If you suffer with acne you’ve probably tried every lotion and potion that you can get, either prescribed or off the shelf, right? But have you ever considered the foods you are eating?
The foods we eat can have a major effect on acne both good and bad. If you think your diet is affecting your skin keep a food diary for 12 weeks. This will really help to see patterns in your diet where you have flare ups and if you are eating to many acne encouraging foods.
If you are a sufferer of acne, then you should be eating foods with high levels of zinc in them. A known symptom of zinc deficiency is acne. Zinc boosts the immune system causing acne to heal more effectively. Grass fed lamb and beef are high in zinc, and if you love seafood oysters and crab are great sources of the mineral. If you are vegetarian or vegan pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. As copper and zinc work together in the body compliment zinc rich foods with copper containing foods such as nuts, some meats and dark chocolate.
Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in Mackerel, walnuts and flaxseed can help tame inflammation and reduce acne breakouts. Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory effects in the body, so can help clear up inflamed skin. Some acne sufferers claim to have clearer skin whilst eating a diet, rich in Omega-3. Rather than taking fish oil or cod liver oil supplements, which can be highly reactive in the body, try to eat a diet containing salmon, mackerel, spinach, soy beans and nuts and seeds.
As well as these skin loving foods, there are also foods to avoid. Foods high in Omega-6 can be converted into inflammatory compounds, excess levels have been associated with increased inflammation. Vegetable oils and sunflower oils are high in omega-6. So you want to avoid deep fried foods, limit processed foods and make cooking oil swap (olive oil or coconut).
Recent studies show that milk and dairy products contain growth hormones and inflammatory substances that clog your pores and can trigger the production of sebum on the skin, which can cause acne. So try replacing cow’s milk with soya milk, which doesn’t contain these hormones and contains omega-3.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body must produce more insulin than normal to maintain blood sugar levels. Research has suggested that insulin resistance can lead to increased sebum production and additional inflammation, both of which contribute to acne. A diet low in refined sugars and avoiding high-glycaemic foods (white bread, white rice) can help maintain healthy insulin levels and reduce the effects on your skin. Try low-glycaemic foods such as granary or rye bread, or swap sugary breakfast cereals to porridge or wholemeal cereals.
|Acne Safe foods||Foods to Avoid|
|Meat, seafood and pumpkin seed (high in Zinc)||Processed food and refined sugar|
|Soya milk (dairy alternative)||Vegetable oils|
|Olive oil, coconut oil||Fried foods|
|Mackerel and salmon (omega-3)||High-Glycemic foods (white bread, white rice etc)|
|Low-Glycaemic foods (rye bread, porridge etc)||Dairy|
Though diet is important for skin health, having a good skin regime is also important. Off the shelf products just won’t cut it, so we recommend buying good quality products that look after your skin and improve the appearance of the affected.
We love the ZO Skin Health Acne Prevention + Treatment programme, which is a complete line of highly effective products formulated to treat clogged pores, blackheads and pimples and can be prescribed as a preventative treatment for acne and breakouts.
This treatment programme is most effective used alongside a course of skin peels. At Skin Philosophy we can book you in for a no-obligation consultation to find the perfect course of treatment and complimentary products to get your acne under control.