Anti-Acne Diet: What to Eat and Not to Eat or an Acne-Free Face

Anti-Acne Diet: What to Eat and Not to Eat or an Acne-Free Face

Anti-Acne Diet: What to Eat and Not to Eat or an Acne-Free Face

Category : Diet

Acne is among the most common skin problems that affect millions of people in the world today. Although several factors might contribute to the development of acne (e.g. acne-causing bacteria, sebum and keratin production, hormones, inflammation, and blocked pores), various studies linked diet to acne development. Additionally, many health experts believed that the healthier the person’s diet, the clearer his/her skin will be.

Acne breakout can be caused by eating unhealthy foods
Acne breakout can be caused by eating unhealthy foods

How Your Diet Affects Your Skin

Whether you are a beauty fanatic or not, skin health ALWAYS matters because it can affect one’s appearance and self-esteem. While many skin conditions, such as acne, have to do with genetics, you can manage your skin health by considering a healthy diet. You do not have to invest in expensive beauty products to keep your skin healthy and clear. Skin specialists recommend drinking a healthy amount of water and loading up with vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables are crucial for healthy skin and keep zits at bay.

Eating extremely greasy foods can contribute to acne breakouts, but some unsuspecting healthy foods, such as dairy products, can also make your face and skin spazz out due to high levels of IGF-1.

So how does IGF-1 contribute to acne breakout?

It is general knowledge that one of the main causes of acne breakout is clogged pores due to dead skin cells and bacteria. Also, clogging can occur when there is too much production of sebum, an oil that keeps skin from drying out.

During puberty, the production of hormone-like insulin growth factor (IGF-1) increases. IGF-1 can stimulate the body to produce more sebum, which worsens acne symptoms and causes painful inflammation due to clogged pores.

With that being said, we have rounded the what foods you should include in your anti-acne diet along with what you should avoid:

Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get rid of acne.
Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get rid of acne.

What Helps Acne

  • Fatty Fish

Load up your diet with foods packed with omega-3, such as salmon, sardines, tuna. Considered as the building blocks of cells, healthy fatty acids help build new, healthy skin cells. In fact, a 2012 study reported that taking fish oil is essential for improving the complexion of a person with mild to severe acne due to the ability of fish oil to control inflammation.

  • Antioxidant-Rich Fruits And Vegetables

Your overall health says a lot about your skin. Eating foods high in antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and protect your skin from the risk of inflammation. Among the good sources of antioxidants include:

  • Beta-Carotene (e.g. carrots, pumpkins, mangoes, apricots, parsley, spinach)
  • Allium Sulphur Compounds (e.g. onions, leeks, garlic)
  • Anthocyanins (e.g. berries, grapes, eggplants)
  • Catenins (e.g. red wine, tea)
  • Isoflavonoids (e.g. soybeans, tofu, lentils)
  • Lycopene (e.g. tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruit)
  • Probiotic-Rich Foods

Fill up your plate with foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and sour pickles. These foods contain healthy bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive system. It restores the microbiome in your gut and boosts your immune system, allowing your body to combat bacteria that cause an acne breakout.

  • Spirulina

These nutrient-packed blue-green algae have high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2014 study reported that supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids or GLA for 10 weeks helped reduce acne lesions. 

Eating greasy foods can worsen acne symptoms.
Eating greasy foods can worsen acne symptoms.

What Not To Eat

  • Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates are often found in our favourite foods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, white bread, and muffins. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology revealed that the increasing rate of acne in the last 20 years has to do with refined carbohydrates and high-glycemic foods, which boost blood sugar, thus increasing the level of insulin and causing an acne breakout.

  • Saturated Fats

Fried chicken, burgers, and fast food meals may be everybody’s favourite. Unfortunately, these are unhealthy foods that you should avoid if you want clear, acne-free skin. People who consumed more saturated fats experience moderate to severe acne breakouts. Although the link between saturated fats and acne is not well understood, saturated fats are found to increase certain growth factors that potentially contribute to breakout.

  • Dairy Products

Love cheese, milk, and ice cream? Then maybe you should rethink about it, especially if you are struggling with acne breakout. Several studies revealed that dairy lovers, particularly milk drinkers, have a higher risk of acne breakout. Dairy products can increase the level of testosterone, causing downstream effects that could result in a breakout.

Unfortunately, our bodies react differently to these foods. While eating and avoiding these foods may prevent or reduce acne breakout, it may not work well with other people.

General Tips for Acne Treatment

Over-the-counter acne medications are available in the market today. However, some are not guaranteed to treat acne breakout, while some may even worsen the symptoms.

Talk to a skincare specialist for safe and effective acne treatment in Toronto. He/she can recommend the proper course of treatment, depending on the severity and your skin type.

Here are several general tips for managing and preventing acne symptoms:

  • Wash face and body twice daily after sweating or engaging in sports.
  • Wash hair with shampoo regularly.
  • Avoid picking or touching pimples to prevent further inflammation.
  • Use gentle skincare products and cosmetics.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure.

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About Author

Mary Browning

Food, food, food and all about food related stories. Just love to blog about food.