How Your Diet Could Be Causing Breakouts

February 26, 2018

Everyone wants skin that looks youthful and clean. For people with acne, finding a solution that works is usually a tedious process of trial and error. You try countless treatments, cleansers, and topical creams and nothing seems to work. Sometimes, it is not a matter of what you put on your skin, but what you put into your body. What you eat affects your health; this includes the health of your skin.

What is Acne?

Acne is a disorder connected to the turnover of skin cells. If the turnover of your skin cells is not functioning normally, oil glands become blocked. This causes oils to become trapped underneath your skin. These oils attract bacteria that feed on lipids. The important thing to know is that the process of skin renewal involved hundreds of micro-steps; diet is one of these steps. Unfortunately, there is no clearcut list of foods that are bad for your skin. Take chocolate for example. There are people who eat chocolate every day and never break out. Then there are people who eat chocolate once and break out the next day like clockwork. Understanding the chemistry of foods and how these chemical reactions affect your body can, however, help you make smarter dietary choices.

Most people have a vague notion of what not to eat when it comes to acne. If you have a tendency to break out, you know not to eat chocolate gelato every night. But there is a lot more to it than that. Foods that contain simple carbohydrates like the ones found in refined sugar are some of the worst types of food you can eat if you have acne. Foods like pie, candy, and soda cause insulin levels to spike. This is bad because these spikes can lead to inflammation throughout your body, and this inflammation weakens the strength and elasticity of your skin over time. More importantly, these spikes boost the production of natural oils in your skin. Thus, if you do have clogged pores, you will likely have more oils trapped underneath your skin if you consume a lot of sugary foods.

Dairy is another food category that contributes to increased oil production, especially in men. Too much dairy increased production of male hormones, and more hormones means more oils. Dairy has other health benefits. If you are worried about the health of your skin, try lowering your dairy consumption instead of eliminating it entirely. Moderation is key. 

You want to look for foods that have vitamins that combat bacteria production and inflammation, such as zinc. Spinach, pumpkin seeds, oysters, chickpeas, and cashews all have high levels of anti-inflammatory vitamins. If you do have a sweet tooth, stick to sugary fruits like apples, grapefruit, and cantaloupe, because they take more time to digest and tend to be more filling.  

At the end of the day, food does not have the same effect on everyone. One way to see how food affects you personally is to keep a food diary. Keep track of when your skin breaks out and see what you had to eat the previous day. There is a high chance you will start to notice trends.





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