Diet and Acne: The Do's and Don'ts
Since many of us are always looking for the ultimate favorite care product that conjures up that instant glow, it is very important to us to emphasize again and again that skincare should be viewed holistically. Our skin is our largest organ and usually the first to signal when something is wrong in our body. These signals can e.g. be very dry or sallow skin, acne, or rashes. We should take these signals seriously and question why our bodies might be out of balance. You have probably heard many times that certain foods are not necessarily beneficial for a clear complexion. But what is that about? Below we would like to introduce you to some of the foods that are often mentioned in connection with acne and other skin problems and why.
👎 The Dont's
🍞 Sugar and Whole Grain products
More precisely, foods that cause your blood sugar level to rise rapidly, i.e. have a so-called high glycemic index, are problematic. This is because these foods are broken down quickly by your body and cause high levels of insulin to be released. Various studies have shown that insulin stimulates the effects of androgenic hormones (e.g. testosterone), which means increased sebum production. How an increased sebum production leads to acne you can read in this article. The glycemic index is a key figure that differentiates how carbohydrate-containing foods affect the blood sugar level. The higher the index, the faster the product will make your blood sugar levels rise.
Highly Glycemic Foods:
- White bread
- Sodas and other sweetened drinks
Milk contains hormones that cows produce during pregnancy or that the industry adds as growth hormones to increase milk yield. We take these hormones into our body through the consumption of dairy products, where they can disturb our hormone balance. The hormones also affect the production of androgenic hormones in our body, which can lead to increased sebum production. As a result, your sebum glands are more likely to clog and blemished skin develops. Instead, opt for oat or almond drinks.
☕ Alcohol and Coffee
Oh yes, the lovely coffee in the morning ... We are not saying that you should completely avoid it, but you should keep an eye on your consumption as caffeine is extremely dehydrating. A high water content in your cells is essential for soft and plump skin. Alcohol also dries out the skin. In addition, our body detoxifies through the skin, which is why pimples are not uncommon after a long party night.
👍 The DO’s
Now that we have listed a few foods that are not necessarily beneficial for clean skin, you might be asking yourself what else you should eat better? Here are some foods that can improve the complexion of your skin.
🥦 Green vegetables
First and foremost, we can recommend eating more green foods. What are the main advantages of green vegetables and why are they so good for the skin? The secret is in the chlorophyll! The natural plant pigment gives plants their green color and enables them to photosynthesize. Dietary intake of chlorophyll has several health and skin benefits. Foods rich in chlorophyll are e.g. Broccoli, spinach, green asparagus, kale, celery, matcha and seaweed. Studies have shown that chlorophyll can help with moderate acne. It contains a powerful antioxidant effect with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also stimulates collagen production and thus has an anti-aging effect. Green vegetables also do not increase insulin levels as much. We have already discussed above that the rapid release of insulin negatively affects the skin's sebum production. Green foods are also very important for our intestinal bacteria. Skin problems such as acne or neurodermatitis are repeatedly associated with a disturbed intestinal flora.
The darker the better. Berries are loaded with skin-loving antioxidants. They're also packed with fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Controlling healthy blood sugar levels is critical to skin health, especially when skin problems are hormonal.
Nuts are high in minerals like zinc and selenium, which are your skin's best friends! Selenium helps increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells. Zinc is linked to improving the immune system and protecting against free radicals and pathogens.
🍵 Green Tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants that fight free radicals that can attack your cells and the immune system. Free radicals are intermediate products of our metabolism that arise in our cells. More precisely, they are oxygen molecules with only one electron or other organic compounds that contain an oxygen molecule. Free radicals have an unpaired electron and are therefore incomplete and therefore snatch an electron from other molecules. This creates a chain reaction or oxidative stress in the body. This can weaken the immune system or lead to premature aging of the skin. The influence of UV radiation, cigarettes, medication or smog can generate free radicals. Green tea mainly contains polyphenols, which are among the most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, so to speak, catch free radicals and give them a missing electron. Sounds super exciting, doesn't it? We are saving further details for a future blog post! 😉
More tips for you
We held a live talk about skincare and nutrition on Instagram with TCM therapist Sophia Themar. She is an absolute expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a nutritionist. She helps people adopt healthy eating habits and gives them the guidance and tools they need to live healthier lives. Sophia gave us some tips and the right skin foods, which we have summarized for you in this article. You can watch the live talk and Sophia's valuable insights again in our IG-TV videos. You can find more information about her advice on her website. We hope that this article will help you take a holistic view of skin care and ask you which factors in your life could also be a cause of possible skin problems? Do you currently have a lot of stress, do you sleep too little or does your diet mainly consist of the don'ts listed above? All these factors play a role ... Nonetheless, taking care of your skin with quality products that contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants is inevitable. Have a look at our shop and find a selection of natural skincare products that nourish and regenerate your skin.
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Giltay, Gooren.: Effects of Sex Steroid Deprivation/Administration on Hair Growth and Skin Sebum Production in Transsexual Males and Females.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism August 1, 2000 vol. 85 no. 8 2913-2921.
Stephens TJ, McCook JP, Herndon JH Jr. Pilot Study of Topical Copper Chlorophyllin Complex in Subjects With Facial Acne and Large Pores. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jun;14(6):589-92. PMID: 26091384.