Hormones, stress, and certain medications are known to worsen acne. There is, however, another major factor that can affect the severity of breakouts: your diet. If you love high-sugar food, now is the time to cut back on unhealthy snacking!
Apart from making you fat, a sugar-rich diet has been linked with acne development. A study published in the Journal of Advances in Dermatology and Allergology has shown that a high-sugar diet can lead to the development of acne vulgaris. The mechanism behind this is the spike in insulin levels, which can lead to increased sebum production – a major factor that brings about unsightly pimples.
With that being said, you should start eating better – not only for clearer skin but for improved over-all health as well.
Antioxidants fight free radicals or molecules that cause cell damage. They usually develop in the body after prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, pollution, and cigarette smoke, to name a few. If left unchecked, they can harm the body. Not only do they cause pimple breakouts, they can also lead to the development of diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.
While the thought of free radicals sounds terrifying, you can keep them at bay with the help of antioxidants. Widely-available examples include Vitamins A, C, and E, Selenium, Lutein, Lycopene, Beta-Carotene, and Selenium.
Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are not hard to find at all since they can be sourced from numerous fruits and vegetables. Apart from eating artichokes, kale, red cabbage, berries, and dark chocolate (yes, you read that right!) you can also go for supplements that contain the antioxidants mentioned above.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that also go by the moniker “good bacteria.” While they are more popular for their wondrous works on the gut, numerous studies have shown that probiotics prevent acne development as well.
One such example is Lactobacillus acidophilus, which has been proven effective as an adjunct to treating acne alongside antibiotics. Not only did the probiotic supplementation help in diminishing physical symptoms, it fostered better compliance and tolerance to the antibiotic regimen as well.
Another probiotic to add to the grocery list is the species Bifidobacterium longum. A study conducted at Sahmyook University, South Korea has shown that it has good anti-microbial properties against Propionibacterium acne, just one of the many ‘bad bacteria’ species that lead to pimple development.
Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Probiotics
With the many benefits of these good bacteria against acne, you need to make sure to include probiotic-rich food such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso to your diet. And if these eats are not enough, you can always go for a probiotic-rich supplement specifically designed to combat acne.
Zinc is a wonder mineral teeming with anti-inflammatory properties. Not only is it effective in treating acne, it can also help manage other skin conditions such as rosacea, melisma, and eczema.
Zinc requirements differ by age, with adult women requiring a minimum of 8 milligrams per day (it could go up to 12 milligrams if you are nursing.) Adult men, on the other hand, need 11 milligrams of zinc per day.
Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Zinc
Zinc requirements are rather steep, but you need not fret as this acne-fighting mineral is found in a variety of food types. Good sources include nuts, beans, fortified cereals, oysters, poultry, red meat, whole grains, and dairy products. And if for some reason, you can't (or won't) eat the zinc-rich sources that were just mentioned, you can always take a zinc-inclusive supplement that is specially made to improve skin health.
When one thinks of fats, it is usually the heart attack-causing substance that comes to mind. Like bacteria, fat has a good and bad kind – and unsaturated fat is the one that you should opt for. In contrast to saturated fats (they worsen acne,) unsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.
As a bonus, unsaturated fats also enhance the absorption of antioxidants. That means you get not one but two substances that are effective in curbing acne development!
Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Unsaturated Fats
Salmon, avocado, hemp seeds, and nuts are just some of the food products rich in unsaturated fats. They make for good snack alternatives, so it’s time that you throw your unhealthy snacks out of the window!
It goes without saying that your lifestyle can affect the intensity of your breakouts. Apart from dealing with hormones and stress, the key to breaking free from breakouts is simply by eating right. By consuming food products rich in antioxidants, probiotics, zinc, and unsaturated fats, you can enjoy clear skin – while filling your stomach the delicious and healthy way.