Ever noticed a pimple promptly pop up on your face after you’ve eaten a lot of spicy and oily food? Girls with oily and acne-prone skin are nodding vigorously right about now. Safe to say that what you put inside your body determines how it looks on the outside.

Well, to help you solve your diet-related acne woes once and for all, we roped in nutritionist and lifestyle educator, Karishma Chawla. Can my diet really cause acne? What should I eat? What foods should I avoid? She answers all this and more in this interview.

BB: What kind of diet should you follow if you have oily, acne-prone skin?

KC: Remember that your skin is highly responsive to the food you eat, as food is like information for the body. How your skin appears depends a lot on the quality of the hormones produced by the body, which is dictated by the quality of protein and fats. If you have oily skin, avoid consuming too much sugar, refined carbohydrates, fried and packaged food and full meat. Be mindful of the amount of dairy products you consume as they can lead to inflammation. Try to have more fibre-rich foods, lentils, pulses, eggs green leafy vegetables in your diet. Add lean meat like chicken, turkey and fish to your diet.

BB: What foods should you avoid if you have acne?

KC: If you experience fatigue, insomnia, indigestion and brain fog, it is your body’s way of asking for a detox. If the toxins buildup, the cellular environment is poisoned and it leads to a lot of problems. To avoid acne, limit the consumption of foods grown with pesticides, toxic fats, caffeine and sugar. These food cause the body to go through a whole lot of stress, depriving it of good energy levels and leads to acne.

Avoid consuming unnecessary medications as these can disrupt the body’s microbiome and also cause acne. Include fresh fruits, whole grains, fresh vegetable juices in your diet. Ensure that your body gets enough sunshine, exercise regularly and keep your body well hydrated to keep unwanted acne at bay.

BB: What foods should one include in their diet to reduce excessive oil production and prevent breakouts?

KC: You need to take care of your hormone, gut and liver health in order to avoid acne and have clear skin. Include clean proteins such as fish, eggs and lentils in your diet. Have more healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fish oil. Consume seasonal fruits and vegetable along with grains like buckwheat, quinoa, oats and brown rice.

Additionally, in order to avoid acne, it is important to maintain your gut health. You can do so by consuming curd, kefir and kimchi. Also include prebiotic-rich foods such as raw garlic, raw onions, kiwi and asparagus in your diet. Moreover, foods such as apples, citrus fruits, berries, dark green veggies, asparagus and flaxseed are amazing to keep your liver healthy and avoid acne.

BB: Are there any supplements that can be taken to reduce acne?

KC: Yes, there are vitamins and supplements that can help you deal with acne. They include magnesium, vitamin D, omega 3, collagen, maca, high-quality pre and probiotics, high strength multivitamins, glutathione, vitamin E, vitamin C and milk thistle.

BB: How do you know if it’s a wrong diet that’s causing acne?

KC: A bad diet can cause a number of other health problems that eventually lead to acne. Hence, diet-induced acne can erupt anywhere. The thumb rule would be to take care of your hormones, gut and liver keeping in mind the guidelines and supplements mentioned above.