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More than a passing trend, understanding both the gut and skin microbiome is key to creating healthier (read: more radiant) skin. Here’s exactly what you need to know.

Created in partnership with British Vogue

Photo credit: VOGUE/Funmi Fetto

Good skin is about more than just an excellent skincare routine. You probably know that already, but in recent years it’s become crystal clear to the experts that what goes on inside our bodies – from the brain to the gut – impacts what happens on the outside. In fact, glowing skin is intrinsically linked to a healthy gut, and vice versa. In a video with Vogue’s contributing beauty editor Funmi Fetto, registered dietitian Dr Megan Rossi – founder of The Gut Health Doctor and Lancôme’s new partner – puts it simply: “You are what you digest.”

In the below IGTV, Dr Rossi and Fetto delve into the wonderful world of the microbiome, discovering not only what we should put into our bodies for healthier skin, but what we should apply topically, too. The product that does the job with aplomb? Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Serum – more on that later.

“Glowing skin is intrinsically linked to a healthy gut”

What is the microbiome?

Our digestive tract is home to trillions of microorganisms (including bacteria) that communicate messages to our brain. Known as the microbiome, this hub of bacteria and other organisms isn’t the only microbiome in the body – we also have one on our skin that helps defend against external aggressors, such as environmental damage and stress, while keeping it healthy, problem-free and strong.

How does our gut health affect the skin?

The communication between our gut and brain (otherwise known as the gut-brain axis) is well known but Dr Rossi says there is also research connecting the gut to our skin. “[It is] thought to be a two-way communication,” she says. “What we certainly do know is that how we treat those trillions of microorganisms really can play out on our skin. Most people have witnessed [what happens to the skin] if you go several days without plant-based foods as they really nourish our gut bacteria.”

What to incorporate into your diet for good gut health

This innate connection means that it is essential that we feed the gut what it needs for a flourishing microbiome – it benefits not just the body but the skin, too. Dr Rossi advises incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into the diet.

Photograph: Dr Megan Rossi

“Prebiotics are essentially food for the good bacteria – most are actually fibres and they’re found in all plant-based foods – and research shows that having more of them in your diet really can have a measurable impact on everything from better blood sugar levels, appetite regulation, bone and skin health,” explains Dr Rossi.

Meanwhile, probiotics are the live microorganisms, including bacteria, which have been clinically shown to benefit the skin both when ingested and applied topically.

Dr Rossi’s top tips for creating a diet that is beneficial both to your gut and, subsequently, the skin begins with eating more plants. “They contain all these amazing different chemicals, which not only feed the good gut bacteria, but are also thought to benefit our skin health, so try to get in as many plants in your diet as you can,” she says. Her second top tip is to chew your food well; good gut health starts with our digestion and since so many of us don’t chew our food enough (15 to 20 times is optimal for each mouthful) we don’t reap the benefits.

Her final tip? To look after your mental wellbeing. “It’s about stress levels,” says Dr Rossi. “We spoke briefly about both the gut-brain and gut-skin axis but there’s also a triad axis between the brain, gut and skin, so if we’re stressed, that can start to play out on our skin, as well as in the gut. So I advise doing 10 minutes of mindfulness or going for a relaxing walk each day.”

The benefits of topical probiotic skincare

It’s also important to feed the skin microbiome topically using innovative products that deliver prebiotics and probiotics. Inspired by microbiome science, Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Serum is enriched with seven prebiotic and probiotic-derived extracts that work in optimal affinity with the skin. Not only is its barrier recovery improved but skin looks healthier and more radiant.

“Healthy skin never felt easier”

A lightweight, hyaluronic acid-infused product (which works immediately to plump and hydrate) it has been proven to bolster the skin’s barrier function, which ultimately leads to reduced irritation and dehydration and a more even-toned, youthful complexion. Designed to be applied morning and night, it layers wonderfully under make-up and Fetto also loves to mix it in with her foundation for a super glowy effect. Healthy skin never felt easier.

Created in partnership with British Vogue

*This article was originally published on


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