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There is a relationship between our gut microflora, mental health & acne.

Clinically we know that gut microbes &the integrity of your gastrointestinal tract are contributing factors in the acne process. A Russian study reported that 54% of acne patients have marked alterations to the intestinal microflora. People with rosacea are 10 times more likely to suffer from small intestinal bacterial over growth (SIBO), an uncomfortable gastrointestinal condition leading to bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, & constipation. A study involving over 13,000 adolescents showed that abdominal bloating was 37% more likely to be associated with acne.

The mechanism between gut health and skin health isn’t fully understood but it is accepted that our microbial guests play a mediating role in skin inflammation – possibility due to excess bacteria competing for the micronutrients our body relies upon.

A leaky gut (called endotoxemia) caused by bacteria overgrowth has been linked to insulin sensitivity &chronic inflammation. For acne sufferers this is seen as skin oil over production and inflamed pimples.

So does our mental health affect our gut? Studies show that psychological stress slows our intestinal transit time which encourages the overgrowth of bacteria, and compromises our intestinal barrier. Stress provides the ideal gut environment for bacterial imbalance as well as playing havoc with our acne causing stress hormones.

So what can we do? It seems pretty simple but eat well, feel well, look well is the maxim to apply.

Definitely take some time out to read accounts on instagram like @thegutstuff, @theguthealthdoctor & @yourmentalhealthworkout. Likewise, you could try our Skin Plans which provide a holistic approach to combating your breakouts with product, diet and stress management.


Impact of the impaired intestinal microflora on the course of acne vulgaris. Klin Med (Mosk). 2001;79(6):39-41.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jul;6(7):759-64. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2008.02.054. Epub 2008 May 5.

Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?
Whitney P Bowe and Alan C Logan

Zhang H, Liao W, Chao W, Chen Q, Zeng H, Wu C. et al.Risk factors for sebaceous gland diseases and their relationship to gastrointestinal dysfunction in Han adolescents.J Dermatol.2008;35:555–61. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2008.00523.x.

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