Diet can have a transformative effective – good and bad – on acne prone skin and there are lots of reasons for that.
First up, some foods cause actual physiological changes in the body. These are the main culprits I’d suggest you cut back on if you’re struggling with blemishes or persistent breakouts.
Refined sugar for example – it spikes insulin levels causing hormone imbalance and triggering an over-production of sebum. Excess sebum leads to blackheads, congestion and breakouts.
Alcohol is another – a heavy night on the tiles impairs liver function, meaning your body struggles to effectively eliminate toxins from the body.
Why what you eat is so important
Food is our body’s fuel. Applying basic logic here, if you don’t fill up the tank it won’t run properly!
Our bodies need various vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to function effectively. So cramming your body with processed foods that are low in these essential nutrients is going to deplete it and ultimately affect your health.
The immune system is the body’s first line of defence, and the first thing to be affected by your lifestyle.
Keeping the immune system super-strong is the first step to radiant clear skin. I’ve written about the connection between the immune system and skin here.
So what are the super skin foods you should be eating?
I try and combine some of all of these into my diet everyday.
Water – Aim for 2 litres a day. If you’re someone who doesn’t naturally drink water, try adding some cucumber, lemon or fresh mint leaves. Keeping a glass jug on your desk will remind you to keep sipping throughout the day.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – They’re the building blocks of healthy skin and do everything from increasing collagen production to reducing inflammation in the body.
Dandelion Tea – It’s a well-known skin purifier and amazing for helping detox your liver. You can make your own by picking dandelion leaves (make sure you wash them!), or for ease, buy dandelion tea bags.
Zinc Rich Foods – Zinc is amazing for acne-prone skin, (which is why it’s one of the core ingredients in our Copaiba & Zinc Blemish Serum!) so munching on zinc-rich foods makes sense.
My favourites include pumpkin seeds, spinach, wheatgerm, leafy greens and mussels.
Now for a little confession – I have no trouble eating any and all types of fruit, but often find vegetables a real chore.
I’m really not a fan of broccoli, no matter how it’s served. I mind spinach a little less because it steams down to nothing, so you can eat large quantities in a few mouthfuls!
My latest work-round is juicing. I juice a huge stack of vegetables, close my eyes (it’s an unappealing murky colour) and gulp it down then feel amazingly virtuous!
The blend I’m loving at the moment is carrot, kale, broccoli, ginger and lime – it has just the right amount of zing to get you going in the morning. You could add in a bit of fruit, but I find it strangely quaffable without!
One final tip – try not to obsess about your diet. I’ve met people with perfect diets who still struggle with their skin. They don’t allow themselves to stray to the occasional glass of wine or biscuit, and beat themselves up if they do.
Being continually anxious about food will only make you more stressed in the long run, which is never good for your skin.
Food is one of life’s great pleasures, so allow yourself the occasional indulgence and take small steps to improving your diet that you will manage to sustain.
Stay tuned for my upcoming posts on hormones and stress – and remember if you every need more in-depth diet, wellbeing and lifestyle advice you can contact our team of experts on firstname.lastname@example.org.