It’s the time of year when we encounter all of our favorite treats at friendly gatherings and family parties. While you should never deny yourself, especially during a special celebration, it’s important to remember the benefits of indulging in moderation. Particularly, there are plenty of festive foods that can wreak havoc on your skin. Knowing which ones can cause an acne flare-up will help you make better dietary decisions, either by limiting how much you eat or avoiding certain foods altogether.
Here is your guide to the foods that you should steer clear of in order to heal current breakouts and ward off new ones.
Eating a copious amount of sugar causes your blood sugar to rise at a rapid rate within a small period of time, boosting your body’s release of the hormone insulin. Insulin then signals your oil glands to produce more oil, which can easily result in an acne flare up.
It’s perfectly fine to indulge a bit in your favorite seasonal desserts, but you should take some steps to get ahead of a potential breakout. If possible, gently cleanse your face within a couple of hours after a sugary meal. This will ensure you’re rinsing away excess oil buildup to keep skin clear.
Foods that are heavy in saturated fat have a similar effect on the skin that sugar does. The extra oils in the food create excessive sebum in the skin that clogs the pores and leads to breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. In preparation for a fattier meal, treat your skin to a micro peel to ensure there are no dead skin cells for the oil to cling to.
Some products with large amounts of saturated fats include butter, sausage, bacon, cured meats, cheese, and fried food. Strike a healthy balance by pairing a few bites of fatty foods with lean protein and vegetables.
The proteins in whey and casein spur the production of a hormone called IGF-1; this has a similar effect that insulin does. The hormones in milk confuse our endocrine system and can cause hormonal acne to form. Plus lactose, the natural sugar in dairy products, becomes more difficult to digest as we age; therefore, ingesting large amounts of lactose can lead to adult acne.
Dairy-rich treats like milk and white chocolate, ice cream, sour cream, and whipped cream can all throw your skin out of whack if you’re not careful about the amount you consume. Luckily, there are plenty of dairy-free options these days to replace classic treats like yogurt, milk, and cheese.
These are only a few things that may cause acne, as hormonal imbalances, stress, improper skin maintenance and bacteria are also to blame. Once you know what can cause acne flare-ups, breakout management is much easier. A good start is balancing your diet and intake of acne-agitating foods and focusing more on lean proteins, nuts, fruits and vegetables, non-dairy products, and drinking lots of pure water. These are all key ingredients to clearer skin and an overall healthy lifestyle.