Eat right for a blemish-free complexion.
Having a breakout is uncomfortable, to say the least, but be rest assured there are ways to minimise this pesky skin condition from popping out. Caused by pores getting clogged by oil, bacteria and dead skin cells, common ways to prevent breakouts include keeping your face clean, applying acne products and using makeup sparingly. But the kinds of food you eat also play a huge part in how fast acne heals or how they might induce a breakout. Here are what to eat and what to avoid.
Food that reduces breakouts
Inflammation of the skin is known to cause and worsen acne, and what counters inflammation are antioxidants. Brazil nuts happen to be loaded with antioxidants due to it being rich in the mineral selenium. A handful a day would do you and your skin good.
We all know carrots are rich in vitamin A, but did you know vitamin A reduces inflammation? Carrots also contain beta-carotene, which encourages cell turnover, facilitating the removal of dead skin. This, in turn, minimises the build-up of bacteria and keeps your skin pimple-free.
Once again, antioxidants. Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays. The catechins in green tea also reduce irritation and redness. Drink more to hydrate yourself because hydration not only improves cell turnover but also prevents puffy skin and swelling, both of which irritate the skin.
This juicy treat is packed with lycopene, which helps eliminate skin-ageing free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which helps regenerate other types of antioxidants in your body and plays a vital role in healing wounds. A daily dose coupled with sunscreen is just what you need.
Fish like salmon, mackerel and sardine contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are good at reducing inflammation and keep skin looking youthful. The fatty acids also maintain the skin’s elasticity and keep skin looking supple. Besides that, the fishes are also a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin E and zinc.
Food to avoid
Cow’s milk, in particular, is the one to watch. Dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones that affect their milk supply. Researchers suggest that those hormones may throw your hormones off balance when you consume milk products, which could trigger acne. Also, milk products, when combined with high levels of refined foods and processed sugars, disrupt insulin levels and make skin more prone to acne.
Research is mixed on whether greasy and fried food directly causes acne. But some say eating fast food regularly increases one’s risk of a breakout. Another reason why this could be a factor? Eating such foods gets grease on your skin, which can make an oily complexion worse, clogging pores and leading to an acne breakout.
A popular dietary supplement, whey protein is rich in amino acids, which accelerate growth and division of skin cells. This may lead to breakouts. The amino acids in whey protein can also stimulate the body to produce higher levels of insulin, which has been linked to the development of acne.
Most white bread — which are refined carbs — contain a high amount of sugar. When blood sugar levels are raised, insulin levels follow suit. This can trigger acne growth by making skin cells grow more quickly and by boosting sebum production.
Yes, you guessed it. It’s really sugar we’re talking about here. Ice cream, more than other desserts, contain way too much sugar to be healthy for your skin. No wonder many studies have linked eating ice cream to bad breakouts. If you must, eat ice cream in moderation or opt for low-sugar options.