in that it works as an antioxidant, reducing inflammation. It is also helpful for moisture retention. You can find this vitamin in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and pure oils. 


Zinc is great for regulating our oil production, which is often a big skin concern for many. It also plays a role in reducing inflammation. Zinc is best consumed through red meat and poultry. Oysters also have a high level of zinc. 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Lastly, but certainly not least, is your omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients work hard to maintain a strong barrier function and hydration and moisture. Fish, nuts, and seeds are the best way to get this source. For extra supplementation many take fish oil supplements with food as this is easier to digest. 

It’s also possible to incorporate some of these vitamins through supplement intake. Vitamins that promote vascular development are great to add to your regimen. This helps promote healthy blood flow and allows for cell turnover with better circulation. 

Foods To Avoid

Knowing what we need to eat is great. But it’s not the easiest to avoid certain foods or ingredients that can harm our skin. The list is long but consider it to be a general blueprint of how overconsumption can lead to poor skin health

  • Sugary foods are one of the most obvious culprits. Sugar causes inflammation and exasperates skin conditions and breakouts 
  • Processed foods typically contain high levels of unhealthy (saturated) fats, sugars, and complex carbohydrates, making them hard to digest. 
  • Dairy has been said to make those with acne-prone skin worse. Being mindful of whole dairy products can be helpful in limiting breakouts. 
  • Fried and greasy foods are problematic for many reasons, but the excess oil can be purged right to the top layer of your skin, causing clogged pores. 
  • Alcohol is one of the largest culprits for dehydrating the skin. Caffeine has a similar effect which means compensating for this is important. Limiting intake can also be valuable. 
  • Having excess salt leads to water retention. This can lead to a puffy face and inflammation. 
  • Spicy foods can be both helpful and hurtful. For those with rosacea, spicy foods can cause flushing, which also exasperates these symptoms. Spicy foods, however can be great for metabolism if they aren’t loaded in salt. 

It may feel like we just listed every food item out there. But that’s why we need to talk about eating things in moderation. 

Everything in Moderation

It’s not possible to have the perfect diet. We can’t avoid salt, and some of us just love spicy foods. That’s why it’s important to consider moderation. An alcoholic beverage is OK from time to time. Coffee is necessary for some! Trying to balance certain food groups is key here. 

Choosing an area and working on healthier habits is the way to go. Consider eating more whole foods that are not processed. Cooking for yourself rather than ordering out is another way to eliminate overconsumption of sugars and salts. It’s all about taking control of what you can and not stressing about perfection.