The Gut Microbiome Series: Skin Health

Much like our gut microbiome, which is home to trillions of microorganisms, our skin microbiome has its own ecosystem of organisms, including fungi, viruses and bacteria. Our skin is the largest organ in the body and your first line of defense; it helps regulate our body temperature, and protects us from outside elements, including UV radiation, unwanted viruses and infections.

While our skin has its own microbiome, there is a strong connection between our gut health and our skin health. If our gut is low in beneficial bacteria, or full of viruses and other unwanted bacteria this can influence our skin, leading to oily or dry skin, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Research also shows that an unhealthy microbiome can also cause a delay in wound healing and increase scarring.

Everyone’s microbiome has a different composition of bacteria species, this is dependent on one’s genetic makeup, gender, age, overall health and hygiene.

The 411 on your immune system

Your immune cells protect the body through fighting bacteria and work to destroy any intruders. If “visitors” try to infiltrate your body, the immune system works together to fight off and defeat them. Our body works hard to protect itself against injury, disease, viruses and infection through different levels of defense. Skin and mucous membranes act as the first line of defense, as they are barriers which prevent entry of potential pathogenic bacteria, viruses and infections.

How to support your skin:


Dry skin can be a sign of dehydration. Monitoring hydration is important. Dehydration is common when fluids are restricted or unable to take fluids orally. Work with a clinician to determine proper fluid intake.


Antibiotics are sometimes necessary, but they come at a cost of killing the good bugs. If you have used antibiotics or you are on a low dose antibiotic long- term, replenishing good bacteria is vital. Adding high probiotic foods or a probiotic supplement that includes Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum can be a great way to add in more friendly bacteria.

Get dirty

Our germ-free lifestyle has an important role in our health can keep us safe from any viruses or infections, however the use of antibiotics, soaps, medications, anti-bacterial sprays can sometimes do harm on the balance of our skin microbiome. Spending time outdoors is a great way to expose yourself to different organisms, and can encourage a healthy skin microbiome.