There is nothing worse than an unexpected acne breakout. You’ve been diligent with your skin-care regime, you’ve avoided the beauty products that you’re sensitive to, but still your skin seems to have a mind of its own. It’s time to look to your diet.
There are seven foods that might be triggering your flare-ups without you even realizing.
Dairy might be tasty, but it can cause major issues for people with skin conditions, particularly acne. This is because it causes an exaggerated response in blood sugar levels, causing fluctuations that can trigger hormone imbalances. Research supports that dairy can be a trigger food for a variety of populations who suffer from acne.
The good thing is, there are plenty of dairy alternatives to try out. Switch your cream for coconut cream, your milk for almond, coconut or other nut milks, and your yogurt for coconut yogurt.
Good health begins in the gut, and your skin is no exception to this. But gluten may be part of the problem when it comes to your acne. Gluten-containing foods trigger a compound called zonulin, which creates ‘holes’ in your gut lining. This allows undigested food and other particles into the bloodstream, which cause inflammation and a higher toxin load on the liver. The end picture is that your skin suffers the consequences.
There’s plenty of gluten-free alternatives available for you to use instead. Look out for brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth options. Some products may substitute in other gluten-free flours, such as potato.
Even the humble peanut can cause issues for your skin. Although the mechanisms are still being studied, it’s believed that peanuts can increase testosterone levels. This throws out the balance of sex hormones and increases the production of sebum on the skin.
If you’re munching your way through a jar of peanut butter, you may be making it even worse thanks to the combination of peanuts and sugar. Peanuts are also a major source of aflatoxins, fungal poisons that can make you very sick and affect your immune system.
Luckily, you can switch over to other nut products instead. Make up a trail mix of almonds, walnuts and macadamias, or try a new type of nut butter.
Suffering from cystic acne? There is thought to be a link between uncontrolled cystic acne and undiagnosed corn allergies. Corn allergies are known to cause skin issues, and health practitioners believe that cystic acne may be a sign that your body is reacting to corn.
When you have an allergy, it can flare acne by causing systemic inflammation, causing oxidative stress on the body, and throwing out the immune system’s delicate balance.
Corn also has a high glycemic index, which means it can spike your blood sugars and cause hormone balance disruptions.
Corn is easy enough to replace – simply use brown rice products instead, and switch your corn-based sweeteners to Stevia.
Caffeine might wake you up in the morning, but it also puts an extra heavy load on your liver. This load adds up quickly, and can lead to excess hormones circulating around your body. Imbalanced hormones lead to excess sebum production, and the next thing you know, you have a flare-up of skin symptoms.
Caffeine also impacts on adrenal hormone production, which is closely linked to sex hormone production. By throwing out one balance, you will inevitably impact on the other, and your skin will suffer the consequences. Caffeine-based beverages are often a source of added dairy and sugar, so your morning Starbucks fix becomes your skin’s worst nightmare.
Caffeine can be difficult to wean off, but there are a few tasty options. Dandelion and chicory based brews give you the bitter flavor without the caffeine of coffee. Herbal teas are also a great option to include, and can soothe your skin.
Having a bottle or two of wine per week might seem like moderation, but it’s enough to wreak havoc on your skin.
Alcohol is inflammatory and increases the burden on your liver, meaning it can’t detoxify other toxins such as excess hormones. As we know, inflammation and toxin build-up are two major causes behind acne flares.
Going alcohol-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavor. Try whipping up some low-sugar mocktails with sparkling water, or make your own kombucha.
Got a sweet tooth? It might taste good, but sugar is a terrible trigger for your acne flare-ups. Sugar causes your blood sugar levels to spike, which then leads to imbalanced sex hormones and inflammation across the body.
All of this adds up to increased sebum, a sluggish immune system, and a flare-up of your symptoms.
If you want to enjoy a sweet treat, keep it whole and natural. Snack on fresh whole fruit, and if you want a sweetener for a dessert recipe, try using Stevia.
By switching out these major triggers, you will find your skin improving daily, and your confidence will grow.
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