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Stress and Your Skin Health from Acne to Wrinkles

Chante in a field amongst the wild flowers taking time to breathe and have quiet to relieve stress.

How the Gut-Brain Axis Mediates Stress and Affects Skin Health 

We all experience stress in our lives and the way we experience stress varies depending  on our individual adaptive ability. While we often think of the mind-body-spirit connection with regard to stress on our health, Recent studies into the gut-brain-skin axis  shed new light on how  stress influences specific aspects of our health including the  skin.  Insights into this web of interconnectedness shows that changes in gut and brain function significantly impact skin health. By understanding how the gut-brain-skin axis works, we can take a more comprehensive approach  to reduce the impact of stress on our skin.1

How Does Stress Affect Your Skin?

The skin is the body's largest organ, and a sensitive barrier that moderates our external and  internal environment. Psychological stress, dietary imbalances and the damaging  effects from pollution, UV and blue light radiation all  contribute to a systemic increase of  the stress hormone cortisol.  The compounding effect of stress accelerates skin aging aggravating conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, and hair loss. 2,3

Chronic Stress and Aging Skin

Chronic stress suppresses immunity and increases susceptibility to infection and inflammation throughout the body and  the skin.  Oxidative stress damages collagen, the protein that serves as the glue for all our cells in our body. Collagen is like scaffolding in your skin —the loss of collagen integrity causes fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, cortisol levels that are constantly elevated also inhibit the skin’s production of hyaluronic acid and healthy lipids important to preserving plump healthy looking skin 4.

Prebiotic + probiotic supplements displayed for gut to skin barrier support, KAIBAE gut/skin resilience and prebiotic rich KAIBAE organic baobab fruit powder.

What is the Gut-Brain-Skin Axis?

The gut-brain-skin connection is finally getting the scientific attention it deserves. The connection between the gut microbiome and the skin has become a significant topic in both dermatology and gastroenterology. Studies into the gut microbiome and its relationship to the skin show that probiotic supplementation reduces skin inflammation and may improve hair growth.  The probiotics found in KAIBAE’s gut /skin resilience boosts the body’s own production of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Research indicates that these probiotics  also  help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. 5.6

How Exactly is the Gut Involved?

The gut microbiome  and the gut barrier are important to absorb nutrients from our diet.  The  integrity of the gut lining serves  as a protective layer separating what you eat from the rest of your body. When we are stressed the gut barrier becomes more “leaky” allowing  toxic metabolites  to enter the bloodstream increasing inflammation throughout the body.7 In our skin this is reflected by changes in texture, tone and coloration. Gut/Skin resilience by KAIBAE is a dietary supplement specifically designed to target gut and skin barrier health, protecting the skin from environmental stressors that damage skin and that lead to dry skin, sagging skin and pigmentation. 

Add Prebiotic Fiber to your Diet

A high fiber diet helps digestion, weight management and lower cholesterol. There is an insoluble part that promotes digestive regularity and there is a soluble part that is prebiotic. Prebiotic fiber stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut..8 Fruits and vegetables contain both insoluble and soluble fiber in various amounts. Dietary sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, lentils, and fruits. Baobab fruit powder is rich in prebiotic fiber and in addition to high fiber it contains the added benefits of a superior amount of polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Taking 1-2 tablespoons of KAIBAE baobab fruit powder per day in water, smoothie or foods improves satiety, helps with sugar handling and promotes probiotic balance. Adding prebiotic fiber to the diet also improves resilience, and actually acts as an adaptogen improving the way we respond to stress ultimately benefiting your skin.

Superfood Prebiotic fiber rich Baobab fruit powder and other foods high in fiber, polyphenols and essential nutrients including goji berries and nuts.

Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods

The Western diet largely includes processed foods full of  sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives..9 All these additives disrupt probiotic balance and  increase our susceptibility to digestive problems and  metabolic disease.  Additionally, we are learning that these processed foods are often low in fiber, damaging the gut lining  and increasing “leakiness” across the gut barrier. Natural sugar alternatives including stevia  and monk fruit do not adversely affect gut microbiome diversity.

