In trying to control our acne, we have all been through phases of testing different scrubs, cleansers, masks, and creams to find the one that works – you name it, we’ve tried it. Endless research and recommendations create a long and daunting process to find the solutions that fit you best.
Knowing the biggest causes of acne and how to treat them is crucial, and your first steps to prevention may actually lie in the kitchen. Below is a compilation of some of the worst food offenders when it comes to acne flare-ups and inflammation.
Eating larger amounts of dairy-based food such as cheese, yogurt, and milk has been found to correlate with higher levels of acne, with most research focused on young adults. Moreover, skim milk appears to be the worst culprit, inducing more breakouts than whole milk. It is thought that the hormones found within milk may have an effect on our own hormones, creating an imbalance and triggering heightened acne development. By cutting out dairy, it is possible your acne will improve as a result; milk alternatives such as oat or soy milk could make the change easier.
How can something be so good yet so bad at the same time? Eating fast food regularly, such as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, pizza, and French fries is described as a high fat diet. Research suggests that consuming a lot of fast food can lead to a 17 percent increased risk of developing acne. High fat diets in general are linked with up to 43 percent greater chance of acne issues. Processed foods can disrupt your hormones and blood sugar, and it may be worth limiting them if your acne is refusing to go.
Sugars and carbs
Added sugars and refined carbohydrates get absorbed into the blood extremely quickly, meaning they contribute to rapidly rising blood sugar and insulin levels and have a negative impact on acne development. These foods include white bread, soda, cakes, white rice, and candy. Chocolate in particular is a sweet treat that has been connected to an increased risk of breakouts. If you are going to indulge anyway, we suggest reaching for high percentage dark chocolate, which will have a much lower impact on your acne than white or milk chocolate.
All that said, you do not need to worry about going hungry. There are plenty of foods that can help in your fight against acne, such as sweet potatoes, salmon, and berries. Finding ways to incorporate vitamin and zinc-rich foods, as well as whole grains, into your diet is another step you can take to minimize the risk of acne development.
Altering what you eat is simple and affordable, and while it is important to understand that changes in your diet can be extremely effective in dealing with acne, it is often not the entire solution. Recognizing other triggers and potential treatments will allow you to gain a more thorough understanding of how to manage your acne. But for now, we’ll start with what’s in the fridge!