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The Gut-Skin Axis & The Human Microbiome

Written by Bend Beauty


Bend Beauty and the Beyond Beauty Project are committed to helping improve our self-esteem and confidence around body image and mental health. Our collaboration is focused on changing the way we talk about beauty – from eliminating the term “anti-aging” from our vocabularies, to understanding that it’s never too late to take better care of your skin, or yourself. Our next series is all about gut health – starting with the connection between your gut health and skin health.


You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: what’s happening inside your body is reflected on the outside. As discussed in our last series, at Bend Beauty and BBP, we connect beauty from within to self-love. When you prioritize taking care of yourself and your needs – that's beauty. How we think and feel about ourselves I.e., treating ourselves with the same kindness and compassion we extend to our loved ones – that's beauty. More broadly, beauty from within is the concept that when we feel good inside, this is reflected in our appearances. One aspect of taking care of ourselves on the inside that is reflected on the outside is the state of our gut health, otherwise known as the human microbiome.

The human microbiome is the entire collection of species that reside within and on our bodies (1). These species mostly reside in our intestines (lower gut), and they work together to provide benefits to one another, which can enormously impact our health. This intricate connection between the gut and skin has led to the term “gut-skin axis” (2) and researchers are increasingly investigating how the gut microbiome influences our skin, as well as other organs including the brain and lungs.

There’s lots of evidence that the human microbiome may (3):

  • Produce many nutrients important for human health

  • Prevent infections

  • Modify or influences immune response

  • Is partly responsible for human metabolism

  • Regulate the balance between health and disease

Negative changes to our gut microbiome are linked to the development of skin conditions including eczema or atopic dermatitis. Discovery of this connection has led to the idea that improving our microbiome could play a role in skin disease prevention or treatment (2)

In addition to improved skin health, the gut provides the majority of total body serotonin, a hormone that profoundly affects mental health and mood (4).

So, how do we improve our microbiome?

A lot of research has focused on supplementing with probiotics, but prebiotics are becoming more recognized for the role they play in improving gut health and the microbiome. The next blog post in our series will focus on the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, including what nutrients and foods to focus on that will help you on your journey to improved gut health, and in turn, improved skin health – because it all starts within.

Bend Beauty products are BBP approved and contain many powerful active ingredients to unlock your skin’s potential, and optimize your wellness routine. Shop Bend Beauty – and use code BBP20 for 20% off your purchase on

You can catch our Founder + CEO on Beyond Beauty Project: The Podcast here!


The Education Collection is a series of articles that provide science-backed education on skin health from the inside out. We have partnered with Bend Beauty for this collaboration because we both are on a collective mission to change the narrative surrounding beauty. Bridgett says, "Beauty comes from within – within our physical, mental, and spiritual health." After struggling with cystic acne for years, she learned firsthand that what is going on internally on a physical level often also shows up externally on our skin. Bend Beauty provides education about what we put into and onto our bodies, using their innovative research that allows us to understand new elements of skin health and longevity. Beyond Beauty Project and Bend Beauty truly believe that aging is a magical part of life and that beauty is how you feel.

We love to partner with brands who are committed to not using any marketing that erodes our self-worth and actively working towards changing the narrative of beauty for all of us. We love beauty and beauty products as much as anyone else but still firmly believe there is a way to have all the fun, luxurious products while also feeling empowered about ourselves and our beauty. We hope you enjoy the next series of Beyond Beauty Project x Bend Beauty's Education Collection.




  1. Thomas, C. L., & Fernández-Peñas, P. (2016). The microbiome and atopic eczema: More than skin deep. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 58(1), 18–24.

  2. Lee, S., Lee, E., Park, Y.M. & Hong, S. (2018). Microbiome in the Gut-Skin Axis in Atopic Dermatitis. Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research, 10(4): 353-362.

  3. Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on human health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021.

  4. Appleton J. The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018 Aug;17(4):28-32. PMID: 31043907; PMCID: PMC6469458.

  5. Ercolini, D., & Fogliano, V. (2018). Food design to feed the human gut microbiota. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66(15), 3754–3758.


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