Image via Sprouted Kitchen
Weve been there. We know how hopeless it can feel when you feel like you have tried just about every solution for acne in the books, from pills to creams to drying potions, and yet its just still not gone. Specifically, I know how hopeless that can feel. Well, Im not exactly suggesting that we have the end-all cure-all here, but I do want to point out that it can be helpful to look within for a solution. Im talking, within your food cabinet and/or fridge. Maybe, just maybe, the culprit is hiding in the form of food.
There are a lot of studies and guesstimates out there about whether or not certain foods actually cause acne, and it seems that neither the skin or the medical community has said yes or no, specifically. So, there is not necessarily a cause and effect here, but there are very, very strong links. In other words, your doctor might not be able to tell you that your fast-food diet is causing your breakouts, but I think we can all safely say that its probably not helping!
Lets take a look at the top five food culprits when it comes to causing (or exacerbating) breakouts.
- Dairy; strong evidence suggests that cows milk is linked to acne because dairy foods increase male hormones in the body, which are linked to oiliness and pimples. Plus, large amounts of fatty milk (whole, or cream) can cause inflammation in the body, not only internally but externally, on the skin, too.
- High Glycemic Foods like white bread and other processed foods can cause breakouts because they cause the bodys blood sugar levels to spike, which boosts insulin levels, which in turn can kick-start oil production and clog pores.
- Caffeine is definitely okay in moderation, but we all know that on a stressful day, we plow through 4 cups by 2pm without even noticing it. Caffeine raises our bodys cortisol levels, aka, activates our stress hormone, and stress is linked to both new breakouts and worsening existing ones.
- Chocolate has been linked to breakouts, too, but its worth noting that highly processed (white or milk) chocolates with a lot of sugar added are significantly worse for your skin, as the added sugar puts this food into the high-glycemic index, causing blood sugars to spike.
- Gluten has been getting non-stop buzz lately with dueling scientific articles debating and refuting gluten-sensitivity claims, and the jury is definitely still out. The most helpful way to look at gluten and the skin is that if you dont have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, its likely not causing breakouts or making existing ones worse. That said, if youve been trying to kick acne for a long time with no success, its worth cutting gluten out just to see, as breakouts and inflammation of the skin can be one sign of a gluten intolerance that needs to be addressed.
The best type of diet for low-breakout risk is one thats low in sugar, low in processed foods, high in low- glycemic foods (so that your blood sugar levels stay stable through the day), and low on items that cause inflammation (like alcohol, MSG or refined carbohydrates).
Here are 5 skin-healthy items to use to replace the items above!
Image via Sprouted Kitchen
- Almond, coconut and hemp milks, plus alternative forms of yogurt, like goats milk yogurt (which can actually be pretty yummy!).
- Low Glycemic Foods, like oats, granola, seedy bread and berries.
- Raw nuts and citrus fruits can both be subbed in for coffee / caffeinated drinks because theyre powerful energy-boosters.
- While we openly admit that there is no substitute for Chocolate, try a spoonful of raw honey. The taste will fix your craving for sweetness, while the myriad vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in honey will do your body good.
- Quinoa and chickpeas are filling substitutes for gluten; try experimenting with a quinoa veggie-burger or a chickpea salad for a hunger fix.
Do you have any experience with solving skin issues via the food you eat? If so, share your thoughts in a comment below!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.