What causes acne? Well, excess sebum production, clogged pores and accumulation of inflammation along with dirt on the facial skin are all primary causes of acne. The level of certain hormones, age, gender and skin type could also help dictate how severe the acne problem will be and where the acne could be. Acne could even spread to the chest and back and if you mess with your zits too much, you can get acne scars. If you want to avoid this nightmare, you’ll need to take a few measures that might include cutting on foods that cause acne.
Acne is a skin condition that’s prevalent among people of all ages and skin types. The debate over whether or not diet has any influence on aggravating acne is still a controversial topic. But one fact is clear – certain eating habits contribute to how healthy your skin will be. As long as your skin is healthy, you won’t have to worry too much about acne. This means you’ll have to be seriously committed to avoiding certain foods that might cause acne or have been known to be associated with acne problems.
Refined Carbs and Sugary Foods
Have you measured your daily carbohydrate intake yet? It’s time to check on it. People with high carb intake are more prone to acne breakouts than those who don’t. Products derived from white flour, such as pasta, bread, cereals and certain desserts can cause acne. White rice and noodles are just as guilty for increasing your blood sugar. Artificial sweeteners and sodas containing sugar also increase blood sugar. The rise in blood sugar induces the action of insulin. The main function of insulin is to get blood sugar lowered down by sending glucose to all body cells. Increased insulin levels signal the production of androgen hormones and growth factors. The result is a rapid growth of sebum-producing cells and we all know what happens next. So try eating foods with a low-glycemic index, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, barley and low-carb fruits.
Dairy Products, Including Ice Cream!
Studies showed that young adults indulging in milk products and ice cream are four times more at risk of developing acne. Yes, you might have to give up on all your ice cream binging habits if you really want to steer of acne problems. Although the research still remains elusive, there have been a few guesses on how milk contributes to acne. Certain amino acids in milk can aggravate production of insulin-like growth factor. These growth factors can stimulate sebum production and contribute to acne, but there’s still not enough causal evidence to prove that. Other ingredients found in milk-based products are also being researched.
Oily and Fast Foods
We all know how bad fast foods are because of the excess amounts of fats present in them, but recently there has been a highlight on how these could be the foods that cause acne. The major culprits other than fats are refined carbs and excess sugar. Burgers, milkshakes, french fries, nuggets, etc. are known to increase the risk of acne, especially among teenagers who are huge fans of fast food. A few reasons have been suggested by experts. A regular fast food eating habit can alter healthy gene expression and affect hormone levels.
Some foods contain a high level of omega-6 fatty acids, and these foods have been linked to an increase in acne breakouts. Typical Western diets contain soy oils and corn which contain more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. An imbalance in fatty acid levels corresponds to inflammation, and this includes inflammation in facial skin.
Whey proteins are definitely healthy dietary supplements, but they could also be responsible for the mean pimples on your face. Whey proteins are an abundant source of amino acids like glutamine and leucine. These amino acids are responsible for healthy cell division but sometimes they could end up encouraging rapid facial skin cell growth, which could aggravate acne. The amino acids can also contribute to insulin-like growth factor production, which as mentioned before, can lead to acne breakouts. Again, the causal relationship is not established, so further research is needed.
So What Should You Eat When Avoiding Foods That Cause Acne?
You’re probably thinking that you might have to cut on all your favorite food items to get rid of acne. If you think like that, you won’t feel like eating anything at all. Instead, practice better eating habits and eat good food items. Try to reduce the consumption of foods that cause acne. There are certain supplements for acne that you can try, but remember that change comes from within. So a good diet will help in the long run.
Here are some foods that will definitely help you tackle your acne problems for good:
- Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and various kinds of nuts. They are anti-inflammatory substances that can help reduce acne. A healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is crucial to preventing acne developments.
- Green tea contains a mix of extremely healthy ingredients, particularly polyphenols. These substances have been associated with reducing sebum formation and inflammation. You can drink green tea to achieve results faster.
- Probiotics contain good bacteria that are already present in the human gut. This could essentially help reduce inflammation.
- Mediterranean and paleo diets are rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes that will give you a good mix of nutrients for your skin. Paleo diets are especially rich in lean meat and nuts, but contain reduced levels of grains, gluten, processed items and dairy products. Mediterranean diets usually contain olive oil and fish, but they have low levels of saturated fats and dairy ingredients. These diets have been linked to help reduce acne.
- Turmeric is definitely good for skin, but it’s also great as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. So it could help reduce the growth of bacteria responsible for creating acne problems. If you find applying turmeric to skin uncomfortable, you can take turmeric supplements. These supplements are rich in a polyphenol known as curcumin. Curcumin has a wide range of other benefits.
- Vitamins and zinc provide immune support and contribute to a healthy-looking glowing skin. Vitamin A can be found in eggs, apricots, broccoli, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Vitamin E helps repair damaged skin and acts as an antioxidant. Thus, it helps to make skin appear blemish-free. Zinc is an important material that is required for healthy skin growth as well as the maintenance of hormone balance.
Acne is a serious problem. It lowers self-esteem, lowers your confidence and makes you feel like hiding all the time. Lots of makeup products are out there that are designed to reduce the appearance of pimples and acne scars. While concealers and foundations can temporarily help, what you need is a permanent solution. The only way to get that is to have a positive lifestyle and healthy eating habits.
Also, try to stay stress-free though that’s hard in this 21st century. Stress can mess with your hormone levels and aggravate acne visibility. With stress comes the lack of sleep. If you can manage to get at least 7 hours of undisturbed sleep every night, your skin will look much better. Sure, you can take acne supplements and try all kinds of home remedies, but hydrating yourself is just as important as maintaining a good diet. Although there are no specific food types that have been directly shown as causal factors for acne, it’s best to stay on the safe side. Avoid foods that have been associated with acne breakouts and you’ll notice a positive change in your skin soon.