Acne isn’t just for teenagers. People of all ages  – from children to adults – can get redness, pimples, breakouts, zits, and everything in between at any time and at any age – it’s not just a teenage angst disaster. While there are so many topical treatments out there that help treat and heal acne – like our Absolute! Divine Serum –  it might be better to address the cause and eliminate the need for topical treatments instead of dealing with the symptoms.

Most teenage acne is probably caused by hormones, and it’s not out of the norm for women to get acne when their hormones change naturally throughout their menstrual cycle. And some adult acne may also just be caused by stress. However, if it’s not hormone or stress related, chances are the adult acne is a sign of poor diet or the wrong diet.

Avoiding certain foods, or eating certain foods, can help reduce the daily breakouts and keep the skin clear. In part two of our “Want Great Skin?” series, we are looking at the foods to avoid if you want great skin.

Dairy

Dairy has never had a good reputation when it comes to skin care. Though dairy is a staple in the American diet and known to be rich in calcium, vitamin D, and a plethora of other health benefits, it doesn’t help much in the skin care department – in fact cutting out dairy from your diet can improve skin texture, skin tone, and reduce acne. 

It’s not necessarily the dairy itself that is getting all the bad reviews, it’s the artificial added hormones found in dairy.  Dairy products like milk, naturally contain growth hormones as well as anabolic steroids, because that’s what calves need to grow. But in the United States, most dairy cows are treated with bovine growth hormones to aid in the production of milk, meat, etc. The growth hormones create higher than natural levels of hormones in the milk, and when we consume the milk, we consume these growth hormones and they go on to cause skin problems like inflammation and acne. 

We talk a lot about milk, but it’s best to avoid all dairy products including cheese, ice cream, yogurt and everything in between. If you see an improvement in your skin complexion after a couple of weeks of going dairy-free, dairy is a food to avoid for you. 

Simple Sugars

Have you ever eaten a big bowl of pasta and had a big breakout the next day? Thank those simple sugars. High-glycemic carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta and white rice are all made from simple sugars. Simple sugars can cause the body to release too much insulin in the blood by making our blood sugar rise too quickly. Too much insulin in your blood can make your oil glands increase oil production, making your skin oily, and potentially causing a break out. If reducing the amount of pasta and rice you eat helps eliminate your oily skin, simple sugars are your culprit. 

Omega-6

Omega-6 fatty acids are a good thing, they are an important source of energy for the body. However, ever heard of the phrase too much of a good thing is not such a good thing? This is the case with Omega-6 fatty acids – our western diet has too much Omega-6 fatty acid.

Eating lots of foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids, like soy and corn oils, has been linked to increased levels of inflammation in the skin. Replacing these oils for healthier oils like avocado oil or olive oil, can help reduce the amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, and in return, keep inflammation down. 

If you find removing unhealthy oils like soy from your diet keeps your skin clear, going soy free may be good for you. 

 

Whey Protein Powder

Whey Protein Powder is a dietary supplement used to increase muscle mass and is actually a dairy product – whey protien is found in milk. And because it is found in milk, we know it’s got a bad reputation when it comes to skin health.

Whey Protein makes the skin cells grow and divide more quickly which can increase acne symptoms. This supplement has also been shown to increase insulin levels just like simple sugars do, and that can also cause the skin to breakout. 

If you are looking to bulk up or supplement your diet with protein powders, switch to a more skin care friendly powder like hemp or pea. Protein is actually good for the skin, it’s just the Whey protein that takes the winner as cause for bad skin. 

Not all skin is the same, and our bodies do not process food the same. Some foods may not effect your skin but those same foods may make someone else breakout. What foods you should avoid will be unique to you. The best way to find out if your diet is causing your acne, breakouts, zits, and everything in between is to remove all of the food we have recommended to avoid and slowly introduce each one again. If you breakout after eating or the next day, you have found your culprit.

If it is difficult for you to avoid some of these foods –  because really, who can give up ice cream? – many of our skin care products can help reduce or eliminate any breakouts cause by diet. We always recommend following our twice daily routine that includes using our cleanser, facal cream, and serums, as a solution to keeping the skin clear. But a little Absolute! Divine Serum applied to a pimple does the trick too.