If you’ve ever done a quick internet search about acne-causing foods, you probably came across mixed information. Right now, the research into the link between diet and acne is in its early stages.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re flying blind here. Early research into the topic has shown that there are a few food categories that could be contributing to your skin woes.
That’s why Elaine Phuah, DO, MBA, FACOI, includes lifestyle changes — like diet modifications — as part of your overall acne program. Pairing certain food adjustments with a personalized acne treatment protocol can help you reach your skin goals faster. To get started, don’t wait to make an appointment with Dr. Phuah at Hanami Medspa in Fort Worth, Texas.
While food changes are only part of the path to clear skin, it’s worth noting the most common culprits to blame.
Foods that can worsen acne
Studies have identified a few main food categories that can contribute to breakouts. They include:
Across the world, studies have shown that people who drink milk are more likely to have acne. A US study of nearly 50,000 adult women found that those who drank two or more glasses of milk each day were 44% more likely to deal with acne.
Milk, not dairy, seems to be the main culprit here. Research actually hasn’t correlated acne and other cow’s milk products like cheese or yogurt.
Foods that spike your blood sugar, like refined grains and sugars, can make your skin problems worse. When you eat refined carbs (and sugar is a carb), your bloodstream absorbs those sugars quickly. Your body responds with insulin, which converts your blood sugar into fuel for your cells.
But more insulin triggers other bodily processes, including ones that contribute to sebum (oil) production and skin cell growth. This can cause more acne.
You probably don’t eat sugar by the spoonful, but it might be in more food and drinks than you think. It’s hiding in pasta sauces, salad dressings, and more. Plus, seemingly healthy options like juice can contain a significant amount of sugar.
When it comes to grains, choose whole grains (like wheat bread or brown rice) over refined ones (like white bread or white rice). These whole grains take your body longer to process, which means they don’t cause the sudden uptick in blood sugar that refined grains do.
Foods with a lot of fat, especially saturated fat, can also cause an increase in insulin, contributing to acne. Opt for healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, over worse ones like saturated and trans fats. And, in general, try to minimize the amount of high-fat food you incorporate into your diet.
Learning what works for you
Your skin is as unique as you are. Milk might worsen your breakouts while high-fat foods don’t cause a noticeable change in your complexion, for example.
It might be helpful to start a food journal. Start jotting down what you eat. Over time, you might notice certain patterns. Identifying what foods make your skin worse can help you know where to make changes to improve your complexion.
For help finding your food triggers and developing a personalized acne care program to help you get clear, acne-free skin, call Hanami Medspa or make an appointment online today.