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Glowing Skin Starts in your Gut

Have you ever secretly hoped to find that skincare or beauty product that would fix all your problems only to be met with disappointment? Many of us have been guilty of this at some point or another. Quality skin care products go that extra mile, there is no doubt about it. But there is one major factor we overlook with this frame of mind which is that healthy, glowing skin starts inside - it starts with our digestion.

We are a combination of what we eat, digest, assimilate and excrete. It makes sense too, if our digestion is compromised we’re not extracting the nutrients from our food that our body requires. Hippocrates said, “all disease begins in the gut” and some of the earliest teachings of Ayurveda, passed down by the sages of India some 4000 years ago said the same thing, digestion is the seat of our health. When our digestion isn’t functioning optimally we’re not absorbing the nutrients required to have beautiful, glowing skin. Instead we may see acne, breakouts, eczema, dermatitis, or the loathed dull skin.

Below are five points on how we can stimulate and support our digestion so that we can glow from the inside out:

Stomach Acid – AKA. Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) – an underactive stomach does not produce enough HCl or enzymes for the proper digestion of food. HCl is linked to the aging process and naturally declines as we get older. But what if we didn’t let it decline so much? Well this might mean we slow down the aging process via more efficient absorption of food. HCl is required for the absorption of proteins. Proteins are eventually broken down into amino acids which are the building blocks of all enzymes controlling much of the bodies processes. Food will digest with little HCl by a fermentation process – this is very damaging to the entire digestive tract furthering poor absorption of nutrients.
Recommendation: Have 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar before meals, practice proper food combining, do an at-home HCl Challenge in order to evaluate your levels, supplement with a digestive enzyme containing HCl

Water – Dehydration makes the skin look dry and wrinkled and proper hydration can help to improve this. A cornerstone of good digestion and cellular detoxification is water. Proper hydration is essential to every cell in the body and to prevent constipation. Healthy bowels mean that we’re excreting toxins efficiently. Ever breakout around your chin? This could indicate some bowel toxicity. Dry lips? This can be related to a dehydrated stomach and small intestine (two main organs of digestion)
Recommendation: Drinking 6-8 glasses of pure water a day away from meals, getting adequate fiber intake: fiber and water work together to eliminate and excrete toxins via the bowels.

Digestive enzymes – digestive enzymes help us break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber from our food. Enzymes are needed for most cellular process; we can help our bodies assimilate more nutrients (required for glowing skin) by supplementing with digestive enzymes at each meal. This is especially important if you have digestive issues.
Recommendation: a digestive enzyme supplement, one capsule at the beginning of each meal.

Bone broth - liquid collagen! My skin has never glowed more than when I started having bone broth daily, friends were asking me what my secret was. When you cook down organic chicken bones it breaks down the collagen to form a gelatinous broth. This broth is loaded with minerals that are essential to our skins health. *IMPORTANT: we should be using organic, grass-fed and hormone free chicken bones when making broth

Eliminate allergens - fried foods, gluten, refined sugar and dairy are the top allergens and both skin and digestive irritants. Fried foods and sugar offer very little nutritionally and do more damage than anything. Sugar is pro-inflammatory and fried foods actually damage cell membranes. Over time, this can lead to intestinal permeability, yikes! Eliminating these allergens will transform your digestion and your skin.

I hope these points offer some insight on the correlation between what we put in and what we get out. Glowing skin is the goal. Radiance truly starts on the inside, both with the quality of our thoughts and the nutrients we’re able to extract from our food. Good digestion is the foundation. If you have any questions – leave a comment below!

xo Guest Contributor, Tonya Papanikolov | @tonya.papanikolov |

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