Stressed out? Look inwards.

Have you noticed an increase in skincare concerns during lockdown?

Clients dealing with break-outs, problem skin like skin sensitivity, dull, sallow or tired complexions may often blame stress as a trigger. Stressed lives makes stress skin, it all starts with the intertwined relationship between the skin, the brain and the beneficial bacteria of the gut.

Expert skin researchers suggests that one of the causes of these stress complaints can be traced to the body’s internal microbiome. This is the amalgamation of all micro-organisms – including bacteria, fungi and viruses – that live in synergy with the human body. Alongside factors such as antibiotic use and poor diet, stress can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, which negatively impacts the skin. As skin care professionals treating stressed and problem skin, targeted support of the gut microbiome is a powerful tool: balancing the internal environment to support skin health. The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s newly launched Skin Clear Biome™ blends four skin-friendly bacterial strains together with zinc: targeting the gut to skin connection. Formulated for problem skin, it works to balance the internal biome, combating stressed and compromised complexions.

Good skin starts from the inside and excessive stress can cause skin problems.

Responses in the brain trigger changes in the gut, and if the gut falls out of balance, so can the skin.

“The gut-brain-skin axis suggests a mechanism that links gastrointestinal health, [influenced by interactions with oral probiotics], to the health and well-being of the skin,” explain Mary-Margaret Kober and Whitney Bowe in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology . As understanding of the axis evolves, innovative methods of enhancing skin health via the gut are emerging. Using probiotics and beneficial bacteria supplements has been demonstrated to have a significant, positive impact on skin health.

Stressed out

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Pharmacology noted that the body’s stress signals have a powerful impact on the intestinal microbiome. Stress signals from the brain trigger the release of neurotransmitters and proinflammatory cytokines: signalling molecules causing inflammation. These molecules can “profoundly affect the gastrointestinal physiology” , leading to imbalanced internal flora and an increased likelihood of intestinal permeability. When intestinal permeability is compromised, toxins and other substances seep out of the gut and into the bloodstream, this can trigger skin problems. Concerns such as break-outs, inflammation and excess sebum production have all been attributed to the gut’s physiological response to stress, and imbalances in gut bacteria – known as dysbiosis – have also been found in those suffering conditions such as acne and rosacea.

"During the development of Skin Clear Biome™, we analysed strains of bacteria that appeared to be playing a role not only in digestive health but also stress, immunity and problem skin".

A balancing act

With their nourishing properties for the gut, probiotic and beneficial bacteria supplements have soared in popularity with wellness focused shoppers. A report from market research agency Meticulous Research in August 2020 noted a 100% increase in Google searches for probiotics during the lockdown in March 2020, with 43% of probiotic takers supplementing for immunity and 17% for skin health. As clients become aware of the additional potential of probiotics and bacteria supplements to support skin health and stressed skin, their popularity looks set to soar even further. The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Youth Biome™ and newly launched Skin Clear Biome™, are sophisticated solutions to add into a client’s regime to assist both the gut and the skin. In addition to bacterial strains beneficial to the maintenance of a healthy gut flora, these innovative formulations contain skin-specific strains shown to have a notable impact on skin concerns. Skin Clear Biome™ also contains bacteria shown to help alleviate the signs of stress on the gut.

Bacteria for breakouts

Lorraine Perretta, Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Head of Nutrition, explains that impressive results in testing of Skin Youth Biome™ inspired the development of the new Skin Clear Biome™ formulation, designed to target stressed and problem skin.

She explains that balancing from the inside out was the cornerstone of the new formulation: “During the development of Skin Clear Biome™, we analysed strains of bacteria that appeared to be playing a role not only in digestive health but also stress, immunity and problem skin,” she says. “Additionally, we added zinc to this unique mix to further augment its impact on skin.”

The supplement synergises four strains of skinfriendly bacteria with zinc to promote skin. The four bacterial strains: S. boulardii, B. bifidum, L. helveticus and L. paracasei, were selected for their researched abilities to target the causes of problem skin. The strains have been shown to decrease sebum production, regulate inflammation, assist with healing and maintain immunity.

Perretta notes that trials at the Skin Health Research Centre have yielded exciting results. “Participants in our testing are reporting significant improvements both to their skin and to their confidence,” she says. Testers reported fewer breakouts, decreased oiliness and faster healing, and our skin analysis displayed:

Results based on a marketing survey conducted on 14 participants (13 women, 1 man), aged 19 - 40 over 8 weeks. Measurements were taken using the Courage & Khazaka equipment and facial imaging equipment.

A capsule wardrobe

For clients with problem skin and stressed complexions, Skin Clear Biome’s balancing bacterial matrix is a potent first step. The profound impact stress has on the gut can slow down or hinder the absorption of nutrients, therefore restoring nutrient levels becomes a necessity. As a result, clients will benefit from incorporating skin specific nutrients into their routines.

A comprehensive multi-vitamin, such as the Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Vitality, is a useful regimen addition to work alongside Skin Clear Biome™. Skin Vitality contains 28 nutrients including copper, vitamin D and vitamin K2, to help replenish and support the body and skin.

Combining Skin Clear Biome™ with Skin Accumax™, award-winning skin supplement for problem skin, is a potent option for those suffering with problem skin. Adding the benefits of vitamins A, C and E which support skin health and clarity to Skin Clear Biome’s beneficial bacterial matrix.

Skin Vit C is another smart addition for those suffering from severe stress. When the body is stressed, it triggers the fight or flight response in the adrenal gland, which uses a lot of vitamin C. Replenishing vitamin C can help brighten stress-dulled skin, and provide additional support with its antioxidant and immune supporting properties.

Home Care

While some clients are unable to visit salons, a bespoke home plan can boost results and maintain strong client relationships. Following a consultation (in person or virtually) these products are options for optimum results:

1. Environ® Focus Care™ Youth+ Tri Biobotanical Revival Masque: For a radiant, smooth, younger and revitalised finish.

2. Environ® Focus Care™ Clarity+ Hydroxy Acid Sebu-Lac Lotion and Vita Botanical Sebu-ACE Oil: For persistent problematic skin. The two products work in synergy to combat the signs of breakouts.

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