Why fermented skincare could be the key to flat stomach and seriously good skin
Leave bloated "busy belly" in the past
If you can relate to any of the following, you qualify as a fully paid up member of the “always on” generation: you rarely switch off; your next “free” weekend with no social bookings is a few months away; you grab a quick lunch and eat it at your desk/on your way to somewhere else; you prioritise deadlines, friends’ birthdays, the next-big-thing exercise class and mindfulness seminars, and are proud of how well you manage to fit it all in. Your work emails are on your phone for easy access; you take supplements to boost your energy/efficiency/diet/health and you drink coffee as rocket fuel – but in sensible amounts. Usually. Congratulations – you are a well-rounded, hard-working and maybe over-achieving, regular human being.
But, even in this age of “wellness” and self-care, we seem to still be suffering something of an epidemic for modern women: unexplainable, seemingly uncontrollable, sometimes uncomfortable bloat. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of people in the UK experience some form of digestive discomfort.
This epidemic comes down to just one thing: gut health. “The gut is the centre of your immune system, controlling almost all aspects of your body,” explains The Beauty Chef founder Carla Oates. Digestion, circulation, hormones – all are predominately dictated by your gastrointestinal tract. “It is where you make neurotransmitters, metabolise hormones, neutralise pathogens, eliminate toxins and manufacture nutrients,” explains Carla, “so the state of your microbiome has a profound impact on your mood, weight, skin, immunity and overall wellbeing.” Basically, when it is “dodgy” then so are you.
“Busy belly” is one such unpromising example – a direct result of gut inflammation. “Foods that cause inflammation – gluten, dairy, corn, sugar and soy – contribute to a leaky gut, leading to a permeable digestive membrane,” continues Carla. It is not just those categories that are eroding the lining; stress adds to the systematic damage, too. “Stress affects the physiological function of the gut and alters the composition of gut microbiota – the result is further inflammation.” So, what can you do about it?
“Healing foods like slow-cooked soups and bone broths are a great place to start,” suggests Carla. Liquorice root, ginger and aloe vera are all powerful cleansing ingredients that can be easily added to any meal.
“If you really want results, introduce lacto-fermented, probiotic-rich foods,” continues Carla. Lactofermentation is a process where ingredients are fermented with lactic-acid producing bacteria. Lactic acid, in turn, is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria while cultivating vitamins and enzymes. Essentially, it increases the digestibility of foods and amps up their nutrition levels. Kefir, kimchi, kombucha are all great examples of lactofermented foods. “Your skin, body and microbiome need to be nourished properly with amino acids, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, prebiotics and probiotics, which can be obtained from unprocessed wholefoods as well as easily-digested and assimilated lacto-fermented foods,” says Carla.
The Supplement Solution
Easy to incorporate into your everyday life, supplements are an assured way to help clean up your gut…
Symprove Probiotic – 6,237.90 for a one-month supply BUY
This is a water-based formula with specific live, activated bacteria strains to help you achieve a healthy balance. Take a shot in the morning on an empty stomach to get the most out of it.
The Beauty Chef Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder – Rs. 3,435.36 BUY
A considered blend of lactofermented superfoods designed to deep clean, nourish and rebuild your gut. Perfect to sweeten tea too.
Get Diagnosed… with Viva Mayr
I’ve always suffered from poor gut health – bloating is something I have struggled with but readily ignored. Annoyingly, the more educated I became about beauty, the more I realised my bloating was linked to my blemish-prone complexion. If I wasn’t going to bite the bullet and seek treatment for my belly, I knew I would for my skin (thank you, vanity).
A branch of the famous Austrian medi-spa, Viva Mayr on Harley Street is clean, white and inviting – everything you would want from a clinic. The Doctors (if they were anything like mine, Dr. Sepp) are calm and self-assured, patiently answering all your questions before putting you through the weirdest (and I mean weirdest) physical examination ever. Designed to diagnose your organs, systems and intolerances, the physical involves lying on your back and touching one of seven pressure points while the doctor tests your muscular resistance. For example, my inflamed digestion was indicated by the weakness of my resistance, which was then immediately strengthened after Magnesium was sprinkled on my tongue. It was so odd and yet clearly effective.
After 60 investigative minutes, Dr. Sepp prescribed several metal compounds and supplements, writing a detailed plan about what I was sensitive too (gluten and fructose) and the changes I needed to make to my diet and mindset towards food to ease the inflammation. I’m one week in and the results are already addictive – not only is my stomach less bloated, my complexion is noticeably brighter.
Ferment Your Face…
Of course, part of that may be due to the fact that I wasn’t just taking probiotics for my gut – I was applying them topically to the skin. Stressed, inflamed skin that is the result of poor gut health is often sensitive and reactive, requiring a more gentle approach than traditional green or synthetic ingredients can provide. This is why fermented, probiotic-rich skincare is so advantageous; it is all about strengthening the skin, not weakening it.
“Biofermentation is the next wave in the beauty industry,” assures Orveda Founder & CEO Sue Y. Nabi. “It is about taking botanicals and fermenting those botanicals with bacteria to make their molecular structure finer. This allows these molecules to penetrate the skin with greater affinity than other ingredients, allowing them to work with the epidermal ecosystem.” Fundamentally, fermented skincare is about cultivating your skins barrier by working with its natural microflora.
Fermented skincare heroes:
So creamy that it is easy to leave it sitting on the skin, allowing the natural probiotics to nourish healthy bacteria while removing harmful strains. Rs. 3,906 This utilises everyone’s favourite fermented tea to yield the same benefits on your face – hydration, balance and luminosity. Rs. 6,312 Combining skin-boosting ingredients with the fermentation process, this amps up some already powerful antioxidants for a nourishing serum. Rs. 3,550 This adds strains of bacteria to argan, olive, shiunko and liquorice oils so they can delve deeper into the epidermis, locking in hydration for a great glow. Rs. 6,780.20 This boasts kombucha, marine enzymes and natural prebiotics alongside a high concentration of actives to hydrate and treat. A standout product. Rs.25,396.45 La Mer applies its famous formula of fermented algae to a lighter, more summer friendly cream that gently nourishes and deeply moisturises. Rs. 13,511
So creamy that it is easy to leave it sitting on the skin, allowing the natural probiotics to nourish healthy bacteria while removing harmful strains.
This utilises everyone’s favourite fermented tea to yield the same benefits on your face – hydration, balance and luminosity.
Combining skin-boosting ingredients with the fermentation process, this amps up some already powerful antioxidants for a nourishing serum.
This adds strains of bacteria to argan, olive, shiunko and liquorice oils so they can delve deeper into the epidermis, locking in hydration for a great glow.
This boasts kombucha, marine enzymes and natural prebiotics alongside a high concentration of actives to hydrate and treat. A standout product.
La Mer applies its famous formula of fermented algae to a lighter, more summer friendly cream that gently nourishes and deeply moisturises.
While the science of a radiant complexion is vague, it is not complicated – a clean, calm gut will ensure your skin is lit from within and a fermented-rich routine will guarantee the glow won’t go.
From: ELLE UK