AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: acne

The Microbiome and it’s Potential Link to Skin Appearance

Although it is a well-known speculation that dairy has a negative affect on skin appearance, a recent article on the gut microbiome shows it as far more involved in skin health.

Both the skin and gut are key players in maintaining physiologic homeostasis. This is the regulation of blood glucose level and pressure, core body temperature, etc. to keep the body functioning. Researchers believe this connection in physiologic homeostasis is reasoning as to why there is a direct connection between the gut microbiome and skin disorders.


There are many different ways the gut microbiome may affect skin. First, indigestion and buildup of bad bacteria in the gut microbiome may lead to problems in retaining nutrients, therefore discoloring and drying skin. Secondly, the gut microbiome contains mass amounts of  bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, all of which infiltrate the gastrointestinal system. When intestinal barriers are disturbed, bacteria and microbiota enter the bloodstream, therefore disturbing skin homeostasis. This directly links with Psoriasis – a skin condition in which cells build up on the skin surface, forming scales and red patches. Lastly, fiber fermentation – digestible fiber which is broken down into short chain fatty acids and gases – may determine the severity of acne one experiences.

Although the gut microbiome can negatively affect skin appearance, it is also capable of improving skin health. In a 2013 study, mice were exposed to Lactobacillus reuteri supplements, allowing for an increase in skin thickeness and fur shininess. In a second study performed in 2o14, mice with exposure to Lactobacillus brevis, displayed a decrease in nerve tone and increase in blood flow, ultimately positively influencing water retention and skin appearance. Finally, a human study involving Lactobacillus paracasei supplements showed decrease in skin sensitivity.

Whether positive or negative, it is clear the human gut microbiome has an affect on skin appearance. To learn more click here.

When life gives you lemons, use it to clear up your acne!



Photo Credit:, courtesy of Jane Rahman

Tired of pimples, blackheads, and zits? Frustrated with stubborn acne scars that just don’t seem to go away? Well, the answer to your problems may be more simple than you think: just put some lemon juice on it!

First of all, what causes acne?  Acne is basically the result of built up of dead skin cells, oil and bacteria in the pores. Acne often first appears simultaneously with puberty because of the body’s hormones which trigger an increased production of sebum or oil on the skin that can clog pores and allow bacteria to build up and inflame pores, thus resulting in the formation of a pimple.

So why are certain foods like lemons helpful in getting rid of acne? Well, lemons are packed with various vitamins and nutrients that not only hep prevent acne, but also get rid of previous damage to the skin. Lemons are  rich in Vitamin C,  a nutrient vital to the body’s formation of two major building blocks of skin: collagen and elastin. On top of that, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that can rid the skin of free radicals. Lastly, Vitamin C acts an anti-inflammatory by increasing the body’s production of glutathione, main antioxidant your liver relies on for detoxification which the removal of toxins from the body and helps decrease inflammation.

But once you’ve rid your face of acne you might be faced with another conundrum: how do I get rid of all those marks and scars left from years of acne? Well again the answer is lemon juice! Severe acne left untreated can leave long lasting and unattractive marks. Lemons contain alpha hydroxy acid removes the top layer of the skin along with dead skin cells and in effect softens the appearance of stubborn marks.

So now that you know why lemons are good for your skin, the question is how do you use them to get rid of acne and marks? Well the answer is quite simple: through internal and external application. After washing your face in the morning and before going to bed simply apply some lemon juice to a cotton ball and rub all over your face. This is one way that cells absorb the nutrients and vitamins that aid skin health. Also, adding lemons or lemon juice to your diet allows your body to absorb the nutrients and antioxidants that will help you get rid of acne. If you can’t stand the sour taste of biting into a lemon, simply add some lemon juice to water (oh and drinking lots of water also helps aid skin’s health so staying well hydrated helps fight off acne too!).

So there you have it, two simple steps to getting rid of your acne and stubborn acne scars! It’s a cheap and easy way to getting healthier skin so why not give it a try! Do you know of any other foods that can help get rid of acne or boost skin health?

For more on acne care:

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