If there’s one skin concern that bothers a majority of women at some point in their lives or other, then it has to be acne. And if you have naturally oily and acne-prone skin, then this problem is a lot worse for you. While the best way to deal with this is to follow a strict skincare routine with products that work for your skin type, there are other factors you may need to consider changing and your diet is one of them.
Yes, you read that right. The kind of foods you eat plays a major role in determining the health of your skin. Eating too much fried, processed and junk food doesn’t do your skin any favours and ends up causing acne in a lot of people. Therefore, one of the most important steps in effectively dealing with acne is to monitor your diet and include those foods that help in keeping acne under control.
Have you got no idea where to start, what foods to include and which ones to eliminate? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Scroll down for everything you need to know about starting an anti-acne diet.
- The relation between diet and acne
- Foods that cause acne
- Anti-Acne Foods
- Basic skincare tips to prevent acne
The relation between diet and acne
Research claims that one of the most common causes of acne in adults is their dietary habits. When you consume certain foods, it causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which can cause hormone disruption and overproduction of insulin in your body.
This excess insulin makes the oil glands in the body go into overdrive, leading to excess sebum production, clogged pores and eventually, acne. For example, foods that are rich in refined carbs, sugar and dairy are the most common perpetrators when it comes to causing acne in adults.
Foods that cause acne
Now that we know the connection between diet and acne, we are now going to take a look at the specific foods that can cause acne…
Milk and milk products are considered to be a major cause of acne, especially in women. This is because milk, especially cow’s milk, is brimming with hormones, which increases testosterone in women. This hormone leads to an increase in insulin and blood sugar levels, both of which cause excess sebum production and in turn, acne.
Eating a lot of refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, sweetened breakfast cereals, ready-to-eat foods, white rice, etc., is not recommended as they have a high glycaemic index. What this means is that eating these foods causes an instant rise in a person’s blood sugar levels. This then causes a variety of adverse reactions, including inflammation and excess sebum production, which can then clog your pores to become the perfect breeding ground for acne.
Even though there isn’t enough research available on this, experts believe that milk chocolates usually tend to have an adverse impact on your skin and are one of the biggest reasons for acne. Although it is fine to consume cocoa if you have acne, the other major components of chocolate, like milk and sugar seem to be the main culprits for the appearance of acne.
Fried and junk foods are not only bad for your heart health, but for your skin as well. Fried foods are brimming with unhealthy trans and saturated fats that cause a lot of inflammation in your body, thereby triggering your body’s acne response.
Sugary foods are also known as high glycaemic index foods, meaning that they cause an instant rise in your body’s blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is best to cut down on your intake of sweets, cakes, ice-creams and even packaged foods, as all of them contain high amounts of sugar.
In case you’re suffering from acne, it would be really helpful to eat a more wholesome diet rather than refined carbs and sugary substances. Let’s take a look at the foods that help in preventing and reducing acne…
Including nuts such as almonds and walnuts is an excellent way to reduce and prevent acne. This is because nuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and other essential vitamins and nutrients that help reduce inflammation and help in regulating sebum production. They also help reduce acne-causing bacteria, making them perfect snack options to keep your acne under control.
Healthy fats derived from foods like salmon, mackerel, avocados, sardines, etc., help in controlling acne to a great extent and should be a part of every anti-acne diet plan. This is because these foods are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and therefore help in reducing your body’s anti-inflammatory response to keep acne away. Healthy fats also help in keeping your skin plump and youthful and therefore are a great addition to any diet.
Consuming antioxidant-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, blueberries, citrus fruits, etc., is one of the best ways to reduce and prevent acne. This is because these foods help in reducing the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress in your body to heal existing acne and prevent the appearance of future acne.
Including probiotic-rich foods, such yogurt, buttermilk, tempeh, fermented foods, cottage cheese, kimchi and pickles is another way to control acne. Probiotic-rich foods help in increasing the good bacteria in your gut and thereby reduce the chances of inflammation in your body, thereby making it super helpful in preventing acne.
Lastly, when it comes to choosing what foods to include in your anti-acne diet plan, make sure to pick ones that are natural, not overly processed and whole. This means eating more vegetables and fruits, whole grain bread, etc. These foods are easier to digest and deliver your body with enough fibre to help eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation and in turn, bring down the chances of acne to a great extent.
Basic skincare tips to prevent acne
Along with eating the right kinds of food, it is also important to keep following a regular skincare routine to keep acne under control. Here are some general tips everyone should follow –
- Wash your face twice a day using a gentle foaming face wash
- Exfoliate your skin regularly
- Always picks non-comedogenic (these products don’t clog pores) makeup and skincare products
- Wear sunscreen without fail and re-apply every two to three hours
- Wear a lightweight, gel-based moisturiser to prevent your skin from getting overly dry and producing excess sebum