Foods to Avoid and Foods to Choose for Clear Skin
Acne can strike anyone at anytime and at almost any age, especially on the areas with the most sebaceous (oil glands) like the face, chest shoulders and upper back. We know that habits like proper washing, moisturizing and using prescription medications (if necessary) play a key role in keeping acne under control. But what about your diet? Does eating greasy food and chocolate really contribute to acne like we were told as teenager? The answer is yes and no. There are certain foods that aggravate acne production and others that fight it. Here’s our list of foods to avoid and foods to choose when dealing with a spotty face.
- Sugar: This not-so-sweet-for-your-skin additive quickly get into your bloodstream, making your insulin levels spike, which can worsen acne, wrinkles and rashes.
- Dairy: Avoid milk and cheese, since the hormone levels in milk contribute to excess sebum production, which promotes acne.
- Excess Carbs: Studies show that gorging on carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, bagels and chips may trigger acne. These foods spike your blood sugar and your body responds by producing more insulin, increasing the production of skin oils and contributes to the clogging of follicles.
- Stress: OK, stress isn’t a food, but excess stress can make acne worse, in addition to increasing belly fat. No and no.
- Make It Colorful: Vegetables, that is. Colorful vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, kale and arugula fight acne from the inside out. Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which helps fight free radicals. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. Same thing with green and yellow vegetables: The darker and brighter the color, the more nutrients. If you’re picking greens for a salad, choose darker green greens like kale or spinach, or choose arugula or dandelion greens. These vegetables fight the free radicals that break down collagen over time and alkalinize your system.
- “C” Acne Out: Boost collagen and fight acne with Vitamin C, found in bell peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, kale and broccoli.
- Fight Free Radicals to Keep Skin Clear: Foods rich in Vitamins A and E contribute to a clear complexion, so skip the chips and chocolate and snack on foods like almond butter, Swiss chard, wheat germ, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe.
- Strengthen Skin: Foods high in skin-strengthening Omega-3 fatty acids like sardines, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts, strengthen skin, making it less susceptible to acne.