How can I incorporate the principles of gut microbiome health into salon treatments?

Published 19th Feb 2024

Gut health is central to the health of skin. Dr Gaby Prinsloo, medical director for iiaa, explains how to work the principles into your treatments and homecare recommendations...

Catch Dr Prinsloo's talk on mastering the microbiome at 1pm on Sunday, March 3, on the Skin & Advanced Treatments Stage at Professional Beauty London 2024.

If we don’t support the health of our gut, we won’t get the best possible skincare results.

The gut microbiome is the collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses) that live in our digestive systems. Each person’s gut microbiome contains around 30 to 100 trillion microorganisms.

The more diverse, the better. Gut health affects the health of the whole body.

The gut microbiome improves our digestion, regulates hormones and the nervous system, and helps us deal with stress. It keeps the immune system healthy and decreases inflammation.

The gut communicates closely with the skin, forming the gut-skin axis. The skin also has a microbiome, which bolsters the skin’s immune system, reinforces the skin barrier and protects against invading pathogens. Gut dysbiosis occurs when the composition of the microbiome is out of balance. 

This can lead to an impaired intestinal barrier, an increased immune response and inflammation. This also has a significant effect on skin leading to inflammation, a disrupted skin barrier and an altered skin microbiome

Many common skin diseases are associated with gut dysbiosis. Dysbiosis increases inflammation and disrupts the skin microbiome contributing to acne.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis can also occur as dysbiosis leads to inflammation and a disrupted skin barrier and skin microbiome, which then exacerbates atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Skin dysbiosis leads to impaired wound healing. 

When we think of wounds, we may think of large scratches and cuts, but many skin treatments such as needling, peeling, plasma treatments, dermabrasion and other resurfacing treatments lead to minor wounds that require healing. 

Supporting the gut microbiome improves the ability of the skin to heal from these treatments, leading to better results.

This is why I would recommend clients adding a thoroughly researched beneficial bacteria supplement into their skincare routines, such as Advanced Nutrition Programme (ANP) Skin Youth Biome, which supports ageing skin with vitamin C and beneficial bacteria.

If a client experiences problem skin conditions, I recommend a supplement to calm and support skin with beneficial bacteria and zinc, such as ANP’s Skin Clear Biome. 

Gut dysbiosis also accelerates “inflammaging”. Inflammation is one of the main mechanisms leading to ageing, commonly referred to as inflammaging.

With increasing age, the ability to resolve inflammation becomes impaired. When there is concurrent gut dysbiosis, inflammation increases acceleration of the ageing process. 

To achieve optimal skincare results, we need to support gut health. A healthy diet containing lots of fibre and diverse plant foods, and low in sugar and processed food, is essential, as is healthy exercise, good sleep and managing stress. Targeted gut and skin support is also key.

Oral beneficial bacteria supplements improve the gut microbiome and decrease inflammation, supporting skin health from within, further benefitting the topical treatments clients experience in salons.

In addition to a host of general health benefits, oral probiotics also lead to numerous benefits in the skin. They decrease inflammation in the skin, improve the immune system, improve the skin barrier and stimulate fibroblasts, increasing collagen, elastin and GAGs.

This contributes to improvements in inflammatory diseases such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, as well as improved wound healing and decreased symptoms of ageing. A good probiotic is a valuable addition to any skincare treatment and routine. 

Choose one targeted to the condition that you want to support. Remember that this is not intended to treat any disease or medical condition but can help support a healthy body and skin. 


Dr Gaby Prinsloo

Dr Gaby Prinsloo is the medical director for iiaa (International Institute for Active Ageing). Catch her talk on mastering the microbiome at at 1pm on Sunday, March 3, on the Skin & Advanced Treatments Stage at Professional Beauty London. 

Have all the latest news delivered to your inbox

You must be a member to save and like images from the gallery.