In our expert spotlight series, we speak with experienced practitioners across NZ and beyond to get an inside scoop on health, wellbeing, and how they are using Mitchells in a clinical setting.
Introducing Janine Tait, NZ's leading Dermo-Nutritionist.
With over thirty five years of experience in the beauty industry, Janine Tait is New Zealand’s leading Dermo-Nutritionist, owner of skin nutrition brand Bestow Beauty and distributor of Janesce Skincare in NZ.
When Janine first started out in the industry, she found that too often she just could not get the results for her clients skin concerns that she’d hoped for. She knew that there must be more that she could do. She felt that something was missing.
This is when Janine was first introduced to the concept of working from within.
As Janine began working holistically with her clients, it completely transformed both their skin and her career. These incredible results inspired Janine to delve deeper into the world of working from within and encouraged her to further her knowledge by studying nutrition. Janine became a confident skincare therapist who made it her mission to share her knowledge with the beauty industry.
When it comes to working with clients, what does treating the skin ‘holistically’ look like in practice?
The stress of our modern lives, our low nutrient diets and the stripping approach to treating skin we have taken over the last twenty years has led to an increase in sensitised skins and more people seeking help for their skin. In fact, many dietary, lifestyle and skincare factors are challenging for our skin so the ability to work holistically with the skin, identifying, and addressing the irritating factors is becoming more and more important.
What are some common skin conditions/imbalances that you work with?
I work with a wide range of skin problems from premature ageing to eczema. Some of the common conditions I see are acne vulgaris, cystic or hormonal acne, congested skin, perioral dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.
In your experience, what role does gut health play in skin health?
Most of us are aware that gut health impacts on our wellbeing, but it is not so commonly known that it also has a direct connection with our skin health. Many skin disorders have some link to poor gut health.
There are several reasons for this. A lot of the substances our gut microbes produce are absorbed into our bloodstream. These microbes provide us with another source of nourishment other than the food we eat. In fact, one third of all the small molecules in our blood are made by the microbes in our gut. This means that if you have an unhealthy microbe balance in your gut, then the substances circulating in your blood and impacting on your skin will be inflammatory and damaging. However, if you have a healthy microbe balance, then the substances in your blood are more likely to be healing and strengthening.
How do you see the gut-skin connection appear in skin conditions, and how can we support gut health to therefore support healthy, glowing skin?
Sub-optimal gut health can show up in our skin in a variety of ways. At the extreme end of the scale it can result in redness, inflammation and the development of a wide range of skin conditions from eczema to acne. At the other end of the scale, it can be responsible for skin being more sensitive to the environment or simply speeding up the aging process of the skin.
Do you recommend bone broth for skin and/or gut health and healing, and if so, why?
Bone broth is an excellent food for your gut and therefore, your skin. Bone broths are nutrient dense, easy to digest and one of the best things you can eat to strengthen your gut. From a nutritional point of view, bone broth offers three important things: amino acids, gelatin and minerals.
Bone broth contains two particular amino acids that are vital for gut health - glycine and proline. These two nutrients are not readily available in our modern diet, and although the body can manufacture them, it doesn’t easily keep up with demand. Glycine and proline are both involved in collagen formation, which means they help to repair the gut wall and strengthen the skin. Bone broth also contains a wide range of minerals from calcium to zinc, but not in large quantities. However, the small amounts of minerals it does contain are very easily absorbed by our bodies and help support many biological processes including promoting bone health. Bone broth also contains gelatin which is beneficial for strengthening the gut lining and helping to prevent gut permeability issues that can set up inflammation in the body.
I enjoy bone broth in the morning and find it very grounding. It’s become one of my favourite ways to start the day! I add in left-over veggies from the night before like roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot or broccoli with some fresh greens like spinach, kale or bok choy. Having bone broth for breakfast might be a new idea, but I encourage you to embrace it. Your gut will thank you for it!
What are your top three tips for supporting healthy skin, from within?
One of the most common nutritional deficiencies that affects our skin is a lack of Essential Fatty Acids or EFA’s. EFA’s are crucial for healthy, beautiful skin. Most of the people I see could benefit from taking EFA’s regardless of their skin type or their skin concern. EFA’s are always my first recommendation especially when I am treating skin disorders.
Luckily, these days people are more aware of the importance of EFA’s for overall health. However, most of them take them in capsule form for convenience. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best method for our skin. Our skin is the last part of our body to receive nutrients, so taking EFA’s in capsule form simply doesn’t provide enough to feed our skin. In fact, you would need to take about 8 to 14 capsules a day, depending on their strength, to get the same amount of EFA’s as one tablespoon of oil will provide. So I recommend a tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil per day, mixed into cool or warm food for optimum absorption.
Another thing I recommend is eating a wide variety of vegetables and to a lesser extent, fruit. This is great for our gut and therefore, our skin. The good microbes in our gut love fibre and plants are an excellent source! Plants also offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals, many of which play an important role in the healthy functioning of our skin.
Lastly, fermented foods support our health by supplying us with a diverse range of beneficial gut microbes, digestive enzymes and reducing inflammatory markers in our blood. A recent study at Stanford University, the Fe-Fi-Fo Study, discovered that the key to a healthier gut lies in consuming six servings of fermented foods a day. When 24 inflammatory markers were monitored in the bloodstream of study participants, all twenty-four of them underwent a significant decrease! Imagine the potential: inflammation, the silent cause of many common diseases and skin problems, quelled by the simple act of consuming fermented foods.
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