What You Need to Know About Bone Broth Skin Benefits
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, natural, and effective way to keep your skin youthful (and make it glow), look no further than your leftover bones from Sunday night’s dinner. That’s right, bone broth is the ultimate skin superfood, and some even claim it works ‘better than botox.’
I always say that clear, glowing skin is an inside job. By this, I mean the health of your skin is a reflection of the essential nutrients you’re eating, such as healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants— and, more specifically, how well your body is digesting, absorbing, and assimilating these nutrients.
It was previously believed in mainstream medicine that there was no connection between your diet and acne, premature aging, or the overall condition of your skin. However, research has proven there’s a clear link between the gut and the skin, which is also known as the ‘gut-skin axis’ (1).
In a moment we’ll discuss why bone broth is a must-have for your skin care routine if you want glowing skin. However, it’s important that you start with an understanding of the relationship between the gut and skin. This will guarantee you have the knowledge you need to start improving your skin from the inside out.
The Leaky Gut and Skin Connection (And How Bone Broth Fits in)
If there were a math equation for healthy skin, it would go something like this:
healthy gut lining + good digestion + proper nutrient absorption = beautiful, glowing skin
Now, let me explain..
We mentioned above that clear, glowing skin is not only a result of the nutrients you eat, but also how well you absorb them. To take it one step further, you can’t absorb the nutrients you eat without having a healthy gut lining.
Today, most of us have leaky gut syndrome (aka: intestinal permeability) to a certain degree. Leaky gut is essentially small holes in your intestinal lining, which allows undigested food particles, bacteria, and other substances to pass into your bloodstream where they don’t belong.
As you can guess, having a leaky gut can also prevent you from properly absorbing essential nutrients— including the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants you need for healthy skin (2).
(To learn more about how leaky gut happens, symptoms, and how to heal it, read here).
Another way leaky gut affects your skin is by triggering acne flare ups and other inflammatory skin conditions, such as rashes, hives, eczema, and psoriasis (3). This is because your immune system sounds off ‘warning bells’ by eliciting an immune response when undigested food particles enter your bloodstream.
In other words, your body sees these substances as foreign invaders once they leave your digestive tract. Frequent immune responses trigger inflammation throughout your entire body, which can cause or aggravate existing skin conditions (4).
Here’s where bone broth comes in.
Bone broth contains two proteins that help ‘heal and seal’ holes in the gut lining: collagen and gelatin.
You can almost think of these proteins as ‘intestinal superglue.’ Both collagen and gelatin contain the anti-inflammatory amino acids glutamic acid, proline, and glycine, which have also been shown to strengthen and repair the gut lining (5)(6)(7). As you can see, by supporting the health of your gut lining, bone broth also promotes optimal nutrient absorption, which directly benefits your skin.
And if you’re still not convinced of how close the relationship between your gut and skin are, it’s worth mentioning that one study involving over 13,000 teenagers showed those with acne were more likely to experience bloating, constipation, halitosis (bad breath), and acid reflux (8). In fact, the study showed that bloating was 37% more likely to be associated with acne.
In a nutshell: improving your skin begins with improving your gut— and bone broth offers the exact nutrients your gut needs to function optimally.
Now that you understand how bone broth improves your skin on a deeper level, let’s take a look at four of the benefits you may notice in your skin from drinking bone broth regularly.
4 Ways Bone Broth Can Improve the Appearance Of Your Skin
1. Bone Broth Promotes Skin Elasticity for Smooth, Firm Skin
Is bone broth really Mother Nature’s botox?
As mentioned above, bone broth is rich in collagen. In fact, it’s one of the only foods to contain collagen. Most foods contain antioxidant vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and selenium, which stimulate your body to produce collagen— but few foods actually contain collagen themselves.
Collagen is the most important nutrient for skin elasticity. This is because collagen is the primary structural protein of your skin, and is responsible for the plump, firm, youthful appearance your skin has (9). When your collagen begins to break down (as it does with age and toxin exposure), signs of premature aging such as fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear.
Studies show that our bodies begin to produce less collagen once we hit the age of 25— which is why getting more collagen in your diet from foods like bone broth is important to promote skin elasticity and fight the signs of premature aging (10).
As a side note, many anti-aging skin care products are also formulated with collagen, but it’s unclear if the collagen molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin’s surface. One of the benefits of swapping your anti-aging skin creams with drinking bone broth is that your body is getting a highly absorbable form of collagen, and, broken record alert: beautiful skin truly begins from the inside out.
As a nutrient rich fluid, bone broth also keeps you hydrated, which is an absolute must for dewy, supple skin.
2. Bone Broth Promotes Fewer Breakouts
The high concentration of essential vitamins and minerals found in bone broth makes it like a ‘drinkable multivitamin’ for your skin.
Several essential vitamins and minerals are concentrated in bones, including zinc, which is an important mineral for fighting acne and maintaining clear skin (11). In fact, studies show that zinc has the ability to reduce the activity of P. acnes, which is the bacteria on the skin that can cause breakouts. Zinc deficiency has also been linked to patients suffering from chronic acne (12).
When making bone broth, the bones must be simmered for long periods of time (between 18-24 hours) to allow all of the vitamins and minerals to be fully released. The long simmer time also makes these minerals bioavailable, which means they’re easier for your body to digest and absorb (this is especially important if you have a weakened digestive system).
3. Bone Broth is Rich in Anti-Aging Nutrients
Hyaluronic acid has become a popular word in the anti-aging skin care industry. This is because many clinics are offering hyaluronic acid injections as wrinkle fillers to reduce the appearance of lines on the face. But here’s where bone broth strikes again.
Bone broth contains glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are molecules found in the skin’s dermis, along with collagen and elastin (13). With a gel-like consistency, the role of glycosaminoglycans is to fill the space between collagen and elastin, which helps keep the skin plump and supple.
There are many types of glycosaminoglycans, with hyaluronic acid being one of them (14). This means that by drinking bone broth, you get the exact molecules used in dermal fillers but from whole food nutrition. When it comes to anti-aging skin benefits, it doesn’t get much better than that!
4. Bone Broth Helps Brighten Your Skin
Good circulation is essential for bright, glowing skin— and the alkaline minerals bone broth provides encourage better oxygen flow throughout your body (15). Other trace minerals found in bone broth, such as iron and zinc, are also needed to promote wound healing, which can help reduce the appearance of red marks and scarring (16).
As you can see, the foods you include in your diet are just as important (if not more) to your skincare routine as creams or cleansers may be. By regularly drinking bone broth and eating other foods that heal your gut, you’ll be providing your skin with the nourishment it needs on a deeper level, which beauty products simply cannot.