Can You Control Acne Through Diet?
Acne is one of the most common skin complaints affecting everyone at some point in their lives. Since the beginning, acne has been linked to diet, however many modern studies either do not support this link or directly refute it. Thus, there is a large amount of controversy surround the exact relationship between nutrition and the development of acne.
Why some experts claim there is no diet-acne connection
The physical process of developing acne involves the blockage of pores. When a pore becomes blocked, oils and toxins secreted through the skin are trapped, causing inflammation and pus to build up underneath the skin’s surface. Thus, the most common recommendations to control acne are properly washing your skin to avoid pore blockage, and various treatments that clear pores or combat inflammation. Additionally, many experts say that diet does not cause acne, pointing out that some individuals may eat every food thought to cause acne and have perfect skin while their friend may suffer from breakouts on the same diet. However, this overlooks the potential for a connection between those who are naturally prone to acne breakouts and their diets.
Some recent research has focused on the role of insulin and its relationship with male hormones that cause the release of sebum, your skin’s natural emollient. Researchers say that sebum provides a friendly environment for acne causing bacteria. Thus, it could be possible that the increased consumption of refined simple carbohydrates and sugars will lead to a spike in insulin production, more hormones, more sebum, and thus more acne.
Your skin is your largest detoxifying organ in your body. You excrete many of the harmful substances you ingest on a daily basis through your skin. When someone consumes large amounts of foods that contain toxins like chemical preservatives, artificial flavoring or colorings, flavor enhancers, and other additives, it stands to reason that their toxin output would be increased, putting additional stress on the pores in their skin. Furthermore, some toxins may trigger an immune response, which leads to a rise of inflammatory agents in the body, and thus, a greater chance for developing acne.
Food allergies may be a reason that some people develop acne after eating certain foods while others don’t. Allergens act as toxins in the body, increasing inflammation. If you monitor your diet and any subsequent outbreaks, you may be able to determine a correlation.
Due to the conflicting information on acne, you cannot be sure that diet alone could be the key to clearing up your skin. However, it is advisable to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle regardless, and this just might improve your complexion. A healthy diet includes plenty of water, whole grains, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats or protein sources, low fat dairy products, nuts, and legumes. Exercise improves circulation, helps you lose weight, clears your pores, and boosts your skin’s ability to detoxify. So, it may be a great help as well. Additionally certain vitamins have been shown to be especially beneficial to skin cell production and repair, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-2 helps fight the influence of stress on acne outbreaks
- Vitamin B-3 improves circulation
- Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant
- Zinc, another antioxidant that supports the immune system
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