We all fancy clear and healthy skin. Working on your skincare routine to make it look and feel healthier won’t be enough, because, between hormones, pollutions and other pore-clogging aggressors waiting for destruction on our complexions, achieving a blemish-free complexion makes it seem like impossible to achieve. Acne can have profound social and psychological effects, even mild acne can be significantly disabling. It affects people of all ages but it predominantly occurs during our teenage years.
Skin disease affects more than a person’s appearance. It can take a toll on someone’s emotional health like a feeling of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor self-image, decreased quality of life or a feeling of being all alone.
One should understand how the culprit, acne develops. The skin’s surface is covered in small holes or “pores” that connect to oil glands which are called “sebaceous glands” beneath the skin. The oil glands produce an oily liquid called “sebum”. Oil glands send sebum up to the skin’s surface through a thin channel called “follicle”. Acne occurs when the skin’s pores clog up with dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria. During the puberty age, hormonal changes often cause oil glands to produce excess oil that increases the risk of acne.
Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition. The types of acne are Whiteheads (closed plugged pores); Blackheads (open plugged pores); Small, red, tender bumps (papules); Pimples (pustules) these are papules with pus at their tips; Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules) and Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions).
One thing that plays a great role affecting your skin is your diet, these are the foods that you consume every single day. Certain foods cause a rise in your blood sugar more quickly than others. When your blood sugar quickly rises, it results in the release of a hormone called “insulin” in your body. Excess insulin in your blood can cause your oil glands to produce more oil escalating the risks of acne.
If you are committed to achieving clear skin, you have to take a closer look at what foods you eat daily and make an effort to have the discipline to take a step closer to your dream skin.
Here is a guideline on what types of food that doesn’t deserve to be on your list of food consumption:
Sugar and refined grains
Any form of sugar treats like a candy bar or simple carbohydrate like white bread has a high glycemic index that can trigger hormones and inflammation which both contribute to acne breakouts. The science behind this process involves the hormone insulin and its relationship-like growth factor (IGF-1). High glycemic index foods that increase blood sugar may be the main culprit in acne because the body produces the hormone insulin when we consume excess sugar, which ultimately leads to inflammation increase, and that inflammation is the key factor in acne. By eliminating or avoiding sugar, you can reduce the amount of insulin needed that results in a decrease in the amount of oil production and breakouts on your skin.
Milk is known to increase insulin levels similar to sugar that make acne worse. There are evidence-based studies that acne can be irritated by dairy. Based on research, young adults who regularly consume milk or ice cream over three to four times a week are more likely to suffer from acne. However, researchers are still figuring out the underlying connections between the two.
There are theories about milk’s correlation to acne breakouts. The first one tells that dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones that affect their milk supply, those hormones may cause you hormonal imbalance when you consume milk products which trigger-causing acne. The second one is that the growth hormones that are already in milk naturally aggravate acne no matter what. While the last one says that the milk products, when combined with high levels of refined foods and processed sugars make more skin prone to acne.
Take note that not all dairy products equally affects acne. Some studies show that skim milk is the most likely to trigger acne.
When the topic regarding acne is mentioned, oil has gotten a pretty bad reputation. While it is true that excess sebum can clog your pores and cause breakouts, it is different from the oils that you intake from healthy foods.
Western cuisine is more likely higher in omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 which is a piece of bad news if you are chasing for clear skin. Both fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3 are important for healthy skin, majority consumes four times the amount of omega 6 than omega 3s. Unfortunately, omega-6 came from the family of unhealthy oils which are commonly found in processed and fast foods.
The overconsumption of omega-6 matches will increase the tendency levels of acne. But with the rise of omega-3 fatty acids on your diet, this may reduce the gravity of acne. You may swap unhealthy oils into healthy ones by including chia seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and salmon on your diet.
Coffee may not have a direct impact on breakouts, but cutting it back may give your complexion a benefit. Overconsumption of caffeine has long been associated with stress, which we are aware that can damage our skin. However, research shows that stress may not have a direct cause of acne, it can exacerbate existing breakouts.
Aside from coffee, keeping an eye on what we add to your cup of coffee daily like loading it with sugar and milk are possible culprits on why your skin is not at its best condition. If you prefer or can’t avoid mixing your coffee with milk, you can try reducing your sugar and swapping a cow’s milk with a plant-based alternative.
Gluten is a common name for the protein found in wheat (wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, faro, graham, KAMUT Khorasan wheat, and einkorn), rye, barley, and rye. It helps food maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Wheat is commonly found in bread, baked goods, soups, pasta, cereals, sauces, salad dressings, and roux.
Although a lot has claimed that they cleared their skin by eliminating gluten to their meal, there is no medical evidence indicating that gluten causes acne nor eliminating it on your diet helps in treating your breakouts. There is a possibility that those who see improvements after eliminating gluten are primarily gluten-intolerant or sensitive. Others who have removed gluten, in turn, may eliminate the number of processed foods and refined grains they are consuming which are in correlation with acne.
That being said, the study shows that gluten triggers the body to release a protein called Zonulin. It loosens the tight junctions in the lining of the intestinal tract and is believed to be a contributor to leaky gut. A leaky gut is said to be a trigger of skin issues, among other health conditions.
The foods that we eat have a significant effect on our skin’s overall appearance. If you are fighting with the consistent appearance of skin breakouts, find out which food works for your skin and which doesn’t. And cut back these acne-causing ingredients for clearer skin. Also do take note that nourishing your body is just part of the pie that causes skin irritations or breakouts. Stress, hormones, hygiene, gut health, sleep, and genetics each play a vital role in achieving healthy skin.
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