You take care of your skin properly every day: you wash it at least twice a day, you carefully remove your makeup before going to sleep, and you also hydrate it properly. But you're still constantly suffering from nasty breakouts like you're a teenager all over again.
Your diet may be to blame for this. Even if you are eating a healthy and planned diet, there may be certain foods that are having a negative effect on your skin, causing breakouts and inflammation. After all, the skin is the largest organ, which will reflect everything that is happening internally in your body.
Common foods that could be causing your breakouts
Here are some of the most common foods that cause and aggravate acne breakouts. Stop consuming them for two weeks to see if your skin clears up. If you don't notice a change, be sure to see a dermatologist to treat your acne.
1. Skim milk
Low-fat and fat-free milk can be part of a healthy diet, but not all digest dairy well; about 65 percent of adults are lactose intolerant after childhood. This is not only bad for your gastrointestinal system; it can also have negative effects on your face.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that there is a link between skim milk and acne. A 2008 study found a connection between children who drank skim milk and the presence of acne. Another 2006 study found that girls who reported consuming milk were more likely to have pimples.
One explanation for this is that milk is packed with growth hormones, which can remain in your body even after pasteurization. These hormones that are ingested affect other hormones in your body such as insulin, which could result in increased oil production and therefore acne.
Replace cow's milk with almond or rice milk for a couple of weeks to see if your skin clears up.
2. Soft drinks
Inflammation in your body can cause weight gain and possibly lead to a host of chronic conditions. It can also cause inflammation of the skin. Sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods, so eating too much could lead to breakouts. But if you reduce your sugar intake, you will not only notice a big difference in your weight, but also in the skin of your face.
If sugar as such is inflammatory, drinking sugar is one way to ensure inflammation of the body. By drinking sugary drinks your body absorbs it faster, which causes a rise in blood sugar and an inflammatory response.
One of the drinks that contain the most sugar are soft drinks, which can have up to 40 grams per 350 ml serving. It also has a high glycemic index, which will increase your blood sugar level.
Not only will this be terrible for your waistline, it can also negatively impact your skin. Do your face (and belly!) A favor and try unsweetened sparkling water or carbonated water with a little fresh fruit juice.
Sure, pizza is delicious, but it can also cause unpleasant breakouts. Not only can the dairy in cheese affect the skin, but pizza is high in saturated fat, which is bad for gut health and increases inflammation.
A healthy gut can reduce inflammation levels, which researchers say can affect the health of our skin, as many problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis stem from inflammation.
4. Egg whites
The idea that egg yolks are bad for your health is a myth, especially since studies have shown that the cholesterol in the yolk does not negatively affect blood cholesterol. But there is another reason why you should eat the whole egg: the yolk is rich in vitamins that are essential for clean skin.
By making an egg white omelette every morning, you are missing out on the important regulatory vitamins in egg yolk, including biotin, the "beauty vitamin."
This B vitamin is well known to help hair grow and strengthen nails, and research has shown that it also helps protect skin from acne, breakouts and dryness.
In the same way that milk can get rid of hormones, so can soy. Soy contains isoflavones, which can act like estrogens in your body. Once your hormones start to get out of control, acne breakouts can occur, especially around the mouth and jaw.
Most mayonnaises are made with soybean oil, which is also inflammatory. Be sure to read the labels carefully and identify if the mayonnaise contains soy.
6. White bread
Foods like bagels, oatmeal, pretzels, pasta, and cereals have been shown to accelerate the aging process of the skin and cause negative effects on the skin, such as acne and rosacea. Even self-proclaimed 'healthy' whole grain cereals, which have a lower glycemic index, can be packed with glucose that can cause wrinkles
Substituting a whole grain variety for white bread may help cleanse your skin. In addition to lacking nutrients that provide health benefits, white bread has a high glycemic load, which means that it affects blood sugar and insulin levels more than foods that have a lower glycemic index, such as whole grains.
During a 10-week Korean study of people with mild to moderate acne, researchers found that those on a low-glycemic diet had a greater reduction in the severity of their acne than people on a high-glycemic diet.
7. Fast food
Not only is fast food inflammatory, it is also lacking in beneficial nutrients, including omega-3s. Omega-3s can reduce the presence of acne and other skin conditions. Research has shown that increasing your intake of essential fatty acids can prevent the signs of aging caused by time and sun exposure.
Better change those hamburgers for fatty fish, like sardines. These are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great food for reducing inflammation and even acne.
Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have mood-regulating benefits, which can be helpful in relieving the stress component associated with having acne. Acne sufferers should consume four to five servings of fatty fish per week to treat this condition.
8. Too much meat
Beauty may only be superficial, but it can also reflect our digestive well-being. According to nutritionists, being herbivores has its benefits. Many people find that their acne, rosacea, or eczema go away when they stop eating meat. In addition, the antioxidants, fiber and minerals that are received in a plant-based diet help the system to detoxify daily, contributing to healthier skin.
Alcohol is another inflammation trigger and its consumption can have an impact on the skin. Drinking too much alcohol is also linked to poor zinc absorption, and drinking too much alcohol can put people at risk for developing zinc deficiency. On the other hand, zinc can help fight acne breakouts.
To get your daily dose of zinc, try incorporating oysters into your diet. Eating just two oysters gives you more than the recommended daily allowance of zinc, which you should consume if acne worries you. Zinc deficiency is a known cause of acne, and zinc helps protect collagen and elastin proteins, which keep skin young and resilient.
10. Energy drinks
Not only are energy drinks packed with sugar that loads the glycemic and inflammatory index, they can also be packed with B vitamins that are irritating to the skin. People with a history of acne are more likely to be affected by these vitamins, however vitamin B also causes acne in some people without a history.
More specifically, we are talking about vitamins B6 and B12 that may be in your multivitamins and vitamin-infused energy drinks like Red Bull. If you notice any breakouts that coincide with your intake of supplements or energy drinks, stop taking them and see if your skin improves. Allow at least a month to pass.
Normally, blood glucose levels increase after you eat a meal. When blood sugar rises, cells in the pancreas release insulin, causing the body to absorb glucose from the blood and lowering the blood sugar level to normal. When blood sugar drops too low, the level of insulin declines and other cells in the pancreas release glucagon, which causes the liver to turn stored glycogen back into glucose and release it into the blood.