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How to protect the skin you're in

Posted by Nic Florido on 6th Sep 2021

Vaia Pappas

Vaia Pappas, founder of the award-winning Vaia Beauty is one of Sydney's most well-known skincare gurus, with 20+ years' experience in herbal medicine and health sciences.

Look, we get it. Taking care of your skin is hard work. We’re often bombarded with varied information from influencers, skincare and make up brands, friends and family and the media who all claim to know the best remedy for common skin conditions.

It’s hard to keep up with new skincare products that line the shelves of your favourite stores. There are so many dierent ingredients and factors that all claim to be the holy grail. But the simple fact is that skincare starts from the inside. Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body, and when your gut’s unhappy, it will let you know through common skin conditions.

Research has shown that the gut-skin axis is a give and take, and the most common cause of skincare issues is gut dysbiosis. Where dysbiosis is evident, there’s an altered immune response that can cause common skin conditions like rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, congestion and dandruff.

Basically, gut dysbiosis is when the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut is out of whack. That means there’s more bad bacteria in there than good, and when that delicate balance is out of whack, it can lead to a load of trouble.

Common symptoms of dysbiosis include:

  • Stomach pains and cramps
  • Gas, reflux and bloating
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Aching joints, headaches or inflammation
  • Anxiety, depression or mood disorders
  • Candida, recurring thrush and cystitis
  • Skin disorders like eczema, acne, rosacea and congestion
  • Trouble focusing

The skin can be an excellent diagnostic tool when trying to determine why underlying health issues/food sensitivities and intolerances could be present. For example, some common causes of skin conditions include:


SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth)


Constipation, candida


Lactose intolerance

Eczema, Dermatitis, Psoriasis

Food sensitivities/allergies

While each condition has its own protocol for treatment, each can be traced back to gut health.

Do you suffer from any of these skin conditions? My advice would be to start a food journal. Try writing down everything you eat for a month and how your skin and body reacts to each meal and more importantly, each ingredient. You might find that your skin flushes red after your morning coffee, or that you feel sluggish and get bumps around your mouth after a cheeky midnight snack. It’s not a coincidence: your gut is trying to talk to you through your skin!

After identifying the ingredients that mess with your complexion, you can replace them with ingredients that help contribute to a thriving microbiome. This way, you can heal skin conditions from the inside out, avoiding costly skin treatments and hours spent worrying and picking in front of the mirror.