US Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez has taken to Instagram to reveal her battle with severe adult acne and share the dietary changes that helped clear her skin for good.
The 23-year-old posted side-by-side images showing the changes to her complexion over the course of a year and she swears it’s due to one major factor: gut health.
“I struggled with severe acne and became nearly hopeless after trying a huge variety of topicals and heavy prescription medications before I addressed the root of my skin issues: an unhealthy gut,” she wrote in the captions. “Even though I’ve always had a healthy diet and lifestyle – I was still lacking in some key nutrients.”
She warns her 425k followers that her suggestions are by no means one-size-fits-all, but she recommends considering gut health if nothing else has helped.
Bekah says that she includes five probiotic-rich, gut-healing additions into her diet each and every day including tempeh, kefir, kimchi, a probiotic drink and a “gut shot”.
“I recommend using a little bit of everything consistently and spread throughout the day if possible: for example, I’ll cook tempeh like bacon for breakfast, sip some of the gut shots before lunch, sip on kefir in the afternoon, and have kimchi as a side with dinner.”
The reality TV star says she also excludes meat, gluten and dairy from her diet.
“The best way to get this good gut bacteria is through FOOD, NOT SUPPLEMENTS! Same goes for vitamin intake as well! You have to put in time and effort and patience to get real, lasting results. Give this regimen a solid and consistent try for at LEAST a month before coming to a conclusion!”
A number of studies are beginning to back this connection between our gut health and our complexion.
In fact, a 2010 study published in the journal Nutrition found that giving acne patients the probiotic strain lactobacillus in the form of a fermented milk drink (much like the option Beckah recommended) lead to a reduction in acne lesions.
“Essentially, good bacteria strengthens the lining of the gut," Grace Liu, a pharmacist and nutritional scientist, previously explained to Women’s Health.
“We know that low levels of this good bacteria and higher levels of pathogens like bad bacteria, fungi [yeast], or viruses can increase gut permeability, enlarging the microscopic gaps between the gut cells. Minute microbial toxins are then able to pass through these gaps into your system. Your immune system then detects these invaders, overreacts, and causes inflammation."
Hey presto: acne.
“As a first line of defence, I tell my patients to try to incorporate foods and drinks that are naturally rich in probiotics, like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and miso soup,” Whitney Bowe, dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, told Women's Health. Your second option? A probiotic supplement.
According to stats out of the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, it’s estimated that around 54 percent of women suffer from adult acne. Thanks to a growing trend towards “skin positivity”, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves.
“f you’re in the middle of the struggle, I feel you. I see you. I hear you. You are NOT alone, and I know a lot of the time it feels that way,” Bekah wrote in a previous post. “I know how frustrating and demoralising it can be. I know how it can take all your confidence and crush it to the point where you don’t want to leave the house. you’re not alone, and your acne does not define you. rise above it and smile anyway – that’s what people will notice first.”