The Best and Worst Foods for Acne | Skincare & Diet
Many factors go into acne development. Ultimately, pimples are a result of sebum trapping debris into your pores, resulting in inflammation. But certain activities can increase your skin’s production of sebum.
That includes the foods you eat. So if you find yourself with troublesome zits, you may want to consider what you’re eating.
Food and Acne
Your diet affects your hormone production. Certain foods cause hormones to fluctuate wildly, and that can increase your odds of getting pimples.
That’s why it’s good to be aware of what foods can increase your risk of acne and what foods can actually help in the long run.
The Worst Foods That Cause Acne
A healthy diet is essential for good bodily function. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see some of the culprits that are also behind acne.
Sugar, especially that found in soda and junk food, causes your blood sugar levels to spike. As a result, your body has to produce more insulin to combat it. This affects your hormones and increases the oil production on your skin.
Dairy products, like cheese, are also highly inflammatory. Anything that comes from cow’s milk should be approached with caution.
Granted, your body still needs Vitamin D and calcium, so make sure you’re still getting those nutrients another way. Additionally, acne only appears to have a correlation with cow’s milk, so other varieties, such as almond and oat milk, should be fine although more research is needed.
Studies have also found a correlation between chocolate and pimples. However, it doesn’t appear as though cocoa is the cause.
A more likely explanation is that the sugar and milk in most chocolates aid acne. If you still want a chocolatey fix, you’re better off with dark chocolate.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is often used by those trying to put on muscle mass. However, whey is also a compound found in milk, and it may fluctuate your hormones similarly.
Additionally, many people mix whey protein powder with milk when they make smoothies. You may want to find other recipes to cut down on your dairy intake so that you can still pack on muscles without worrying about breakouts.
Red meats are often high in saturated fats and cholesterol, both of which can inflame the body. There’s also a worry with added hormones in meat products, so it’s best to consume red meats in limited quantities.
Refined grains, better known as refined white flour, is typically found in breads, pasta, cereal, and rice noodles. It has a high glycemic index level, meaning it spikes your blood sugar levels.
Similarly to sugar, it boosts sebum production and leads to faster cell growth.
The Best Foods For Acne
If you’re looking for ways to supplement your diet without potentially harming your skin, you have plenty of options at your disposal.
Nuts are a great source of antioxidants, which naturally fight inflammation. They protect cells from infections and outside damage, so grab a handful of almonds and peanuts when you want a healthier snack.
You want to avoid constantly spiking your blood sugar levels to control acne. Fiber is a great way to control blood sugar, which in turn keeps pimples away.
You have plenty of options here, including tomatoes, beans, apples, and carrots. And fiber helps your body in other ways we won’t get into here.
Seaweed has been proven to help inflammation on the skin. It’s chock full of excellent nutrients, like B complex vitamins. It’s particularly great with spicy meals to take a bit of the edge off, like in ramen.
Zinc is critical for your skin, and oysters contain a ton of zinc. In turn, it also stops the body from producing chemicals typically responsible for inflammation.
Can the Right Diet Get Rid of Acne?
Diet is only one part of acne development. Genetics and medication also play roles, but eating right can definitely better your odds of having clearer skin.
That doesn’t mean you have to swear off chocolate and red meat entirely. You can still enjoy in moderation, but try to find ways to swap them out with healthier alternatives.
For instance, you can incorporate eggs in your diet to get protein over red meat. Get creative so that you can enjoy first-class meals with a clear face.
“Can the Right Diet Get Rid of Acne?” American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/diet
Shmerling, Robert H. MD. “Does diet really matter when it comes to adult acne?” Harvard Health Publishing, 19 Aug. 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/does-diet-really-matter-when-it-comes-to-adult-acne-2020081920726