Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what skin you have. It could be a new popular saying if the correlation between what we eat and acne was absolutely straightforward. If you have acne we can almost guess that you have tried homemade treatments, and various products, and yet you still wonder: how come I still have acne? The answer may lie in the foods you eat. Read on and find out the relationship between food and acne – the whole truth.
Food and acne
To claim that what we eat is the main cause of skin imperfections is a misconception. However, it is scientifically proven that there are certain foods (given their content) that can trigger an outbreak or at least some symptoms. Namely pimples, blackheads, and increased oiliness of the skin, among others.
Let’s start with the logic of the pathophysiology of acne skin. Although it is not a rule, typically this inflammatory disease of the polysacral follicle is associated with an oily complexion. It looks shinier, and thicker, with enlarged pores and wrinkles. In other words, uneven to the touch. However, it is also very common in combination skin. Especially in the so-called “T” zone, it is usual to unexpectedly encounter the symptoms described.
If you pay attention, you will quickly notice that the areas affected are similar in many ways (regardless of skin type). That is, they have a greater density of sebaceous glands. On the face, for example, the forehead, the nose as well as the chin are areas that suffer the most. However, the upper chest and back are equally prone to developing acne.
About 80% of the world’s population is affected by this condition. With psychological effects, in the medium and short term, it is important to understand this skin disorder. But, above all, to normalize it.
To learn more about acne read the post Pimples and blackheads: what is Acne after all?
The myths and truths of Food and acne
A true temptation that, I venture to say, primarily nourishes the soul. A favorite indulgence that does NOT develop pimples. With no proven correlation, chocolate does not affect the inflammatory process of acne. However, we are all different and if you notice a connection between the two, avoid its consumption. But I leave a tip for those who can’t live without: opt for dark chocolate. Filled with probiotics and antioxidants it will bring benefits to your skin and overall health.
For cheese and milk lovers, the news is not so encouraging, as higher consumption of dairy products (from milk, cheese, yogurts, or cream) MAY induce acne breakouts. The cause is the hormones that they contain, which consequently cause a greater production of sebum (hyper seborrhea). In this sense, to prevent skin imperfections try almond, soya, or rice milk. Besides being a spectacular alternative, they are delicious!
Pastries and cakes
YES, they will trigger skin conditions due to their hormones which, like the one above, will increase sebum production. Rich in sugar and white flour you will be giving your body an insulin boost causing blood sugar levels to skyrocket which has been proven to worsen acne. Therefore, avoid sweets as well as sodas and, in contrast, favor the consumption of fiber, whole grains, and vegetables.
French fries, pizzas, or other fried foods, although they do not cause an inflammatory crisis, should be avoided. They are harmful to health, and when in excess can lead to micro-inflammation of the organs (in which the skin is included).
For those over the age of 18/21, here the news is slightly encouraging. There is no hard evidence that alcohol aggravates acne. However, it can worsen other skin conditions and lead to dehydration, so we recommend moderation in its use.
Red meat food and acne
With inflammatory effects and often oversaturated fat, this food may aggravate the number of imperfections of the skin. Therefore, prefer to eat fish rich in omega-3 (salmon, for example), chicken, and hake.
I know this is easy to say, but try to avoid the ingredients mentioned above and see the difference.
Foods that help treat acne
We’ve already talked about which foods can cause acne, so let’s talk about the ingredients that allow you to maintain a flawless complexion.
By now you must have realized that popular knowledge is not foolproof, but if there is one thing our grandmothers taught us (and rightly so) it is that healthy eating means healthy living. So we don’t have a secret eating regimen to present to you, but rather the nutrients that you can and should prioritize for a healthy complexion.
- Vitamin A
As you will prove a little further on, the biggest enemy of acne is antioxidant-rich foods. Famous for fighting the effects of free radicals and preventing aging, antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory benefits. In the specific case of vitamin A (retinoic acid or retinoids), it regulates the production of sebum and enhances the healing capacity through cell regeneration of the corneal layer.
A few sources rich in vitamin A are spinach, lettuce, cabbage, pumpkin, carrots, and yellow corn.
- Vitamin C and E
Similar to the above, Vitamins C and E are recognized for their antioxidant and healing assets. However, they have anti-inflammatory and anti-spot properties that are very beneficial for oily acne-prone skin.
