If you have acne, you have probably tried some of the popular ‘acne cures’ recommended by celebrity dermatologists – from freezing your face to sleeping on a silk pillowcase (seriously.) But while there is some scientific backing to a lot of these treatments, there is one culprit that none of them can heal: your diet. Acne is a chronic condition that can affect people of all ages, but there is evidence to show that some foods play an important role in its development. To that end, we have compiled a list of the worst foods to eat if you have acne – and for those curious, we have also included some of the best alternatives you can eat if you are looking for a dietary change.
The Worst Foods To Eat If You Have Acne
To start with, we have the foods that are worst for your skin. If you have acne, you might be eating some of these already (if not, perhaps it’s time for a change.) We recommend avoiding these foods if you are concerned about your skin’s health.
If you have acne, you are probably already aware that red meat is among the main causes of this skin disorder. The good news is that there is plenty of evidence that shows how switching to a plant-based diet can dramatically improve your skin’s health. One of the primary reasons why animals eat meat is because of the fats that they contain. When these fats are preserved through food processing, they become stored as cholesterol in the body. This cholesterol is then converted into testosterone by the body’s adrenal glands. This steroid hormone is known to be responsible for both male pattern hair loss and acne. So instead of letting your adrenal glands go through this unnecessary turmoil, it is better to avoid foods with cholesterol in the first place. This includes processed meats as well as fatty dairy products.
Another factor that can make your acne worse is the sugar that you are consuming. In general, a diet rich in sugar can increase the pH levels of your skin. This is damaging to the health of your skin, as the acidity of your skin can cause breakouts. The effect is similar to that of citrus fruits and some alcoholic beverages. While it is easy to eliminate sugar from your diet if you want to improve your skin’s condition, it can be difficult to resist the temptation of those sweet treats. So it is better to remove these foods from your diet if you are concerned about your skin’s health.
Muffins, Pastries, And Bread
On the subject of carbohydrates, it is important to keep in mind that those delicious pastries and muffins you can buy in the bakery are not exactly good for your skin. These foods contain a high amount of sugar and starch, both of which increase the pH levels of your skin. This means that your skin will be more susceptible to problems such as acne and rosacea – a condition that is highly prevalent among people with acne. This condition is often caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and diet. Those who suffer often report feeling stressed and anxious, making them more prone to outbreaks. One study from 2014 noted “the connection between poor diet and skin disorders” and how carbohydrates are “known to contribute to skin problems.” While there is no denying that these foods are delicious, it is important to keep your skin health in mind when choosing what to eat.
Chocolate And Coffee
Chocolate and coffee contain compounds that are harmful to your skin. The caffeine in coffee has been known to temporarily reduce acne. However, chocolate has a much more complicated effect on the human body. There is a chemical known as melanin that is present in abundance in the skin of people who eat lots of chocolate. The chemical properties of melanin are similar to those of vitamin A. One study noted that while excessive chocolate eating can be satisfying, it can also cause problems such as skin dryness and sensitivity. It also affects the way your body metabolizes vitamin A, which can lead to health concerns such as reduced immunity and increased susceptibility to infections.
Just like with other types of fruit, eating tomatoes can be good for your overall health. However, if you have acne, it is best to limit your intake of these fruits. Like with other types of acidic fruit, tomatoes can increase the acidity of your skin. This can cause sensitivity and breakouts. It is also worth noting that tomatoes are among the main foods that trigger plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain. So if you have a history of this type of pain, it would be better to avoid tomatoes altogether.
Wheat And Corn
There is some evidence to suggest that wheat and corn are among the main factors that cause acne. These are two of the more common food crops, accounting for about half of the world’s grain production. While wheat is a good source of nutrients, it also contains compounds known to be inflammatory. One of these compounds is called gluten. This is a protein that is found in wheat and some other types of grains. When consumed in excess, gluten can increase the permeability of the intestines’ walls. This allows small molecules such as bacteria and toxins to slip into the body. These foodstuffs also contain compounds called amylase and chymosin. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Chymosin is a compound that is present in the cow’s milk that helps coagulate blood proteins. Too much of these compounds can cause digestion issues and diarrhea, among other things. So it is better to avoid wheat and corn if you have acne.
Fish is high in the omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your skin. But if you are concerned about skin health, it is better to stay away from the fatty types of fish and eat the smaller cuts of fish instead. These have fewer calories and do not bog down your digestive system as much. The key is to eat fish frequently throughout the year, as this will increase your skin’s tolerance to these fats. Additionally, some types of fish, such as salmon and sturgeon, contain compounds that are known to be anticancer and anti-inflammatory. But if you have acne, it is best to avoid fish altogether as it can trigger another skin disorder called ichthyosis. Too much of these fats can also clog the pores of your skin, making it more susceptible to infections. In general, it is better to opt for plant-based protein sources when eating fish.
There is some evidence to suggest that eating pickles can increase the likelihood of having acne. This is mainly because the brinjal, the main ingredient of pickles, can cause the oils in your skin to become oxidized. As a result, these oils can leave your skin feeling less smooth and, therefore, prone to breakout. While you may enjoy these delicious side dishes, it is better to avoid them if you are concerned about your skin’s health.
Drinking too many soft drinks can increase the pH levels of your skin. This, in turn, can cause your skin to become more susceptible to problems such as acne. The effect is similar to that of alcohol and some other acidic beverages. The primary difference is that soft drinks don’t contain the tannins that alcohol does. So while these sugars may be tasty, they can still cause you harm.
White wine is another foodstuff that can increase the acidity of your skin. Like with other types of alcoholic beverages, drinking too much white wine can cause your skin to become too dry and open to infections. But what’s more, this type of alcohol has been known to cause some skin disorders. One of these is called pyrodermia. This is a disorder that causes your skin to become much more sensitive to heat and exposure to hot temperatures. One form of treatment involves excising large portions of skin with scissors, as it becomes unsightly and infected.
Red wine is another type of alcohol that can increase the acidity of your skin. But while white wine causes problems in largely the same way, red wine can cause even more serious issues. Like with other types of alcoholic beverages, drinking too much red wine can lead to your skin becoming too dry and open to infections. But what’s worse is that this type of alcohol has been known to be among the major causes of skin cancer. It also increases the production of free radicals in the body, which, over time, can cause premature aging and other deleterious effects.