The Importance of a Healthy Gut

FALL 2022


Did you know that 95% of all autoimmune disease comes from the gut?  You may be surprised to learn that medical doctors receive less than 1% of their total training in medical school learning about nutrition and the impact of food on the gut. Understanding this connection opens you up to limitless possibilities in healing, wellbeing, and the proverbial fountain of youth.   

Western medicine is absolutely necessary to help assist in surgical procedures, accidents that need immediate care, just to name a few.  Looking deeper, it is a science in helping to triage symptoms with a hope of the patient getting better.  When we compare it to integrative medicine, or functional medicine, we see a drastic difference in how to heal the body.  Integrative medicine looks at the root cause of the problem and works with the body’s own healing mechanisms to completely heal and not just treat symptoms.  

We are seeing a rise in frustration from western medical doctors who do not have long term solutions for patients in their healing journey. On the flip side, patients are weary of being told their “autoimmune” or other conditions cannot be treated. We hear stories of spontaneous remission and healing from diseases that were chronic, but how are these cases being tracked and documented? Is there a common thread that weaves them together?

Here is the light.  The tide is turning in our understanding of health and how we can improve it. We now know that several factors affect our well-being: nourishing foods, mindfulness / meditation, adequate sleep, stress reduction, healthy relationships, drinking water, exercise, play, and ongoing learning / stimulation of the mind. 

Gut-Brain Axis

For years I struggled with cystic acne, chronic stomach pain, brain fog and lethargy. I went to medical specialists, aestheticians, and no one had answers. I tried accutane, peels, products, diets, antibiotics, and nothing helped long term.  It wasn’t until I understood the gut-brain axis and its direct effect on skin.  

What did I learn in the end of my suffering and beginning of total well-being? The health of our gut microbiome manifests in different ways, both on our skin and inside our bodies. Chronic conditions look like eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, joint pain, bloating, fatigue, for others, the body may fight silently for years until it can no longer fight, then it “breaks.”  These preventable diseases include diabetes, cancer, arthritis, depression, dementia, heart disease, and the list goes on. 

Explanation of Microbiome

The microbiome are microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, protozoa and viruses), whose jobs are to aid in digestion, regulating hormones, producing vitamins and boosting our immune system. 

The microbiome is an intelligent life force that works with us to maintain our bodies. While complex, there are also simple ways in which we can nourish our gut, and ultimately giving ourselves the gift of health, vitality and beautiful skin.

Paradigm Shift

The antiquated belief that skin was a disposable tissue is debunked, and we now know that it has the ability to repair and heal. I would like to share a story that will bring to life an example of plasticity of the skin and the gut-brain axis. 

There was a veteran pilot named Jack, who had flown all over and in extreme conditions. One of his assignments was to fly through a canyon, and every time he flies through he gets herpes blisters and must see the doctor to get medication to treat it. In his never-ending search for answers, he was referred to a hypnotherapist. During his session, it was revealed that one day, when Jack called in sick to work, his friend, also a pilot, filled in for Jack. During his flight, Jack’s friend crashed and died. Every time Jack would fly through the canyon, he was plagued with guilt of his friend’s death and then the immediate manifestation of visceral skin reactions. After this realization, Jack was able to work through these feelings with a therapist, and ultimately heal his body. Jack once again was able to fly through the canyon without further reactions.

What does this mean to you? It shows us the relationship between the gut, brain and skin. Our feelings and emotions can have an adverse effect on what happens topically and internally. These symptoms can, when caught early enough, be treated looking at the root cause of the disease.  


Skincare Tips

I became an Aesthetician out of my personal desire to find a solution to my adverse skin conditions.  It led me on a path to researching products and ultimately the root cause; my gut.  I learned that taking probiotics, eating fermented food and eliminating stress were all parts of the equation. What excited me the most was learning I could manipulate the microbiome of the gut, which “fixed” my skin issues.  I also learned that our skin also needs probiotics to nourish the face-specific microbiome. 

Columbia Skincare is revolutionary. After my personal 20-year quest to find the “perfect” skincare, I learned about the strain-specific bacteria used in the Columbia line and was amazed. I put all my products aside for 30 days and just used the Columbia Concentrate and Complex – I was amazed.  When I tried using my old products, my skin didn’t agree.  That was all I needed to know. If you’re over 35, you need to pay close attention to the medicinal and effective ingredients that your skin needs to flourish. It is also imperative to seek out certified microbiome friendly products.   

Remember, we can’t do it alone. Let’s connect, share and help each other. Take a moment today to evaluate what is working and not working in your life – from skincare to what you eat.  You hold the key to your health…and good skin!

Colette Brown has been a licensed clinical aesthetician since 2001. She is the Director of Education at Columbia Skincare where she leads the professional products division. In her role, she oversees education and treatment protocol training and supports research and development with new product development. Brown possesses a deep passion and understanding of the healing benefits of topical probiotics and how they contribute to the overall health and wellness of the skin’s microbiome. Based in Beverly Hills, Brown has a Bachelor of Art in education, is a certified holistic practitioner through the Kresser Institute, a licensed phlebotomist, and has certifications in advanced skin care procedures. Her past articles include, “Inner Glow: Bringing Energy Healing to Clients” and “Retail Religion.” For more information, visit