Discover the Truth Behind Food’s Connection to Acne
As there are many "fake" diets and myths about how to stay slim and trim, the same applies to the relationship between food and acne. These days, food is not just a source of nutrition but also a source of comfort, a means to socialize, a status symbol, and the subject of vigorous and lengthy discussions, and we would like to add our own two cents to this subject from an acne standpoint.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your odds in the battle against acne, making some dietary changes might be the answer you need. We’ll examine the connection between food and breakouts, what you should consider eliminating from your diet, and what foods should be more abundant in your diet.
Link Between Acne and Diet
In your search to get rid of your acne, you may have come across some articles written by those who promote the belief that poor food choices are a direct cause of acne and proclaim that everything from a chocolate bar to a slice of pizza or a glass of milk is guaranteed to start a breakout. While there is a connection between your diet and your skin’s health, things are more complicated than simply singling out specific foods.
There is evidence to indicate that the things you eat have an impact on your skin. However, food can only make your acne better or worse – it is NOT a cause of acne or a treatment for it. The actual cause of acne runs deeper than dietary concerns. At the most basic level, breakouts result from an internal imbalance most often caused by a hormonal imbalance. Until you begin treating your acne internally, it’s almost guaranteed that your difficulties with poor skin health will continue.
How Does Food Make Your Skin Suffer?
The skin is the largest organ of the body and the old adage "you are what you eat" applies in a multitude of ways. If you consistently eat foods that are "bad for your skin" – your skin will become unruly.
Sugar - Too much refined sugar will speed up the process of glycation. During glycation, the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins and forms harmful new molecules called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) which damage the proteins in your tissue, including your skin. This speeds up the aging process, the formation of wrinkles and may also increase acne breakouts, as “older” skin is dryer skin and additional dry or dead skin cells will clog the pores. The solution is to replace sugar with fresh fruits and small amounts of organic honey or raw coconut nectar or agave syrup, if necessary. Unfortunately, if clear skin is important to you, seriously consider eliminating all cakes, muffins, white bread, processed food, and sugary summer cocktails (sadly that includes margaritas).
Dairy - Dairy products may also have a negative impact on your skin. However, this is not because of the dairy itself, but due to the hormones frequently added to products such as these. As mentioned earlier, acne is strongly associated with a hormonal imbalance, and when these additional hormones are supplied to your body, especially for a longer period of time, it may negatively affect your body’s natural balance and exacerbate acne.
Dairy is an essential part of a healthy diet and contains many essential nutrients that are beneficial for your skin. The best way to ensure that it does minimal damage to your skin is to select products that are organic and from cows not treated with rBST/rBGH. These are synthetic hormones that are genetically engineered using e. Coli bacteria and are injected into the cow to increase their milk production in the short term. By choosing products free of these chemicals, you will still reap the benefits of dairy without having to worry about the hormonal effects.
If you think that dairy could be having an effect on your skin, try making modifications to your intake instead of eliminating dairy entirely.
When it comes to acne-friendly foods, the best choices are fresh, organic fruits and leafy vegetables. These are loaded with antioxidants – which are powerful compounds that are able to fight free radicals and help reverse the signs of illness and aging. For example, vitamin A and E, which are found in foods such as avocado, spinach, broccoli, kale and papaya, can help reduce both the size and severity of your acne scars.
Additionally, you may want to consider incorporating foods that contain probiotics, which are microorganisms that help promote the growth of good bacteria throughout your digestive tract. Studies have shown that these organisms can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. While inflammation is not a direct cause of acne, it does make you more vulnerable to new breakouts. Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods such as live-cultured yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, tempeh and kimchi.
Eggs contain lutein and choline, which are both beneficial to radiant skin. Lutein is another antioxidant with many benefits and choline is a B vitamin, which is found in the fatty portion of cell membranes and is vital to healthy skin-cell functioning. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in cell membrane health. The cell membrane is a barrier to harmful substances and also serves as a passageway for nutrients and waste products to travel in and out of the cell. Flaxseed oil, salmon, fish oil, chia seeds and walnuts are highest in Omega 3s.
Water is the most important thing you can consume for the health of your skin. Use distilled or spring water as any impurities will affect your body. One way to increase your intake of water is a fashionable "infusion". Here is the recipe for a refreshing and skin friendly concoction.
Mint, Lemon & Raspberry Infusion
Make sure all ingredients are washed, and are preferably organic
- 1 cup packed mint leaves
- 1 lemon, sliced into thin slices
- 10 raspberries (or 10 strawberries if you prefer)
- 1/2 gallon distilled or spring water
Pack all ingredients in an infusion or regular pitcher and pour the cold water into the pitcher. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before drinking. Store the remaining infusion in the refrigerator and replace the consumed water with fresh water. Continue to use the herbs and lemon.
How to Make Dietary Changes
When it comes to making dietary changes to help treat acne or any other goal, preparation is fundamental to success. It is important to be patient, even if you make radical changes and adjustments.
Most "crash diets" fail because people abandon them quickly and the same will apply to radical changes to your diet. If you deny yourself something that you are intensely craving, it may be wise to treat yourself with a small portion of that craving to fulfill your desire. Otherwise, your temptation might win out in the end and you might neglect your changes altogether. Your best bet is to make gradual changes to one specific area of your diet and gauge your success. Remember, there are no miracles. Your body needs time to get rid of bad compounds and change how it responds to good ones. Also remember that people are unique in many ways, so what works for someone else may not be as effective for you.
Does Preparation Count?
YES. How food is prepared and what ingredients and condiments are used is an important part of the scenario. Fried and greasy food or heavy cream sauces are harmful to your skin. Salt and heavy spices may exasperate your acne breakouts by causing inflammatory reactions and water retention. Fresh herbs and organic olive oil will add flavor and antioxidants. Also, remember that fresh ingredients are better than cooked ingredients. If you need to cook your vegetables, do so quickly so that the important nutrients don’t leach out into the liquid you use to boil.
We hope you find these tips helpful in your fight against acne. As always, one of the most effective ways to combat acne is to treat it from the inside out. Our products are designed to treat your acne from the inside-out, similar to the notion of healing your skin problems with food. It’ a challenge to deal with acne and here at AcnEase®, we want to help, offer advice and be part of the solution. Please let us know your comments in the section below.