If you are diligent about following a skin care regimen and still notice acne cropping up, consider what you’re eating to determine whether the culprit lies in your diet. What you put in your body reflects how it looks on the outside, after all. Be sure to add these foods to your rotation for the best skin-clearing results:
Oily Fish Like Salmon or Tuna
One diet-related cause of acne is inflammation, which occurs as a result of increased sugar intake. Sugar raises insulin levels in blood, triggering androgens, growth hormones, and cell-signaling pathways. This results in low-grade inflammation, increased oil secretion, clogged pores, and—unsurprisingly—acne flares. To avoid this, swap processed, sugary foods with anti-inflammatory choices like wild fish, nuts, and fresh fruits. Oily fish like salmon or tuna contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can also improve inflammatory acne. Fish also provides biotin, a B vitamin that produces fatty acids and metabolizes amino acids, protecting your skin from acne, fungal infections, rashes, and dryness.
Seeds and Walnuts
Nuts like almonds and walnuts, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds are other great (vegetarian!) sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help maintain cell membranes by protecting the skin and providing it with moisture—leading to a soft, supple complexion. Almonds and chia seeds are also packed with vitamin E, which can help you maintain a glowing complexion by protecting your skin from sun damage.
Refined, processed foods are some of the most well-known acne aggravators. For that reason, we often see that a low-glycemic diet tends to improve skin. Low-glycemic foods like vegetables, sweet potatoes, barley, beans, and whole grains won't spike your blood sugar as quickly as processed foods and white flour, which can increase inflammation and cause acne flair-ups. Replace pasta and white rice with complex carbs like barley, quinoa, beans, and brown rice—which are all lower on the glycemic index.
The next time you’re considering reaching for that second or third cup of joe, consider green tea, instead. Some research shows that drinking green tea can make your skin produce less sebum, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. It also contains antioxidants that can ease oxidative stress-induced breakouts.
Ease breakouts by adding plenty of probiotic-rich foods into your diet. These foods help good bacteria flourish in your gut. Although yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics, we generally recommend non-dairy choices like sauerkraut, dark chocolate, miso soup, and kimchi. You can also try a probiotic supplement. Be sure to look for products that have been infused with extra forms of probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Probiotics are an excellent way to keep your gut (and skin!) happy and healthy.
Fruits and Vegetables
Here’s another reason to pile your plate high with fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce is naturally high in water, keeping your skin and other cells hydrated. Foods rich in vitamin A, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach, are particularly good for skin and can enhance its color and appearance. Aim to eat foods from every color of the rainbow to get the full range of nutrients.
Healthy skin isn’t only a result of what we topically apply to our faces—it’s just as much affected by what we eat. Fortunately, there are lots of tasty options to choose from. At Leah Nickie ADVANCED AESTHETICS, we take a holistic approach to your skin’s health and are happy to speak with you about how lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and environment could be affecting your complexion. We are pleased to offer you an initial consultation at no cost. Schedule yours today.
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