You can take advantage of these actions in foods like orange, pineapple, tangerine, lemon, and avocado, among others.
With numerous benefits, zinc is one of the key ingredients for acne treatment, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and almonds are great options for maintaining a zinc-rich diet.
- Whole-grain cereals
One of the causes behind acne is sometimes hormonal imbalance. Thus, favoring foods rich in whole grains (such as brown rice and whole-grained pasta) allows you to control the production of oil on the skin.
- Omega 3
Salmon comes immediately to mind, but tuna, flaxseed, and chia are also great sources of this nutrient that, being rich in cicatrizing and anti-inflammatory properties, treats and prevents the appearance of acne imperfections.
The best anti-acne treatments
For those who, like me, are under the spell of an acne crisis (the rebound effect typical of September is unforgiving) we leave you with two ranges that show excellent results. One will be based on dermatological science and the other on natural effectiveness.
La Roche Posay Effaclar: dermatology at the service of oily and/or acne-prone skin
Effaclar is an anti-imperfection range composed of skincare products specially developed to act against all the stages of acne while guaranteeing perfect tolerance even on sensitive skin.
Currently, the No. 1 range in Europe, we stand out 3 exceptionally effective products:
Formulated with salicylic acid, micro-exfoliating particles, and zinc, this care not only cleanses deeply but also reduces severe imperfections and removes excess sebum. It leaves skin soft, clean, and fresh.
This highly effective treatment combines 3 keratolytic acids (salicylic, glycolic, and LHA), niacinamide, and La Roche Posay thermal spring water to eliminate imperfections, and blemishes while reducing skin discomfort.
As a result, the complexion is refined and purified.
With a cream-gel texture, the effaclar duo (+) is a moisturizing and mattifying care that quickly clears existing blemishes as it prevents their recurrence and limits the risk of brown or red marks.
Its benefits are visible after 12 hours, noticeable in 8 days, as well as long-lasting.
Caudalie Vinopure: natural efficacy
For lovers of natural products (and beyond), the Vinopure range by Caudalie presents itself as a good option. Consisting of a simple routine with only 4 steps, in one week it promises to eliminate 63% of pimples and imperfections. For this purpose, vegan formulas stand out, with more than 90% of natural ingredients. Most notably:
> Natural Salicylic Acid is responsible for performing a gentle and progressive exfoliating action on acne-prone complexions.
> Niacinamide (vitamin B3) closes the pores and prevents the formation of acne marks.
> Poly+6 complex that combines the antioxidant effects of polyphenols with the antibacterial capacity of 6 bio-essential oils.
To achieve smoother, more even, and purified skin, we recommend that you start by using the Vinopure purifying gel cleanser gently and without exerting pressure. Immediately afterward, to close the enlarged pores, the purifying toner refines the skin texture.
For a concentrated and specific action against imperfections, proceed with the Vinopure serum, which, in addition to reducing the number of blemishes, unclogs pores and prevents sebum oxidation.
And to complete the daily routine, the mattifying fluid prevents excess oiliness while keeping the skin lastingly comfortable, mattified, and moisturized.
Extra tips to prevent acne
- Clean the skin twice a day. Prefer using products that are abundant in water to ensure both quality and effectiveness in your cleaning routine.
- Make-up can have a negative effect on acne. So, in cases of infection, we recommend you reduce the use of make-up and favor the use of products that are not made from oils.
- If you already have a face-specific towel and change it periodically, it’s time (if you don’t already) to pay attention to your pillowcase. Especially if you have oily hair or oily skin, it is very important that you change your pillowcases every week. This is because, over that time, they must have accumulated dead skin cells and greasiness.
- Wash your makeup brushes regularly to eliminate bacteria.
- Do not squeeze pimples! We have all done it, but please don’t do it again, since it can cause scars and aggravate the infection.
- Consult a specialist. This is a very important step since he will establish your acne level safely and get you a proper treatment. Remember that the use of inappropriate products can worsen acne and even have unwanted side effects
there is not just one cause that is related to the appearance of acne, but we can certainly determine what we want to eat. Either to avoid its appearance or to try to reverse the crisis. Thus, we propose that the key to soft and smooth skin is a healthy and balanced diet that, from time to time, allows “forbidden” food.