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Tula Founder Dr. Roshini Raj’s Must-Have Products

Tula Founder Dr. Roshini Raj’s Must-Have Products

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As a practicing gastroenterologist, Roshini Raj, MD, noticed the correlation between good gut health and healthy skin, especially in those taking probiotics or eating probiotic-rich foods. Her fascination with the benefits of probiotics only grew from there and eventually drove the creation of Tula Skincare.

“The connection between probiotics and the skin is what I really want to explore, and I think it can really make a difference in the skin-care world,” she tells POPSUGAR. The line, which first hit the market in 2014, uses probiotic extracts and superfoods to help nourish the skin’s barrier and microbiome.

“Pro means for, and bio means life, so a probiotic is something beneficial to your life,” says Dr. Raj, noting that in our gut, the bacteria or organisms that help digest and break down our foods, or our gut bacteria, are the probiotics. Prebiotics, which can often be found in high-fiber foods, fuel the growth of your probiotics. “You can think of your probiotics as flowers in this field of your gut; the prebiotics are the fertilizer that you sprinkle on them to help them grow,” she says. Probiotics and prebiotics have a symbiotic relationship and can be consumed together at any time of the day.

According to Dr. Raj, the key to improving your skin through gut health is maintaining the gut’s lining. Eating unhealthy foods and not getting enough probiotics or fiber in your diet can weaken it. “If that lining is compromised, so if there are tiny little holes in those in the lining, then it is easier for those pro-inflammatory molecules to pass into your blood and trigger inflammation throughout your body,” says Dr. Raj. “When you have inflammation throughout your body, you definitely will see it in your skin as well.” This can happen in the form of acne, redness, or premature wrinkle formation over time since inflammation weakens the collagen and elastin in the skin.

“Probiotic extracts, which is what we use, have a very soothing effect on your skin. They basically have this kind of anti-inflammatory effect that can help with redness. Reducing inflammation can make your skin look firmer, softer, more supple, and hydrated because the probiotic extracts actually increase your skin’s defense barrier. The prebiotics help the probiotics do their work, and they help balance your own skin microbiome,” she says.

To really get a gut check (get it?), Dr. Raj says the first place you should look is your bowel movements and see how your abdomen feels. “If you’re having a lot of bloating, a lot of noise in your stomach, irregularities in bowel frequency or shape, or feeling pain, those are reasons why you’d want to get your gut checked,” she says. Her go-to tips for improving your gut health are to consume a healthy amount of fiber, get enough sleep, and exercise. “A lot of people don’t understand how interconnected your gut health is with everything else in your body and your lifestyle. You really do need to be focusing holistically. If you’re sleeping three hours a night or super stressed for weeks on end, no matter what supplement you’re taking, your gut is not going to be in good shape.”

She recommends meditation and deep breathing to help care for your gut as well, noting how powerful the mind-gut connection is. “Everyone has experiences like butterflies in your stomach,” she says. “If you’re nervous or excited, you feel it in your stomach. Those brain chemicals are working down there.”

When she’s not seeing patients and innovating with Tula, she enjoys watching British mystery shows, spending quality time with her kids, and diving into her current read, “The Covenant of Water” by Abraham Verghese. Ahead, we asked Dr. Raj about her favorite products, from the best mattress to invest in and her most used Tula product. Keep reading to check out her must haves and learn more gut health tips, too. (And to really study up on the topic, you can check our her book, “Gut Renovation”.)