Enjoy Foods Rich In Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant-based chemicals that offer a host of health benefits including reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress. 10 Polyphenols  improve our resilience by reducing inflammation in the gut and the skin. Good sources of polyphenols include chocolate, wine, green tea, onions, blueberries, broccoli, pomegranate and Baobab. Studies into polyphenol rich foods have shown that Baobab fruit powder derived from the Ancient African Tree of Life is one of the greatest sources for these powerful protective polyphenols. Gut / skin resilience combines Baobab, Ellagic acid from pomegranate and citrus bioflavonoids for maximum anti-inflammatory effect. 11

Probiotics Are Key

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep the gut healthy and functioning properly.12 While we consider taking probiotics after taking antibiotics, taking probiotics daily supports gut health and beyond—improving overall immunity and skin health.  Probiotics are  available as dietary supplements,  their efficacy is increased by eating a diverse diet. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds and grains and small amounts of meat providing more fiber and is most beneficial for a healthy gut microbiome.13,14 The skin also includes a microbiome with its own set of diverse organisms long neglected in skin care. Microbiome mist by KAIBAE includes probiotic balancing ingredients which help acne15 and skin inflammation 14, shielding the skin from blue light, UV radiation and environmental stress. 

Terumi walking along the rocky shore getting fresh air, exercise and quiet which calms her stress benefiting gut to skin health.

Stress Management

It is clear that continued stress adversely affects our health in a number of ways.  In addition to eating better, adding more fiber, probiotics and polyphenols rich foods,  addressing mental and emotional health is equally important. That is why a daily ritual of quiet, yoga or meditation practices are so beneficial. Meditation helps us manage stress and reduce the amount of cortisol released when we face demanding events in our life.16

Exercise Promotes Resilience From Gut to Skin

There are many benefits to exercise, it is rejuvenating to mind- body and spirit. Exercise increases blood flow oxygen and nutrient delivery to all our tissues.17 For the brain it helps with mood and mental clarity, for the gut it improves gut microbiome health and for the skin it promotes new cell and collagen production.

Chante spraying KAIBAE microbiome mist, a tropical neuro-cosmetic with prebiotic, postbiotics and the calming benefits of Neroli.

Neuro-Cosmetics Support Skin Health

Neuro-cosmetics have gained popularity in recent years: and are defined as skin care that speaks to the brain. The concept of neuro-cosmetics builds on the idea that the brain and skin are intrinsically connected through a complex set of messengers called neurotransmitters. Applying certain plant extracts to the skin have the power to elicit specific sensations and emotions, moderating stimuli  which are calming  to the brain. These advances in neuroscience and dermatology provide new solutions for unresolved redness, rashes, acne, wrinkles, dry and sagging skin.18,19,20

Examples you may have experienced are the calming effect of chamomile and the  cooling effect of mint on the skin. The microbiome mist By KAIBAE was formulated to help  improve skin microbiome balance and acts as an adaptogen for the skin. Adding microbiome friendly ingredients such as prebiotics, wild plant polyphenols and powerful peptides, which are all calming to the skin and the brain. 

Adding neuro-cosmetic and microbiome-friendly skincare can provide the following: 

  • reduce wrinkles and signs of aging by stimulating the production of collagen
  • improve skin elasticity and hydration levels by stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid
  • brighten skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness by stimulating the production of melanin
  • improve overall complexion by balancing skin oil production
  • reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes by stimulating the production of new, healthy skin cells
  • improve skin elasticity and hydration levels by stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid. All substances in neuro-cosmetics work as antioxidants. They prevent oxidative inflammatory reactions in the skin and keep you looking your best.

In Conclusion

As we’ve seen, stress can have a significant impact on our skin health. New insights into the gut-brain-skin axis reveal how we can improve our response to stress with some minor yet powerful solutions. In our diet adding more Prebiotic fiber, Polyphenols and Probiotics improves gut health and reduces the damaging effects of  inflammation on the skin from within. When used topically these powerful plant nutrients provide a natural protection, calming the brain’s reaction to external stimuli.   By understanding the role of stress in skin health and using neuro-cosmetic products, we can improve our gut and skin microbiomes, which improves gut to skin health, our overall appearance and an improved sense of wellbeing. To learn more visit https://gokaibae.com/collections/skincare

1. Bowe W, Patel NB, Logan AC. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis: from anecdote to translational medicine. Benef Microbes. 2014 Jun 1;5(2):185-99. doi: 10.3920/BM2012.0060. PMID: 23886975.

2. Sinha S, Lin G, Ferenczi K. The skin microbiome and the gut-skin axis. Clin Dermatol. 2021 Sep-Oct;39(5):829-839. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.08.021. Epub 2021 Sep 3. PMID: 34785010.

3. Pondeljak N, Lugović-Mihić L. Stress-induced Interaction of Skin Immune Cells, Hormones, and Neurotransmitters. Clin Ther. 2020 May;42(5):757-770. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2020.03.008. Epub 2020 Apr 7. PMID: 32276734.

