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The Ascent of the Gut-Mind-Skin Axis

The Ascent of the Gut-Mind-Skin Axis

My name is Elodie Aragon, and I specialize in bioengineering and in health and biotechnology management. I am a product manager at Lallemand Health Solutions and am responsible for the women’s health and nutricosmetics portfolio. My focus is on the development of probiotic formulations, and sourcing of innovative ingredients to promote holistic health.

From what I have observed in the European market, women are increasingly looking for nutricosmetic solutions to feel good in their bodies and to find ways of achieving beauty in a healthy, natural way. And the offer to meet that demand is growing too. At the crossways of cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals, and derived from the word’s nutrition and cosmetics, nutricosmetics are unofficially defined as orally administered nutritional supplements formulated and marketed to naturally enhance the beauty of hair, skin and nails. This is also known as “beauty from within.” Beyond the benefits of physical appearance, the objectives of nutricosmetics are to promote holistic health and overall well-being from the inside-out. This approach aligns with the consumer’s prevailing values to take care of the whole body and to let natural beauty shine through.

A complementary to topically applied products

For years, consumers have relied on topically applied products to optimize their skin’s appearance. Now, there is a complementary way to support skin health; scientists have shed a light on the mind-skin connection. Have you ever experienced the effects of occasional stress on your skin such as flushing, sweating or breakouts which impact your overall skin wellness? This is a physiological phenomenon. Research has demonstrated that when you feel stressed, the nervous system overproduces stress hormones such as cortisol, which increases the activity of sebaceous glands leading to overproduction of oils which can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. Fluctuations in hormones, occasional stress and a challenged immune system can be factors that may alter the skin barrier.

Balancing the gut microbiota to steady mood via the gut-mind-skin axis

Probiotic supplements in the nutricosmetic market are formulated to amplify the appearance of healthy hair, skin, nails and general well-being by working from the inside out. A study published in Nature in 2017 suggested that gender discrepancies in the prevalence of anxiety could be linked to different gut microbiota in females and males. Women are more prone to experiencing occasional feelings of anxiety and stress than men, and hormonal fluctuations have been advanced as possible contributors to gender disparity. Women are also more prone to occasional sleep disturbances. Balancing the gut microbiota can help play a role in steadying mood via the gut-brain axis and can help women cope with occasional day-to-day stress which can influence the skin’s appearance and overall health. Consumers are also much more fluent in conversations about mental health and beauty as a part of self-care.

Published Jan 31, 2023 | Updated Jun 5, 2024

Gut healthMental healthSkin Health