How your gut and colon health affects your skin

The surprising, hidden reason why you can’t sort out your skin

29th September 2023 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Gut health plays an important role in the balance of your body and immune system, which has a direct impact on your skin. Discover the reasons why and what you can do about it

If you’ve tried all the creams, lotions, treatments, and trends and your skin still suffers from acne, eczema, redness, or other forms of irritation, it might be your colon that’s to blame.

While maintaining colon and gut health is generally a good idea for your overall mental and physical well-being, it also affects your skin.

This is because gut health plays an important role in the balance of your body and immune system. As studies have shown, imbalances and disruption to the microbiome the gut can cause the release of so-called pro-inflammatory cytokines.

These cytokines travel through your body and affect your organs and, since the skin is the largest organ in the body, it reacts to the pro-inflammatory cytokines in a number of ways. For example, it’s been linked to rosacea, eczema, acne, and more.

By contrast, when your gut biome is balanced, you’ll find that your skin looks clearer, healthier, and glowing.

Here’s how your gut and colon health affect your skin health, and what to do about it.

FURTHER READING: Skin food: The best foods for clear, healthy skin – and why they work

How colon health can improve your skin

8 ways colon health can improve your skinShutterstock

Gut microbiota

Balanced gut microbiota is the foundation of healthy skin.

These microbiotas are a diverse ecosystem of “good-type” bacteria and other microorganisms that live in and help your digestive tract. These beneficial bacteria and microorganisms work together to break down everything you eat into essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

When your body is getting the correct amount of nutrients for the food you’re eating, it promotes a healthy immune system, which in turn helps improve the health of your skin, and makes it more resilient to skin conditions. This not only gets rid of any problems but can prevent them from occurring.

Elsewhere, a good microbiome keeps the gut lining intact. This is needed to stop harmful substances from leaking into your bloodstream.

That’s why it is recommended to eat foods that are rich in prebiotics. It will help keep this diverse microbiome healthy, which will eventually lead to good gut health and, ultimately, radiant and glowing skin.

Balanced hormones

Aegles supplement review before and aftermamabella | mamabella

This photo shows Before using the Aegle’s Acne Clear Now supplement, versus six week later. This supplement helps balance hormones for clearer skin

A hormone imbalance can be one of the biggest things responsible for poor skin. A good hormone balance keeps skin looking its best, while an imbalance in certain hormones can lead to skin problems. The colon plays an important role in maintaining a balance of these hormones.

When your colon is healthy, it makes sure that excess hormones in your body, like oestrogen, are processed and removed. This helps to prevent oestrogen levels from becoming imbalanced and, as you can read in our Aegle’s Acne Clear Now supplement review, when oestrogen levels are out of whack, it interferes with progesterone levels.

Progesterone is a hormone that rises during the second half of a woman’s menstrual cycle for about five days, at the same time sebum production ramps up.

Someone with a healthy oestrogen-to-progesterone ratio is less likely to experience excess sebum production and therefore acne, “simply because she has sufficient levels of sebum-reducing progesterone,” said Aegle’s founder Zoe Williams.

To ensure your colon is working properly, make sure you’re eating fibre-rich foods. If you’re still experiencing skin flare-ups, it could be that you need to look for the best colon cleanser supplement for your needs. This supplement can promote good gut health, which will result in healthier skin.


You might have heard from your doctor that your skin condition may be because of “disturbed gut health.”

The overall detoxification of your body is carried out in the colon. It filters out the toxins and waste products from the food and bloodstream and this detoxification is important for fighting skin diseases and maintaining healthy skin because when your colon is congested, and the gut lining has become hard, it can lead to toxin buildup.

This is often the cause of skin issues such as persistent acne or a dull complexion.

Again, eating a healthy diet rich in fibre and antioxidants will help support your liver and colon’s natural detoxification processes. This will enhance your body’s ability to eliminate any harmful substances and promote clearer and healthier skin.

Nutrient Absorption

Collagen-what-is-collagen-and-how-do-collagen-supplements-workGetty Images/iStockphoto

As mentioned above, all the essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins are absorbed by the colon into the bloodstream. This is important to keep your skin health in check, especially with Vitamin A.

Vitamin A helps in cell turnover and collagen production. It’s also the family of vitamins from which retinol comes, and retinol has been found across many, many studies to contribute to youthful-looking skin.

Minerals like Zinc and Selenium also play vital roles in maintaining skin structure and elasticity. Both of which help in giving you clearer and younger-looking skin.

FURTHER READING: The best collagen powders and liquids to help with wrinkles and fine lines

Reducing Inflammation

Many skin conditions, like acne and eczema, occur due to inflammation. Similarly, lower levels of inflammation have been linked to healthier skin. A healthy colon plays an important role in dampening inflammation by regulating the immune response.

A well-balanced and healthy gut microbiome also produces anti-inflammatory compounds that help maintain the integrity of the gut barrier. This can stop inflammatory substances from getting into the bloodstream and causing skin and other organ problems.

Eating more anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, turmeric, and berries can help.

Preventing Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Papulopustular Rosacea triggers and how to get rid of rosacea permanentlyShutterstock

A healthy colon helps promote a robust gut lining and this lining acts as a barrier for preventing undigested and unprocessed food particles from entering the bloodstream.

If, somehow, this barrier is compromised, you can have food sensitivities and allergies.

These allergies can then be reflected in your skin, through redness, itching, and acne.

Having a balanced probiotic-rich diet can help promote a healthy gut lining, which leads to more radiant skin.

Balanced pH Levels for Healthy Skin

The pH levels in your body are linked to skin health because they influence factors like sebum production and the growth of beneficial skin microorganisms.

A healthy colon supports a balanced pH by regulating acid-base levels and creating an environment that promotes vibrant and healthy skin.

You can regulate the pH levels of your body by including alkaline-rich foods in your diet.

These foods include leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and almonds. They will further contribute to this pH balance and will promote a clear and radiant complexion.

Managing Stress

How stress impacts the skinShutterstock

Just like your colon health affects your skin, it affects your mental health, too and when your mental health is disturbed, it can be linked to problems with your skin.

This is because a healthy colon supports the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which plays a crucial role in mood regulation.

By nurturing a balanced gut environment, with healthy bacteria and other microorganisms, you positively affect your mental well-being, leading to reduced stress levels.

These reduced stress levels, in turn, directly impact skin health and have even been linked to your weight as you get older.

You can read more about that in our guide to what happens during menopause.

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