Do you struggle with constant blemishes despite leaving your teenage years behind you? Acne and breakouts in adults are common. If you struggle with skin flare ups despite following a good skin care routine then the issue may be a little deeper. Take a look at our list of common causes of adult acne.

Poor gut flora

If you have ever needed to take antibiotics there’s a chance that they altered your gut flora and it may not have fully recovered. Antibiotics tend to obliterate most gut bacteria and allow yeast and a few other strains of non-beneficial bacteria to flourish. Sometimes the diversity of your gut flora can become permanently altered. Steroids and stress can also affect your gut flora. Many of us are born with altered gut flora; they are inherited from our mothers during birth. If your gut flora are composed of less beneficial strains they have the ability to produce toxins which are released into the blood stream and promote a leaky gut. This makes places pressure on our immune system and liver making it hard to remain a picture of health, both inside and out.
Altered gut flora lead to constipation which can also cause acne. The bowel is a major route of elimination for toxins when it is sluggish the skin tends to be the next route out for toxins. This is one of the ways that constipation or altered gut flora can affect skin health. The best way to promote good gut flora is through eating fermented foods and diverse selection of vegetables every day.

Poor digestion: Food intolerances, leaky gut and poor liver function

Poor digestion will have an effect on your gut flora, but it will also lead to the development of food intolerances which is a leading contributor to adult acne. Food intolerances are the result of a leaky gut. When the gut is permeable your immune system begins to react to food substances it never had an issue with before. Difficult to digest proteins react with your immune system and cause inflammation and put extra pressure on your liver to detoxify. When your liver is overloaded, skin breakouts will follow. Any acne related to you hormonal pattern will ease off when these factors are addressed.

Poor digestion often begins with low stomach acid. If you have acne that is centred on the nose and upper cheeks then you may be showing the early stages of rosacea. This is an inflammatory condition that can be eliminated by increasing stomach acid levels and removing food intolerances.

Nutrient deficiencies

If you struggle with bloating or heartburn then digestion could be sub-optimal and you may not be unlocking the nutrients in your diet. This can leave you with significant nutrient deficiencies that can impact on your skin health.

Low zinc can lead to low stomach acid which leads to food intolerances which leads to acne. Low zinc is one of the primary causes of adult acne. You can have adequate dietary zinc but still have low levels if you digestion is poor.
Yup, we’ve touched on how poor digestion affects both zinc and food intolerances already and how these contribute to adult acne. But the significance of poor digestion for skin health means it deserves a listing all of its own! If your digestion is poor ie you have bloating, heartburn or nausea after taking vitamins then you may not be unlocking the nutrients in your diet leaving you with less than you need to control those skin breakouts. You are what you absorb, not what you eat. Vitamin A, E, D are super important when it comes to skin health. Vitamin D requires sunshine exposure (without sunscreen) and vitamin A may be needed in it’s pure form rather than beta carotene.

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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