Taking care of your skin isn’t just for vanity–it is also a key part of taking care of your immune system. The fact is that our skin is the largest organ in our body and it impacts every aspect of how we live. From fighting off invaders like bugs or bacteria, but also controlling inflammation by producing its own anti-inflammatory cytokines. If you want to improve your skin health, you may want to boost your immune system.

Here are six examples of the connections between your immune system and your skin:

1. Bacteria

skin microbiomeYou might already know that many places inside your body house a wide variety of bacteria and other microflora. Just as it is important for gut health, there needs to be an even balance, and biodiversity of micro-organisms living on or near our skin’s surface layer so we can maintain protection from outside forces.

Specifically, those with dry skin or those who suffer from eczema are particularly at risk for things like bacterial infections and imbalances, as dryness can compromise the protective barrier that keeps bad bacteria out. If you want to boost your immune system in this way, adding probiotic supplements or eating probiotic foods like yogurt and kombucha might help. Be sure to talk to your licensed healthcare provider before making changes to your diet or supplement routine.

2. Breakouts

Your immune system can actually keep you from breaking out and keep your skin clear. This is because acne is often an inflammatory response to external stimuli such as dirt, grime, and overgrowth of the p.acnes bacteria. Of course, acne can come from a variety of sources, so your immune system might not be completely at the root of the issue, but having solid support can absolutely help, regardless of the situation.

However, acne that’s related to things like hormones or natural body cycles might be a bit more complex than improving your immune system.

3. Nutrients

definition of nutrientsAnother way in which the immune system can impact your skin is through the nutrients you consume and therefore pass along to all of the systems in your body. Eating nutritious foods like small, fatty fish; fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in essential fatty acids, probiotics and antioxidants can improve your skin’s health and your immune health. When the immune system is supported by healthy nourishment, it can pass along those nutrients all over the body so they can do their jobs.

Even though they feed into one another, the nutrients that support your immune system also support the health of your skin all over your body, not just on your face!

4. Hydration

One of the things that your immune system also supports is skin hydration. When your immune system is thriving and healthy, the hydration that supports the rest of your body will support your skin as well. This can be highly important, as hydrated skin is crucial to its texture, coloration, and even how fast it exhibits visible signs of aging.

If you tend to have dry skin, aging spots, or even if you are simply looking to avoid signs of aging, staying hydrated both for your immune system and for your skin can go hand in hand. Keep in mind though, that the amount of hydration that comes from your diet and drinking water is not enough to keep skin hydrated for people with dry or compromised skin–topical hydration is also a must.

5. Protection

Along with hydration, a healthy immune system can also help prevent transepidermal water loss from taking place, specifically on your face. People with both dry and oily skin should pay attention to the moisture barriers of their skin, and that involves nourishing your immune system to provide protection against damage and dehydration.

6. Resilience

Black woman with glowing skinOne of the primary ways that your immune system can influence the rest of your body, including your skin, is its ability to heal the various illnesses, infections, and injuries that occur in daily life. A large concern within skincare, especially as people age or go through hormonal changes, is the skin’s ability to bounce back and heal from damage.

From sun damage to acne scarring and discoloration, the skin can accrue a variety of types of damage just by living life. When your immune system is healthy and prepared, you are much more likely to heal from injuries and infections quickly and fully. And that includes things like acne and other skin damage.

A healthy immune system and skincare

Even though supporting the immune system might not be the very first thing you think of when adding a step to your skin care routine, it can actually be one of the best things you can do. Health works from the inside out, and that includes fostering the body‘s natural connection from one system to another. 

Do you want to learn more about how to help your clients support healthy skin from the inside out?

Our accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program takes a deep dive into topics such as the microbiome, how stress affects the skin (and how to minimize its effects), hormones and skin health, digestion and gut function, and more. You will not only learn about these topics, but you’ll also learn how to educate your clients about these topics and how to incorporate skin-healthy changes in their daily lives.

Click HERE to learn more, download our syllabus, and enroll today!

About the author:

Kara ReynoldsKara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine. Mom and stepmom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.