Most of us know that acne is not just an unfortunate sign of puberty. There are also plenty of adults well past those teenage years who have problems with acne as well. While there is no proof or science that positively links skin problems to nutrition, the majority of people can say there is a definitely connection between certain foods and breakouts. For example, high-fat, greasy, and high-sugar foods are the “clog foods” and generally cause excess oil production which in turn brings about those little bumps called pimples. However, I noticed that by eating a more balanced diet with more wholesome and nutritious foods, I was able to clear up my skin in just a couple of weeks.
What Causes Acne?
The skin is made up of sebaceous glands which produce the oil (sebum). This is a mixture of wax and oil which helps to lubricate the outer layers of your skin and prevents excess water loss. This sebum travels through the skin pores, which are basically a canal. There are so many theories as to what causes acne, but many experts believe it is due to a rise in the androgen hormones, which are present in both men and women. Take a look at this American Academy of Dermatology article for more information.
The below list of foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that will help reduce and regulate these levels in both men and women to help you achieve a cleaner, clearer complexion. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just a starting point for you.
Foods to Treat and Prevent Acne
- Seeds and nuts! More specifically almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts
- Wheat germ. Sprinkle this on almost everything.
- Broccoli, leafy greens, and spinach.
- Brown rise and sweet potatoes
- Tuna, salmon, and sardines
- Lots of citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges
- Fish oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil
These foods and ingredients have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which will help keep the body clean of toxins and the skin clear.
Foods to Avoid for Acne-Prone Skin Types
First things first: Remove all processed sugars and bad oils from your diet. Don’t eat or drink things like caffeine, alcohol, sugars, and saturated fats in excess. Once you eliminate these harmful substances and eat a diet rich in the above types of foods, your skin will begin to look and feel more moist and smooth. Avoid the below foods as much as you can:
- Dairy. Various studies have shown that the hormones used to help the cows grow can increase androgen levels in the body.
- Simple sugars like breads, potatoes, and sugary sweets should be avoided as much as possible. It’s been suggested that a lower GI diet can help clear skin because it’s a high-vitamin/mineral diet that regulates sugars in the system. High levels of insulin can lead to more androgen.
Web MD natural treatments for acne
Metabolic Effect – Hormones in Milk
How Stuff Works – Low GI clear skin