Beauty starts from within, they say. Well, get ready, because gut health is set to be a major trend in 2018.

Food and wellness experts claim that the good bacteria that lives in our digestive systems plays a role in our ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals, balancing our hormones and clearing out toxins. If the bacteria goes out of whack, or the bad kind is more present than the good, this can lead to all sorts of problems, such as a compromised immune system, poor digestion and even mental health concerns. In other words, it’s not just a stomach ache you should be worried about.

But what about your skin?

Dr Nigma Talib, author of Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, says that the kind of diet we have can be seen on our faces. According to her, gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol are the main culprits when it comes to poor skin quality, as they can result in inflammation, which causes anything from breakouts to premature ageing.

While some foods can cause allergies or make skin oilier, the negative effects of poor gut health on the skin are more long-term. This means that you might not even notice that your skin is being affected. Alcohol is dehydrating – which anyone who has had a hangover will know – and this causes skin to become dehydrated and dull as well. Sugar and gluten can both cause inflammation throughout the body which creates enzymes that can break down the collagen and elastin in the skin. And dairy is full of hormones which can disrupt the balance in the body and cause acne flare-ups.

So you might want to reconsider that wine and pizza night you were planning. Cutting certain foods out of your diet may seem extreme, but simply applying fancy creams every night isn’t enough on its own.

So what should we do?

There are many things that can play a role in the health and appearance of your skin, from hormones and genetics to lifestyle. If you’ve ruled out those, it might be worth taking the health of your gut into account and adopting cleaner eating habits to see results.

There are very few people in the world with enough self-discipline to eat clean all the time, but you can start making changes. Easing up on the sugar, using dairy alternatives and foregoing your daily glass of wine are good first steps on the road to good gut health and, ultimately, more radiant skin. Get that gut glow!

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