Acne is caused by many different factors including hormones, skincare routines, and external factors. One thing that most people don’t consider when it comes to acne is diet. Unbeknownst to most people, diet plays a huge role in your skin condition, and eating the wrong things can definitely trigger a breakout. It is important to make sure that your diet is in good shape when trying to tackle your acne problem. I’m going to walk through some of the best tips when it comes to tackling your acne.
Control Your Blood Sugar Level
One theory that has gained a lot of traction in the dermatology world when it comes to controlling acne is to avoid huge fluctuations in your glycemic index. This means to stick to a low-glycemic-index diet. Foods that are high in glycemic index such as sweets, sodas, bread, ice cream, etc can cause a massive spike in breakouts.
When sugar is consumed, it is stored as insulin. Insulin causes sugar to be released from your blood and into cells where it can be used for energy. However, insulin also causes the release of certain hormones such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This spike in hormones can lead to excess sebum production and inflammation which aggravates your skin leading to acne.
What is interesting is that studies have shown that people following Western diets high in refined sugars tend to have more acne than other cultures who follow traditional diets without processed foods or refined sugars. This seems to suggest that there is at least some sort of connection when it comes to blood sugars and acne.
Eat Whole Nutrient-Dense Foods
Eating foods that are high in anti-inflammatory factors is one of the surest ways to combat acne. Choosing foods such as chia seeds and fish which are high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 sources over foods high in omega-6 inflammatory factors like soybean oils and canola can be one way to counter these effects.
Also consuming things like fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants can also be a great way to enrich your diet. In the end, it’s all about choosing foods that are nutrient-rich and healthy. Specifically, look for foods that are rich in vitamins A and E as well as zinc and antioxidants. Willingly choosing foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory factors is a sure way to combat your acne.
Avoid Dairy and Whey Proteins
As much as I hate to say this, dairy and whey proteins can worsen your breakouts and acne. Dairy and whey have been linked to secretion of hormones like IGF-1. This promotes inflammation and excess sebum production which contributes to worse breakouts.
Several studies have shown a clear link between dairy and worse acne. While I’m not saying to completely avoid dairy or whey protein, it is definitely in your best interest to limit it in your diet.
These are just some of the ways I suggest changing your diet to improve your acne. It’s obvious that diet plays a large role in our health and livelihood. By being a little more conscious of our diet choices, we can make sure our skin gets the best nutrition to stay healthy and clear.