The gut isn’t the only place hosting a byzantine community of bacteria, fungi and viruses. A similar multitude of microbes finds their home on our skin and we now know that dysbiosis or the imbalance of those microorganisms not only occurs in the gut as we age but also predominates on our skin and in turn expedites skin ageing. As much as the disturbances which happen in our gut spill over into the rest of our bodies the same is true for the skin. In the same way that obesity, which is in part connected with an imbalance of germs in our gut, can trigger psoriasis, this disorder also associated with skin and gut dysbiosis can actually promote obesity.
What we also accumulate on our skin as we age are what is called senescent cells, which, as the term implies are cells that have simply grown old. While it would suggest that they are merely innocuous, non-functioning bystanders this is not the case. They have a malicious presence encouraging the production of inflammatory or damaging chemicals that are not only harmful to the skin leading to acne, psoriasis, skin ageing and skin cancers but also cause internal damage even promoting heart disease and dementia. Obviously not all of us manifest skin diseases or have heart attacks and get Alzheimer’s so how is it that in some of us these senescent cells can be so deleterious? It might all hinge on the amount of dysbiosis or disorganisation that resides in our gut and on our skin. Research indicates that purportedly beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacterial, which correct dysbiosis, are not only good for the health of our gut, they also have the capacity to mitigate skin ageing. As much as we have tests which tell us about the balance of germs in our gut research will soon uncover investigations which identify related disparities on our skin and provide us with remedies to rectify these. In fact chemical biomarkers or skin metabolites have already been identified as early signatures of diseases like psoriasis and melanoma. This technology hasn’t yet been advanced to herald the early accumulation of senescent cells on the skin. In the meantime, although it might not be glaringly apparent hoeing into that yoghurt might not only be good for our gut and general wellbeing it might also help to limit wrinkles.