We always wonder, does what I eat affect my skin?
If I really kept a clean diet, will my acne problems disappear?
I was one of those poeople who believed that you diet directly affects your skin, and that every spot correlated to something bad that I had eaten. But was that all a lie?
Although a well balanced and healthy diet is very important, studies show that there is no direct relationship between a patient's diet and their skin.
But some studies suggest otherwise...
Refined carbohydrates and sugars
Refined carbohydrates and sugars digest quickly and their high glycemic index causes unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.
How do refined carbohydrates and sugars cause acne?
Carbohydrates and sugars are easily digestible, which means that blood sugar and insulin levels raise rapidly after consuming these foods.
Insulin makes androgen hormones more active, and increases insulin-like growth factor.
This results in a more rapid production of skin cells and sebum, which are more likely to block pores.
Is there a relationship between carbohydrates & sugars and acne?
This research is insightful, however - more research has to be conducted to test the validity of these statements.
Dairy products contain amino acids and is known for increasing insulin levels.
How do dairy products cause acne?
Cows milk contains amino acids which are known for increasing the production fo IGF-1 which has been linked to causing acne.
Milk and dairy products can also increase insulin levels, so once again - stimulate sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum and clog pores.
Is there a relationship between dairy products and acne?
Data showed that scientists are still scratching their heads whether this data suggests anything significant.
It's worthy of noting that this data came from small sample sizes, and only in regards to teenagers and young adults.
However, the data did suggest that people who regularly consumed dairy products, were four times as likely to suffer from acne.
Foods containing omega-6 fatty acids
The imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids increases inflammatory reactions, which can worsen acne breakouts.
How do omega-6 fatty acids cause acne?
Consuming excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids induce a chronic inflammatory state - which can easily worsen acne.
Although exactly how this works is still not certain.
Is there a relationship between omega-6 fatty acids and acne?
The data can seem promising, however there haven't been any experiments with enough controls in place to determine its validity.
Other foods may cause acne
Fast foods (pizza, burgers, fries)
Whey protein powder
Foods you may have a sensitivity to
Once again, there is no direct correlation between any of these foods and acne - however some studies do suggest a possible relationship.
How to clear your skin via diet
As you can see, there is no one food which causes acne for certain. Some people swear by a low carbohydrate diet, others low in sugars and high in greens.
All I am able to suggest is: see what you skin may be sensitive to.
Personally, I found that drinking sugary drinks such as Coca Cola make me break out - so I stay far away from them.
Always try to consume a healthy and well balanced diet, as what you eat is what you are.