Recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound effect on skin health. Some people eat chocolate and end up having breakouts, although the explanation isn’t so clear as to why. It’s been said that more than a third of people with acne see a connection between diet and problematic skin blemishes. However, there are no clear-cut studies that definitively prove the exact connection between skin health and diet. Although, conversationally, many dermatologists agree that there is a connection.
Basically, acne is the bane of many people’s existences who have skin problems. Generally, acne is caused by protein and sebum getting trapped and blocking oil glands and pores, which then promote the growth of acne bacteria by providing it material for it to feed on.
The skin is a very complex organ, actually the largest organ in the human body. When it comes to the skin renewal system, there are hundreds of steps, of which food is just one component. The body and skin are constantly in a state of reconstruction and rejuvenation. Nutrients and vitamins from food provide the material for skin to repair and rebuild.
Roughly, food makes up about 25% of the factors related to acne. The other 75% include hormones, stress, sleep health, and environmental factors. So while it is important to take care of the 75% of factors that affect skin health, the 25% of skin factors that includes nutrition is also very significant. Generally, it is recommended to eat a low-fat and whole-food diet. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are beneficial for the skin, as healthy foods can reduce inflammation and decrease breakouts.
You can also improve skin health by focusing on the 75% of factors that effect skin health. One of these factors is skin treatment. There are some great treatments for the skin such as the Black Charcoal Face Mask Peel and Gold Collagen Face Mask. These treatments can clean and improve the surface and pores of the skin, creating healther skin on the outside.
When considering which nutrients and vitamins to intake for good health skin, one should consider Vitamins A, E, and C; zinc; selenium; omega-3 fatty acids; and of course, water. Water is important for skin because it hydrates the body and the skin, while flushing out toxins that can cause skin problems. It also helps with skin regeneration. Vitamin A helps regulate the skin cycle and is a main ingredient in Accutane, a prescription medicine for acne. Good sources of Vitamin A include salmon, carrots, spinach, and broccoli. It is also possible to ingest too much Vitamin A, which can result in harmful side effects. Vitamins E and C are antioxidants and work together to calm the skin. Sources of Vitamin C include oranges, lemons, grapefruit, papaya, and tomatoes. Vitamin E comes in sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds, leafy green vegetables, avocados, and broccoli.
Zinc helps to prevent acne by providing a difficult environment for acne bacteria to thrive. People with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc. Zinc can be ingested from turkey, almonds, Brazil nuts, and wheat germ. Selenium has antioxidant properties that help protect skin from free radical damage. One study actually showed that in conjunction with Vitamin E, selenium may improve acne. Selenium can be found in wheat germ, tuna, salmon, brown rice, garlic, eggs, and Brazil nuts. Finally, omega-3 fatty acids inhibit certain molecules that lead to inflammation and skin problems. They also support the regeneration of healthy skin cells which reduces acne. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from cold water fish such as salmon and sardines, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds.
Generally, some foods to avoid include chocolate, junk foods, dairy, and simple carbs. Dairy can cause acne because of the hormones in cow’s milk which can increase androgens that increase sebum production and cause acne. Some researchers found that cultures with high glycemic diets, including white bread, potatoes, and sugary foods, had higher instances of acne. They looked at cultures with low glycemic diets of fruit and fish or peanuts and wild game, and found that they had no cases of acne, while high glycemic diet cultures had very high cases of acne. Simple sugars can cause acne because of high insulin levels that increase androgen that cause higher levels of sebum production and clog pores.
In order to find the source of acne, you can maintain a food journal for a month or a few months and record the changes in food and the effects on skin health. Any patterns may allow you to identify the problem foods that can cause acne for your specific skin and body chemistry.