Q& A Life & Style three of the best road test...

From sup­ple­ments to lo­tions, and the mo­ti­va­tion of a run­ning group, shares her picks for glow­ing win­ter skin. 2 3

The Press - Your Weekend (The Press) - - In The Mix - Nicky Park

Shar­lene Ben­nett Natur­opath for Good Health

Usu­ally taken to counter the ef­fects of an­tibi­otics and for good in­ter­nal health, re­cent re­search on pro­bi­otics points to ev­i­dence that they’re also ben­e­fi­cial for skin. We checked in with Shar­lene Ben­nett, natur­opath for Good Health, to find out more.

What do pro­bi­otics have to do with good skin?

There aren’t many health con­di­tions that don’t trace back to the health and pop­u­la­tion of our gut bac­te­ria. Ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing re­search is prov­ing just how much our gut bac­te­ria im­pacts on our over­all well­be­ing, in­clud­ing our skin.

Our skin is our largest or­gan and ul­ti­mately, re­flects our health. If we’re run down, phys­i­cally or emo­tion­ally stressed, sleep de­prived, have poor gut func­tion or are gen­er­ally in poor health, one of the first ar­eas to be neg­a­tively im­pacted is our all-im­por­tant gut bac­te­ria.

This has an im­pact on our skin, as any im­bal­ance of flora in our gut can lead to us inad­e­quately ab­sorb­ing vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and other es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents from our diet.

Good bac­te­ria help to rid our bod­ies of tox­ins and free rad­i­cals, which all dam­age the skin. Good gut bac­te­ria in­flu­ences our skin bar­rier func­tion, help­ing to keep out pathogens and tox­ins. Gut bac­te­ria also im­pacts col­la­gen pro­duc­tion.

Pre and pro­bi­otics can help to vis­i­bly im­prove the ap­pear­ance of skin – from acne, rosacea, eczema, pso­ri­a­sis and al­ler­gies – by restor­ing bal­ance to our gut flora.

BODY MOIS­TURIS­ERS

Frosty win­ter days can leave skin feel­ing dry and look­ing flaky. Give it some love with one of my favourite body mois­turis­ers.

Dove, Summer Glow, $9.60

This grad­ual tan­ner will main­tain sun-kissed skin from a beach hol­i­day – a friendly re­minder of warmer days. Avail­able in two shades, slather on daily for a win­ter glow.

FREE RUN CLUB Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, $39

Best ap­plied af­ter a bath, this rich lo­tion is boosted with co­coa but­ter and sesame oil for soft, lush skin. It’s cold and dark out­side so you don’t want to lace up your train­ers and go for a run. But maybe the sup­port of 40-odd other people will get you out of the door?

Ad­mit­tedly, I was ner­vous the first time I signed up for a run club. I en­vis­aged a group of lean, mean run­ning ma­chines pound­ing the streets while I strug­gled to keep up. Yes, there were plenty of ath­letes in the group I joined, but there were also others just like me, new to run­ning. As we panted to­gether at the back of the pack, we bonded and I re­turned each week un­til I could run 5km.

Af­ter four weeks, the route changed and our bod­ies faced a new chal­lenge, but the va­ri­ety kept me in­ter­ested.

Most clubs of­fer a few pace set­ting op­tions (5, 6 or 7-minute kilo­me­tres for in­stance) and dis­tances (5, 7 or 10km), so there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one. There’s of­ten a so­cial el­e­ment (free snacks and smooth­ies) and in­cen­tives (give­aways and gear for re­turn­ing run­ners).

For win­ter run­ning, in­vest in a good qual­ity long sleeve sports top, a wind­proof jacket and a re­ally good lip balm to protect from the el­e­ments.

Pump a lively playlist into your ears and soak up the (free and so­cial) mo­ti­va­tion of run­ning with a group.

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