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Dr Vanessa Lapine’s guide to getting glowing skin from the inside out

The secret to achieving your healthiest, most radiant skin?

I’m a dermatologist with a decade and a half’s worth of analysing and optimising skin health with the most cutting-edge dermocosmetics and technologies at my fingertips , but I knew intuitively that my management protocols were somehow incomplete.

Through the wellness movement and research around gut health came my aha moment, the realisation you need to feed your skin what it needs to glow.

The heart of beautiful, healthy skin is more than a shelf full of serums, anti-wrinkle injections, laser and collagen stimulating treatments. Yes – these are all powerful tools, but we need to start with the foundations first. That means thinking about your entire body, what you eat, how often you move and how long you sleep.


Did you know that 70% to 80% of your immune system lives in your gut? So, it makes sense that when your gut (and specifically the ecosystem of bacteria or ‘beauty bugs’ living in your gut) isn’t happy, it’s going to reflect on your skin as inflammation. Now let’s take it one step further: stress or anxiety can make your digestive system sluggish, triggering what’s commonly known as ‘leaky gut’. This is like a breakdown of our frontline of defence against unfriendly bacterial by-products and molecules that drive inflammation. The result? An unhappy skin with eczema, psoriasis, acne or accelerated ageing.

Am I saying that your addiction to sugar-packed Freezochinos and your tendency to eat what’s left over from your kid’s fast-food meals (because who likes waste, right?) could be the root cause behind your breakouts?

Well, it’s a little more complex than that but ultimately – yes! Your diet and lifestyle could be the sneaky saboteurs behind your skin sorrows.

It turns out that the continual, bidirectional ‘talk’ happening all the time between your brain, your gut bugs and skin cells is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving the skin of your dreams.


I’m the sort of person who can happily eat anything without it impacting my weight (don’t hate me). I used to eat a slab of chocolate a day. It took understanding what the sugar and pro-inflammatory milk in chocolate was doing to my insulin levels, overall health and skin to finally get me to ditch the terrible habit. Chocolate causing weight gain? Wasn’t an issue for me. But milk chocolate ageing me? Time to overhaul my eating habits!

It was a complete mind-shift to look at a plate of food and view it as an opportunity to kickstart its power to unleash clear, radiant skin. Nutrients need to start being recognised for what they are – cofactors and coenzymes for thousands of enzymatic reactions. It’s time to delve a little deeper into biochemistry, to unlock the alchemy within the food that we eat. Don’t worry – I’ll be gentle!


Science can feel daunting. I get it. I’m a scientist and dermatologist and clinical data fills my nerdy soul with joy. But I practise medicine according to the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid. I needed to find a way to channel research supporting nutrition as a therapeutic tool I could apply to my patients. After years of research and tangible results from in-practice patient experiences, my DR. L protocol was born.


This article was originally published in Glamour’s November 2022 Issue. Grab your digital copy here.

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