First, is there a skin-brain axis? 

At Gallinée we often talk about the gut-skin axis: how your gut microbiome could influence the state of your skin. You also might have heard about the gut-brain axis, or how the gut microbiome is linked to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. But is there a skin-brain axis? Can the state of your skin make you feel worse, or better? 

The short answer is : yes. 

It’s a well known fact that people with acne are more prone to mental health issues, such as anxiety, lower social interactions and even depression.

There is even a word for it: Psychodermatology, or the psychological effect of skin conditions. It turns out that “to feel good in your skin” is more than a saying.What is new are the studies showing that people feel good when their skin feels good. Some ingredients will make people smile more, or look more relaxed, just by being applied on skin!

What I like about it, is that it can be clinically measured. But you knew that already didn’t you? Self-care is such a massive subject at the moment, and taking 10 minutes morning and night for your skincare routine is a perfect example. Take a bit of time for your body too, it often gets forgotten. Just a bit of our Body Milk for a gentle leg and tummy massage will guarantee you start the morning well. 

What is the gut-brain axis?  

Or the true meaning of a gut feeling. You know how you feel so low after a heavy night? Well now science is there to tell you why, and also how it could help. Because it turns out, you could really eat yourself happy. The science of the Gut-Brain axis is a really new area of Microbiome science, but it’s SO EXCITING! (I get very nerdy very quick about this, bear with me). 

We have a lot of neurons in our gut, so much that it has been called a second brain. It turns out, this second brain is having intense conversation with your gut microbes, and sending back this information to your brain, influencing your mood. 

What does it mean for us? 

  • It means we start to understand better health issues such as depression, anxiety and stress, and how there could be rooted in the gut. Some specific bacteria are now associated with depression for example. 
  • And it means that we understand how to help! This is the subject of research of Prof. Cryan in Ireland. He even coined a term: Psychobiotics. What are psychobiotics? They are the microbes that can make you feel better. How cool is that? 

How it works?  

Every time that you take food, or specific probiotic supplements, it arrives in your gut and will stimulate certain parts of your gut microbiome. Your microbiome will produce molecules that will go up to the brain and do their good work there. For example, did you know that 95% of serotonin, the body happy molecule, is made by your gut bacteria? 

So how can I eat myself happier. Excellent question. If we had to summarize in one sentence it would be: Eat as many greens and fermented foods as possible and eat less processed food and white sugar. Voila! In a bit more details: 

  1. Feed your microbiome. What it like the best is variety and fibres. Try to eat 30 different plants a week, and at least 30g of fibres a day. Studies have shown a direct effect on mood and anxiety. 
  2. Bring your microbiome friends to play. Science is still very new on which probiotics can help with depression and anxiety, so watch this place. For the moment the probiotics with a proven significant effect are
      • On anxiety: L. casei; Clostridium butyricum; 
      • On depression: B. longum; L. helveticus R0052; B. longum R0175; L. rhamnosus R0011 (fun fact: it’s the one you will find in our Skin&Microbiome supplement); 
      • On stress, anxiety and depression: B. bifidum, B. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. casei, L. salivarius, and Lactococcus lactis; 

(Disclaimer: This is not a health advice, consult your doctor and all this. This is still new science and we will get more data as time passes: watch this space. It’s just for your information really.  Source:

So in a nutshell: A very new but very exciting area of the microbiome science.

What I love the best is this quote by Prof. Cryan: “We cannot change our genes, but every time we eat we can change our microbiome” So we have the tools and the power to change!

Marie Drago, founder of Gallinée

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