As an esthetician, I’ve seen my fair share of acne-prone skin. And while there are many factors that can contribute to breakouts, one that often gets overlooked is diet. That’s right, what you eat can have a significant impact on the health of your skin, and certain foods can be acne triggers.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Robin, I’ve been told time and time again that diet doesn’t affect acne.” And I get it. For years, we’ve been fed the idea that greasy foods and chocolate are the culprits behind our breakouts. But the truth is, it’s not that simple.
Acne is a complex condition, and there are many factors that can contribute to its development. Genetics, hormones, stress, and even skincare products can all play a role. But that doesn’t mean diet is off the hook. In fact, there’s growing evidence to suggest that certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body, which can contribute to acne.
So, what are these acne-triggering foods, you ask? Well, let’s start with the obvious: sugar. We all know that sugar is bad for us in excess, but did you know that it can also contribute to acne? When we consume sugar, our insulin levels spike, which can lead to inflammation in the body. And inflammation, as we know, can contribute to acne.
But sugar isn’t the only culprit. Dairy products, particularly milk, have also been linked to acne. Researchers believe that the hormones present in milk can disrupt the delicate balance of our own hormones, leading to breakouts.
And then there are the high-glycemic foods, such as white bread, pasta, and rice. These foods have a similar effect on the body as sugar, spiking insulin levels and leading to inflammation. Plus, they’re often lacking in nutrients that are important for healthy skin, such as vitamins and minerals.
But here’s the thing: everyone is different. What triggers acne for one person may not have the same effect on another. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your own body and how it reacts to certain foods. Keep a food diary and take note of any breakouts that occur after consuming certain foods. This can help you identify your own personal acne triggers.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to cut out all sugar, dairy, and high-glycemic foods from your diet. In fact, that’s not realistic or sustainable for most people. But what I am saying is that it’s important to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body, and how it might be affecting your skin.
If you’re struggling with acne, consider working with a registered dietitian to help you identify your personal acne triggers and develop a healthy eating plan that supports your skin health. And of course, don’t forget to take care of your skin from the outside, too. Regular facials, a consistent skincare routine, and gentle products can all help keep acne at bay.
At the end of the day, healthy skin is about balance. It’s about nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods, while also allowing yourself the occasional treat. It’s about being kind to your skin, both inside and out. So go ahead and indulge in that piece of chocolate, but remember to listen to your body and treat it well. Your skin (and your taste buds) will thank you for it.
If you’re dealing with acne, schedule your acne consultation today so we can talk more in depth about how lifestyle affects you.