Dr. Jessica Wu, dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face tells us what foods contribute to acne and what foods repress it. Dr. Wu explains how an internal beauty regime is just as important as an external one when it comes to clear skin. Although acne may be caused by a variety of factors such as clogged pores, genes and bacteria, choosing the right foods as outlined below helped many of her clients clear their stubborn acne.
As a teenager, the acne advice given to me by dermatologists ranged from “eat an orange a day” to “the foods you eat have no effect on your acne.” With all the conflicting information available and endless options for processed foods, it’s no wonder acne is such a common and confusing ailment. Additionally, many modern acne treatments do not get to the root of the problem and cause unwanted, nasty side effects. Since what we eat is directly related to how we feel, how much energy we have, and how well we fight off disease, why wouldn’t it have an effect on our skin as well? If food really can be acne’s medicine, that means we are in control of our skin and this is good news! If you are struggling with keeping your skin clear, here are some food guidelines to keep in mind:
. Avoid Dairy: Dairy products stimulate your natural hormone levels, which can cause an overproduction of oil and clogged pores. Many dairy products also have additional cow hormones that can be absorbed by your body, also causing higher levels of oil production. If you absolutely must have your dairy, choose organic, skim products as they will have lower levels of hormones. To ensure you’re getting enough calcium, make sure to add foods rich in calcium to your diet like beans, greans, and almonds.
. Avoid Heavy Carbs and Sugar: pasta, white rice, white potatoes, processed snacks and refined sugars all cause androgen levels, or the “male” hormone levels to spike, stimulating oil glands and ultimately, clogging pores. Since carbs contribute to bloating as well, it could be well worth your time to avoid these foods and see how it effects you. Substituting proteins like fish, poultry and nuts for carbs will help keep energy levels up while keeping acne levels down!
. Eat zinc – rich foods: Foods rich in zinc such as legumes, lean red meats, and oysters help reduce inflammation and fight acne causing bacteria. Since an overdose of zinc can be poisonous, taking supplements is not recommended. Instead, eating foods rich in zinc is the safe, effective way to use zinc as an acne treatment. However, the process of fighting acne can be a lot of trial and error. Keeping a food journal as you try to add and remove foods from your diet is an excellent way to find what really works for you. In the meantime, Good luck! [via thebeautydepartment]
What is your internal beauty regimen? Are there any foods you’ve noticed that worsen or help with breakouts?