4. Rinnerthaler M, Bischof J, Streubel MK, Trost A, Richter K. Oxidative stress in aging human skin. Biomolecules. 2015 Apr 21;5(2):545-89. doi: 10.3390/biom5020545. PMID: 25906193; PMCID: PMC4496685.

5. Lach G, Schellekens H, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Anxiety, Depression, and the Microbiome: A Role for Gut Peptides. Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Jan;15(1):36-59. doi: 10.1007/s13311-017-0585-0. PMID: 29134359; PMCID: PMC5794698.

6. Chen Y, Lyga J. Brain-skin connection: stress, inflammation and skin aging. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2014;13(3):177-90. doi: 10.2174/1871528113666140522104422. PMID: 24853682; PMCID: PMC4082169.

7. Binienda A, Twardowska A, Makaro A, Salaga M. Dietary Carbohydrates and Lipids in the Pathogenesis of Leaky Gut Syndrome: An Overview. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Nov 8;21(21):8368. doi: 10.3390/ijms21218368. PMID: 33171587; PMCID: PMC7664638.

8. Holscher HD. Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes. 2017 Mar 4;8(2):172-184. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1290756. Epub 2017 Feb 6. PMID: 28165863; PMCID: PMC5390821.

9. Christ A, Lauterbach M, Latz E. Western Diet and the Immune System: An Inflammatory Connection. Immunity. 2019 Nov 19;51(5):794-811. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.09.020. PMID: 31747581.

10. Wan MLY, Co VA, El-Nezami H. Dietary polyphenol impact on gut health and microbiota. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2021;61(4):690-711. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1744512. Epub 2020 Mar 25. PMID: 32208932.

11.Cardona F, Andrés-Lacueva C, Tulipani S, Tinahones FJ, Queipo-Ortuño MI. Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health. J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Aug;24(8):1415-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.05.001. PMID: 23849454.

12.Wilkins T, Sequoia J. Probiotics for Gastrointestinal Conditions: A Summary of the Evidence. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Aug 1;96(3):170-178. PMID: 28762696.

13.Meslier V, Laiola M, Roager HM, De Filippis F, Roume H, Quinquis B, Giacco R, Mennella I, Ferracane R, Pons N, Pasolli E, Rivellese A, Dragsted LO, Vitaglione P, Ehrlich SD, Ercolini D. Mediterranean diet intervention in overweight and obese subjects lowers plasma cholesterol and causes changes in the gut microbiome and metabolome independently of energy intake. Gut. 2020 Jul;69(7):1258-1268. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-320438. Epub 2020 Feb 19. PMID: 32075887; PMCID: PMC7306983.

14. Rocha MA, Bagatin E. Skin barrier and microbiome in acne. Arch Dermatol Res. 2018 Apr;310(3):181-185. doi: 10.1007/s00403-017-1795-3. Epub 2017 Nov 17. PMID: 29147769.

15. Dréno B, Dagnelie MA, Khammari A, Corvec S. The Skin Microbiome: A New Actor in Inflammatory Acne. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2020 Sep;21(Suppl 1):18-24. doi: 10.1007/s40257-020-00531-1. PMID: 32910436; PMCID: PMC7584556.

16. Bostock S, Crosswell AD, Prather AA, Steptoe A. Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being. J Occup Health Psychol. 2019 Feb;24(1):127-138. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000118. Epub 2018 May 3. PMID: 29723001; PMCID: PMC6215525.

17. Jang LG, Choi G, Kim SW, Kim BY, Lee S, Park H. The combination of sport and sport-specific diet is associated with characteristics of gut microbiota: an observational study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019 May 3;16(1):21. doi: 10.1186/s12970-019-0290-y. PMID: 31053143; PMCID: PMC6500072.

18. Errante F, Ledwoń P, Latajka R, Rovero P, Papini AM. Cosmeceutical Peptides in the Framework of Sustainable Wellness Economy. Front Chem. 2020 Oct 30;8:572923. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2020.572923. PMID: 33195061; PMCID: PMC7662462.

19. Zabolinejad N, Molkara S, Bakhshodeh B, Ghaffari-Nazari H, Khoshkhui M. The expression of serotonin transporter protein in the skin of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria and its relation with depression and anxiety. Arch Dermatol Res. 2019 Dec;311(10):825-831. doi: 10.1007/s00403-019-01969-y. Epub 2019 Sep 13. PMID: 31520274.

20. Mitchell A. Skin assessment in adults. Br J Nurs. 2022 Mar 10;31(5):274-278. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2022.31.5.274. PMID: 35271356.

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