Look Better + Feel Better with the Gut-Skin-Axis

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Yesterday, Amare Global launched a innovative 2-step “inside/outside” approach to skin health – called DermaBiotics.

This is a very novel approach to supporting the skin microbiome (externally) and natural collagen production (internally) with a topical serum and an ingestible spray – an approach that helps you MAKE more of your own collagen – and PROTECT collagen from damage – and STRENGTHEN collagen by enhancing the natural collagen turnover process so your skin stays supple and resilient.

The topical serum helps to support the skin microbiome with 3 blends:

  • Bioactive Delivery Matrix – to help “deliver” the active ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin
  • Microbiome Nourishing Blend – to balance the environment (pH) of the skin and provide prebiotic nourishment to support the growth of “good” bacteria 
  • Collagen Support Blend – to protect collagen and improve skin smoothness, suppleness, and resilience.

Let me highlight the main ingredients in each of these new products…

Bioactive Delivery Matrix – some of these chemical names might sound scary and be difficult to pronounce, but each of them is actually extremely UN-scary and very safe. Each of them has scored among the SAFEST and LOWEST TOXICITY of all cosmetic ingredients by the Environmental Working Group (https://www.ewg.org) – a watchdog organization that rates the safety/toxicity of ingredients used in cosmetics and skincare products. EWG rates ingredients on a 1-10 scale, with 1-2 deemed “Low Hazard” (or “Best”); 3-6 deemed “Moderate Hazard”; and 7-10 deemed “High Hazard” (or “Worst”).

ALL of the ingredients in Amare’s Dermabiotics Serum fall into the BEST (safest) category. 

In the list below, the EWG score in in parentheses after each ingredient.

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate (1) is a mixture of esters of Coconut Alcohol with Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid. It functions as a “penetration enhancer” to enhance skin absorption of the active ingredients (1).

Phenoxyethanol (2) is a mild preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold. Its safety is based on what is known as “as used concentration” – meaning that higher levels are less safe and lower levels are more safe. In addition, when it is used in products intended for use around the eyes or mouth, then the safety is considered lower is basis of safety (you don’t want to put it in your eye or eat it, but when used topically in skin, it is quite safe. We use a very small amount because we don’t want to disrupt the skin microbiome.

Lauroyl lysine (1) is a derivative of lauric acid and lysine, a naturally occurring amino acid, that improves skin softness and smoothness.

Sea Water (1) is a skin-soothing mineral blend high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium and functions as an exfoliant and supports pore integrity.

Lecithin (1) is a naturally occurring lipid (fat) derived from soybeans that functions as a gentle emulsifier (to help the water and oil components of the serum to mix together).

Glycerin (1) is a naturally occurring alcohol compound and a component of many plant lipids (soybeans) that acts as a humectant (drawing water from the air into the skin) and moisturizer.

Ethylhexylglycerin (2) is a version of glycerin called a “glyceryl ether” that is used as a weak preservative and “skin conditioning” agent. At higher levels, it can cause eye irritation. High concentrations can also be used as surfactant/emulsifier and antibacterial (deodorant), whereas the lower levels that we use in the Dermabiotics Serum serve as a “skin conditioner” (softening/smoothing/moisturizing/humectant).

Citric acid (1) is an alpha-hydroxy “fruit acid” used to adjust skin acidity (the skin microbiome likes a slightly acidic environment). At high levels alpha-hydroxy acids can promote skin peeling and re-growth (as used in some anti-aging products) – but the amount used in our serum is a low concentration to support skin pH.

As you can see – all of the “delivery matrix” ingredient fall into EWG’s “Best/Safest” category. 

For comparison sake, consider that some other ingredients, like essential oils, that many people use topically (but please don’t consume them internally), can often be considered to be far more “toxic” (but like anything, the “dose makes the poison”):

  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil (6)
  • Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil (4)
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (2)

Microbiome Nourishing Blend

Lactococcus Ferment Lysate is a lysate of the fermentation product of Lactococcus bacteria. The fermentation process creates a wonderous collection of amino acids, fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive nutrients that help to support the skin microbiome and the skin’s barrier integrity.

