As much as we love feasting on In-N-Out, cheese fries, and truffle pizza, we know that for the sake of our health and our skin, it’s probably best not to indulge ourselves too often. The reality is: if your diet consists of lots of sugar (causes inflammation) and processed carbs (low in nutrients), your skin is more likely to act out and be prone to breakouts. However, cutting back on the aforementioned foods and filling your fridge with organic fruits, vegetables, and prebiotic-rich foods will up your glow game, balance oil production, and help soothe acne-prone skin.
We wanted to give you guys all the info so you can help make informed decisions about what you’re eating, to help keep your skin on its best game. So, we spoke to Rebecca Booth, M.D, OBGYN & Co-Founder VENeffect Skin Care, and celebrity nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia, who works with celebs like Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow. They shared their top anti-acne diet tips and healthy eating hacks.
10 Diet Tips to Help Soothe Acne-Prone Skin
1. Regulate your blood sugar: “Eat foods that stabilize your blood sugar and are high in plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) such as plant protein: nuts, nut butter, seeds, lentils, legumes, and seedy fruits (berries),” Dr. Booth says.
2. Avoid sugar: “Avoid sugar, starchy vegetables, fast and processed foods,” Dr. Booth tells us. According to nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia, “Sugar and foods that contain refined sugar cause inflammation, yeast overgrowth, and hormonal fluctuations. All of which, can lead to breakouts.”
3. Opt for organic: Dr. Booth advises: “Go organic with all of your choices whenever possible. Herbicides and antibiotics in conventionally farmed foods alter the pH of your skin and allow for more inflammation.”
4. Resist the temptation to purge: “Don’t binge or purge. Episodic patterns in energy and insulin spikes will trigger hormonal flux and aggravate blemishes.”
5. Look for prebiotic food: “Foods high in prebiotics, such as high fiber fruits and veggies, onions, garlic, leeks, and lentils will support a healthy skin microbiome that naturally suppresses blemish” says Dr. Booth.
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6. Cut back on gluten: Dr. Oz notes that “Gluten sensitivities are extremely prevalent and can contribute to inflammation and stomach imbalances, which trigger reactions that are visible in the skin.” So, although you might not be gluten intolerant, it could be affecting your skin in other ways if you eat too much of it and have a sensitivity to gluten.
7. Limit your dairy intake: Dr. Oz explains that “Dairy is an inflammatory, which can trigger acne because it promotes redness and swelling,” and can be “even more of an issue when someone is lactose or casein [a type of milk protein] intolerant. Food sensitivities, like lactose intolerances, can also cause skin eruptions.”
8. Drink plenty of water: Dr. Booth says it’s important to “Drink more water. Skin needs water to maintain elasticity, so drink up and avoid excess caffeine, which can dehydrate, causing dullness in the skin.”
9. Avoid alcohol: “Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol will cause insulin spikes and can make your liver metabolize hormones unevenly, upsetting the hormonal balance and increasing blemish and ruddiness,” explains Dr. Booth.
10. Stay clear of dressing, marinades, and condiments: “Many people make the mistake of following a seemingly healthy diet, yet they don’t take into consideration what their foods are soaking in. Condiments, dressings, and marinades can be full of wheat, soy, sugar, refined vegetable oils and sneaky ingredients (very inflammatory) you may have never considered. If you’re acne-prone, it’s much better to prepare or order your food simply grilled with a little extra virgin olive oil instead.”
Last but not least…
For more tips on soothing and calming acne-prone skin, check out our ultimate acne guide.