The Gut-Skin Connection: How Gut Health Affects Skin Health?

Author: Herbalife Nutrition
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Ever wonder why sometimes after a fun night out where you’ve indulged in countless amount of desserts and drinks, you wake up the next morning with pimples?

The truth is, the gut and skin are very much correlated. It seems like the brain is not the only decision maker anymore in the body as rising studies have found that our gut also has power over our health and is known to be the body’s “second brain”.

Does this mean that if we don’t start caring for our gut, it’s going to show directly on our complexion? Are the pimples on our face a sign of an unhealthy gut?

How Gut Health Affects Skin Health?

Research has shown that the gut and skin are highly similar to each other in terms of purpose and functionality. With both organs being essential for immune and neuroendocrine function, it’s no secret to why there is a strong gut-skin connection. The two-way reciprocity significance between the gut and skin is more so evident when skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema are linked to a weak gut and also acne being caused by poor digestion.

When the intestine and colon collects good bacteria from probiotics we consume like yogurt or kefir, it not only helps digestion, immunity and various body functions but also might be a factor to attaining good skin health. Could this is be the secret on how K-pop stars achieve that glass skin look?

Either way, we should already be nourishing our body with a good diet because as the saying goes “you are what you eat”. Maintaining a happy gut is like keeping a plant alive. The digestive tract is the soil and your hair, skin and nails are the plant. If the soil is of bad quality, the plants will not bloom properly. The skin cells need to absorb essential nutrients from the digestive tract to thrive and attain a healthy glow.

If you’re interested to look and feel like a million bucks, then keep reading as we share some tips on getting your gut health to a fit form:

1. Up your intake of fibre  

The recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) 2017 Malaysia suggests that the average adult should consume 20-30g of fibre per day which you can get from two types of fibre-soluble and insoluble fibre. Both types plays a part in supporting the digestive health but in different ways.

Food like nuts, bran and potatoes are examples of insoluble fibre also known as “roughage”. When broken down by the body, roughage absorbs water which adds bulk. It functions as a lubricant to ease the passage of waste in your digestive system to keep your bowel movement regular.

Where else, soluble fibre found in oats and apples, thickens and swells up when it comes in contact with liquid which makes us full. It is also responsible in encouraging growth of good bacteria in our digestive tract because it can dual as a prebiotic too.

Be sure to add in a few options of soluble & insoluble fibre in your grocery list before the next visit to your local supermarket!

2. Hydrate with lots of water

As 60% of our body is made up of water, it is obvious that fluid is important to aid our digestive system. We need it to produce saliva, digestive juice, transmitting nutrients to the cells and as mentioned above soluble fibre dissolves in water and insoluble fibre traps it. An essential tip would be to keep a bottle of water in different rooms in your house so you’ll never get dehydrated.

3. Consume aloe vera

This magical plant not only benefits the digestive system in nutrient absorption by drinking as a tonic but it can double to help waste pass through easier. Alternatively, it can be a hydrating refreshing drink to replace the boring plain water.

4. Boost your system with collagen-rich foods & supplements

As we step into our mid-20s and begin the aging process, our skin tends to suffer from moisture loss and become increasingly dry. Our skin slowly loses its firmness and elasticity which results in wrinkles and sagging. To delay the aging process, try eating collagen-rich foods including leafy greens, red and yellow vegetables, berries, citrus fruits fish, chicken, egg whites, avocados, soy, beans and white tea which can all be conveniently found in the market.

Otherwise, you can look for collagen in the form of nutritional supplement. Modern technology has made it accessible for hydrolysed collages to be produced which is a type of collagen that can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream. Your skin can carry on being elastic, dense, non-wrinkly and smooth just in the nick of time!

With that being said, there is more to achieving your desired healthy skin. One can’t just rely on the inner care but need to also commit in consistently caring for the skin on the outside as well.


Bonus Skincare tip

Create a skincare routine that you will follow through daily which incorporates products formulated with natural botanicals, alcohol-free, paraben-free, dermatologist & clinically tested and enriched with vitamins and minerals.

It is best to do research on your skin type or pay a visit to the dermatologist as different individuals have different skin types, needs & challenges. But the basic products you would need to kick start your skin care regime would be:

·       A gentle cleanser according to your skin type (dry, oily or combination)

·       A gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells (used weekly)

·       A moisturizer with sunscreen (SPF) to protect against harmful UV rays

We only have one body so look after your gut and skin on the inside & out. Learn more about Herbalife Nutrition Digestive Health Products and Outer Nutrition Products now!


1.       De Pessemier B, Grine L, Debaere M, Maes A, Paetzold B, Callewaert C. Gut–Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms. 2021;9(2):353.

2.       Nandal U, Lal Bhardwaj R. Aloe vera for human nutrition, health and cosmetic use -A review. International Research Journal of Plant Science. 2012;3(3):38-46.

3.       Varani J, Dame M, Rittie L, Fligiel S, Kang S, Fisher G et al. Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin. The American Journal of Pathology. 2006;168(6):1861-1868.

All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. This information is not intended to replace the advice of your personal medical profession.