Prebiotic Fiber Blend:

  • Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide/fiber, a sugar-based polymer produced by a wide range of bacteria
  • Sclerotium Gum is a polysaccharide/fiber produced by the bacterium Sclerotium rolfssii.
  • Pullulan is a polysaccharide/fiber produced from starch by cultivating a specific yeast, Aureo-basidium-pullulans.

Collagen Support Blend

Linoleic/Linolenic Acid – Fortifies the skin’s shield and helps with moisture and plumpness

Hydrolyzed Soy Fiber – Helps retain moisture and revitalize skin elasticity, while soothing skin and maintaining microflora balance

Hyaluronic Acid – Maintains skin hydration/moisture content, promoting softness/smoothness, while decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, dry skin, and aging (non-animal/vegan, Kosher/Halal)

Silica – promotes collagen strength

Tocotrienols – Vitamin E blend – antioxidant protects skin cells from external damage and increases skin sebum/oil for moisturization

Superoxide Dismutase – Powerful natural antioxidant enzyme that reduces cellular stress to help nourish and soothe skin

Oral Spray – imagine being able to pump a few sprays of a yummy plant-based formula into your mouth to naturally stimulate your body’s own ability to make more of its own collagen? This would enable you to MAKE collagen without having to TAKE collagen (which is kind of a yucky animal-derived protein extracted from cow bones/hides – typically slaughterhouse leftovers).

I developed the world’s first mainstream collagen-support product way back in 1998 (Knox NutraJoint) – so I’m not “anti-collagen” (and a substantial portion of my PhD thesis involved collagen metabolism) – but because collagen peptides are derived from cow bones/hides (and also pig bones, fish bones and chicken cartilage), there is a bit of a “yuck factor” for vegans/vegetarians and for anyone who cares about where their nutrition comes from.

If you want to avoid having to “take” collagen as a supplement, then our new Dermabiotics Oral Spray is an innovative way to help your microbiome “make” more collagen that can be used to support skin health (elasticity, hydration, inflammation, etc). Make it – don’t take it!

However, if you have a collagen product that you like, then our new oral spray will help that collagen work even better – because after providing the amino acid and peptide building blocks for collagen synthesis (with the collagen supplement), the oral spray will enable your gut/microbiome to utilize those building blocks more efficiently for enhanced collagen production. Alternately, you could also provide these amino acid building blocks with a full-spectrum complete plant-based protein as an alternative to animal-derived collagen. Different strokes for different folks…

Moldavian Dragonhead (Dracocephalum moldavica) extract (aerial parts – sustainably sourced from farms in Moldova, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria)

  • High content of flavonoid glucuronides
  • In-vivo studies show a collagen-boosting effect preserving a youthful collagen expression and mass during aging
  • Uniquely activates collagen synthesis/support pathways (AMPK/FOXO) for wrinkles, hydration, elasticity, moisturization, tissue repair, etc (stimulates autophagy process for internal cellular repair/renewal)
    • AMPK activation = reduces glycation (like metformin)
    • FOXO activation = increases DNA repair and reduces oxidative stress
    • AMPK/FOXO = increased autophagy
  • In humans = significantly increased skin moisturization (14%) and elasticity (7%)
  • Flavored with organic Honey, organic Grapefruit extract and natural Strawberry flavor
  • Dracobelle brand was a Nutra Ingredients Asia 2022 Finalist “Beauty from Within”

Lactobacillus Sakei 65 Heat Treated Probiotic (Postbiotic) – lactic acid bacteria from fermented Korean Kimchi

  • Immune-modulating and inflammation-reducing strain with clinically tested efficacy on AD (Atopic Dermatitis)
  • Nourishes the Gut-Skin-Axis to optimize overall skin health and is studied to help with dermatitis, eczema, hydration, etc.

I hope that helps you understand the ingredients in this innovative inside/outside approach to supporting the Gut-Skin-Axis with our new Dermabiotics products.

We all know, that when we look better, then we also feel better – so this is how “The Mental Wellness Company” uses science and innovation to support beauty.

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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