The One Supplement That Changed My Skin

By now I feel like the relationship between me and my skin is much like the Twilight series — an epic saga filled with love, hope, and deception; part love story, part battle scenes. Okay, that’s admittedly a tad theatrical, but for years, I’ve been on a constant quest for flawless skin, and much to my dismay, do not always know how to get there.

Maybe you’ve heard about my quest with the decision to wash my face with honey. The Chicago winter was getting to my skin, resulting in random irritations, inflamed acne, and dryness and puffiness I had never dealt with before. While the honey dramatically helped with inflammation and irritation, I still had more random breakouts and pesky pimples that no amount of lotions, serums, and acids would help. So what else would a proper beauty nerd do, besides call in the experts (aka binge on skincare podcasts featuring high profile dermatologists I cannot afford to see myself)?

After much research (thanks to Google and my Podcast app), I finally heard something that clicked — the skin can only be as healthy as the gut. I’ve always known the connection between what we ingest and the health of our skin — I load up on avocados, almonds, and other skin-healthy food, while avoiding sugar at all costs (I mean as much as I can until it’s donut day at the office). But focusing on gut health was something I had never known that much about.

I’ve loved HUM Nutrition for a boost in all-things-beauty for years — you take their online quiz to see which supplements and vitamins are right for you, a registered dietician sends you all the info you need, and you can subscribe to save time and money on their beauty-boosting vitamins. They’re my go-to brand because their unique formulas are all premium quality, non-GMO, gluten-free, and made from natural sustainably sourced ingredients that are science-based and clinically-backed, so I know I’m getting the very best. I use the Killer Nails in the winter when my nails get brittle and weak, and have been happily chewing on their Hair Sweet Hair gummies for a year (my hair has never grown faster). So when I needed major help with my skin, I knew who to look to to improve my gut.

HUM

Gut Instinct

A potent probiotic that benefits your skin and health.

 

You can take your own wellness assessment here and get 20% off your first HUM purchase by using EVERYGIRL at checkout.

 

Source: Unsplash

 

The Relationship Between Gut Health and Your Skin

A leaky or unhealthy gut doesn’t just cause stomach pains or digestive issues (problems I’d already been dealing with). It’s also associated with obesity, a weak immune system, hormone imbalance, depression and anxiety, and yes, even inflammatory skin conditions. The “gut” is filled with trillions of bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome kills bad bacteria that can show up as acne or inflammation on the skin. Good bacteria that flourishes in the gut also stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, which help to beat breakouts or skin conditions before they even begin.

Food allergies don’t always show their symptoms as a swollen throat or hives — a lot of the time, food intolerances will show up on the skin because they cause imbalance in gut bacteria. These gut issues often go unnoticed, since we’re more likely to treat skin problems from the outside instead of from the inside. If you keep your skin clean, moisturized, and balanced, any irritation on the skin from rosacea to hormonal breakouts might actually be caused by a leaky gut or too much bad bacteria.

 

Source: HUM

 

How to Improve Gut Health

While there are many things to do to work on your gut health, the factor I found in my research that would have the biggest impact was taking a probiotic. You’ve probably heard of probiotics as the buzz-worthy supplement promoted by every wellness blogger, or the reason fermented foods (that are hard to pronounce) like kimchi and kefir have gotten a lot of attention — and there are a lot of health benefits to back up the hype. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are stored in your gut to keep you healthy and properly digest foods. Taking a probiotic supplement adds more good bacteria to your body and helps to balance the good and bad bacteria.

However, a probiotic is not good enough. The lesser known prebiotic is equal to its popular probiotic counterpart, since without them, probiotics (or good gut bacteria), cannot flourish. Prebiotic is a type of non-digestible fiber that gets fermented when it reaches the colon. That fermenting process works as food for good gut bacteria, allowing the good bacteria to grow. What so many people miss about the probiotic health trend is that taking all the probiotics and good gut bacteria in the world will not heal your gut without prebiotics, since good bacteria won’t be able to survive without them.

While optimal gut health is more than just probiotics, it doesn’t have to be any harder than taking a supplement with your morning smoothie or cup of coffee. I decided to try HUM Nutrition’s Skin Heroes Pre + Probiotic, since it has a perfect blend of both prebiotics and probiotics. It uses an ultra-targeted bacteria formulated specifically to target acne, dryness, and redness. It also promotes a clear, even skin tone. Plus, as the all-natural-wannabe that I am, I love that it’s vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and sustainably sourced.

HUM

Skin Heroes Pre+ProBiotic

- Formulated for problematic skin
- Supports skin hydration
- For acne prone skin (non-cystic)
- Balances the gut microbiome

 

Source: HUM

 

My Experience with HUM’s Pre + Probiotic

Trust me, I’ve done my research, and this stuff is good. All the ingredients are the best possible to both heal the gut and promote healthy skin — the probiotics are made up of nine strains of both soil-based and live-strain bacteria to support skin cell turnover (aka glowing skin, insane hydration, and acne reduction), and the prebiotic is from the konjac root — a natural, healthy source.

After a year of serums that didn’t work, benzoyl peroxides that over-dried, and other supplements that didn’t seem to make any real changes, I was so ready to try out Hum Nutrition’s latest skin-boosting product that proved promising results and the science to back it up.

I took two supplements daily, one with breakfast and one before bed, and in about a month in or so, I started to see a dramatic difference. The pesky pimples that kept popping up, especially around my mouth and chin (aka hormonal acne), had started to go away, and my skin tone looked more even. I could even use harsher products (like an acid toner or face peel) without the usual redness and irritation that occurred afterwards. Besides just a change in my skin, I noticed a change in my digestion, too. I felt so much less bloated and gassy (sorry for the TMI), and could even eat foods like dairy that typically bothered my stomach without as much pain and discomfort.

 

Source: HUM

 

The changes in my body were literally telling me that my gut was getting back on track after years of stress, bad eating, and college binge-drinking that likely disrupted the system. After taking Hum Nutrition’s Skin Heroes for a couple months now, I feel so good that sometimes I picture the good bacteria in my gut throwing a little party to thank me for finally giving them what they need. Maybe they have cute little bacteria party hats and a good-for-the-gut cake (made out of prebiotic fiber, of course) — I’m theatrical, remember? Party or not, HUM Nutrition’s Pre + Probiotic has transformed my skin better than any skincare product could have. And it’s not just me, in a dermatologist-supervised study 88% of participants reported a decrease in breakouts within 60 days of taking Skin Heroes daily.

While I’ll always be a skincare product junkie at heart and my skincare drawer will always be full, I’ve realized that products can promote a glowing complexion, but they shouldn’t be depended on to fix problematic skin. If you’re dealing with any kind of skin concerns or issue, I urge you to check out the health of your body — what you’re eating, how you’re treating your body, and what supplements you could be taking. Maybe one day, the good bacteria in your gut could be throwing a party, too — party hats and all.

 

You can take your own wellness assessment here and get 20% off your first HUM purchase by using EVERYGIRL at checkout.

 

This post was in partnership with HUM Nutrition, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

  • Mariah Hampton

    I love the concept of the brand and what they are about, I just wish they were cruelty free!