- Bacteria could be the key to keeping your complexion in balance.
“The gut-skin axis refers to the concept of the gut microbiota having an influence on skin health,” says Dr. Du-Harpur. There’s still debate over the exact connection, but researchers do know that both the surface of our skin and the inside of our stomachs host microbiomes comprised of trillions of microorganisms that work to maintain balance.
When the skin’s microbiome is disrupted, inflammation and irritation occur. “One can conjecture that the same type of dysbiosis can occur if gut microbiome is out of whack,” says Dr. Gohara. Microbiome-regulating probiotic supplements are a popular option in supporting gut and dermal health, although the science surrounding them stops short of drawing a direct connection. Work with your dermatologist or doctor to determine if this method makes sense for you. (When you’re ready to give skin-boosting supplements a try, check out The Beauty Chef’s GLOW Inner Beauty Powder, which can be mixed into your favorite drink.)
- That packed to-do list is sabotaging your skin.
When you’re under a lot of strain, your skin will eventually show the consequences. “Stress—whether mental, physical or emotional—triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which send signals to the skin,” says Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, a dermatologist and founder of SKNDOCTOR, based in London. Immediate effects include slower wound healing, compromised barrier function, excess oil production and dehydration. You might not notice them right away, but these effects compound over time until you’re faced with sudden breakouts or an eczema flare-up.
Rather than ignoring your emotions, consider this an important reminder to schedule in some chill time. Prioritize your self-care this year, whether that means blocking out time to catch up on Netflix or kicking back with a soothing bath soak and face mask.
- Drinking more water won’t boost your glow, but sleep can.
Despite the number of times we’ve heard celebrities swear that drinking more water is their secret to a clear complexion, research says that it’s a myth. The water you drink reaches your other organs before it gets anywhere near your skin, and as long as you’re not dehydrated, your daily water intake won’t impact you outwardly. Shift your focus to getting enough beauty sleep instead.
“Sleep is a key regulator of hormone levels, metabolism, the immune system and the skin’s ecosystem,” says Dr. Ukeleghe. Those late-night bedtimes can trigger existing skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and acne. Accumulating sleep debt also causes inflammation and speeds up signs of aging, and you can’t just make up those missing hours on the weekend. It pays to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible, so slip on a silk eye mask (we’re partial to the luxe masks from slip™), invest in an aromatherapy pillow spray and drift off to healthier, happier skin.