4 foods to avoid if you’re acne-prone
For as long as we can remember, our parents have warned us away from pizza, chocolate and all junk food known to man to avoid the threat of looming pimples and acne. And while some of us made it out scot-free, others can so much as look at a bag of hot chips and end up with an angry pimple.
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According to a study from DermatoEndocrinology, “research does not prove that diet causes acne but rather influences”. So while we can take comfort in knowing a diet won’t give us acne, (we have genetics, hormones and environmental factors to thank for that), we do know that particular foods can trigger, or exacerbate the situation if you are already acne-prone.
So if you’re looking to make some tweaks for the sake of your skin, here are the four main food group culprits that could be worth reducing...
To get a handle on fluctuating hormone levels and inflammation, a diet low in sugar and processed foods (AKA a low GI diet) will be beneficial to persistent acne.
So as hard as it may be to turn down the next birthday cake in the office, push through the 3pm sugar craving slump with a handful of blueberries and almonds and your skin will love you for it.
Ice cream, milkshakes, CHEESE for crying out loud, all sadly fall under the ‘dairy’ umbrella.
And, while consuming a gelato may cause no qualms for the majority of people, for those with intolerances, this means heightened inflammation presenting itself in the form of acne.
According to a Roy Morgan study, the rates of lactose intolerance is on the rise, with an additional 240,000 (almost entirely female) sufferers detected within a four year period.
Plus, it is important to note that cow’s milk is often extracted from pregnant cows who have high levels of the female hormone — progesterone — which in turn, can throw off our hormonal balance, a key trigger of hormonal acne. Eeeek!
In particular, if your go-to is a skim latte, you might want to assess its impact on your skin. According to New York Dermatologist Bobby Buka, “skim milk can make acne worse. It contains bovine growth hormones that are fat-dissolvable. Since there’s no fat in skim milk, they don’t dissolve,” he revealed to Byrdie. AKA, those hormones are left in your body, ready and waiting to result in a flare up.
That being said, dairy hosts a wealth of other health benefits like keeping our bones strong. For this reason, we recommend consulting a health professional to ensure you are getting your required calcium intake before you totally cut it out.
While it pains us to write this, our duty of care for the health of your future glowing skin forces us to give you the heads up that your morning flat white might also be contributing to your problematic skin.
The energy hit we get from caffeine is a result of heightened cortisol levels (the stress hormone) which can result in our skin's oil glands producing a little extra shine than normal. Extra oil = congestion.
Plus, if your coffee is impacting your sleep, this will contribute to an unwanted spike of cortisol and jeopardise a breakouts ability to heal.
Hey, we love a pizza night just as much as the next guy. But if decreasing sebum production and balancing your blood sugar levels is the goal, steer clear of greasy, fast food that is higher in sugar content than it is nutritional value.
Next time you’re organising dinner, instead seek out foods rich in omega 3s for their properties in skin healing and decreasing inflammation. Salmon, walnuts, avocado and chia seeds are all stellar options.