The Link Between Acne & Diet

The link between acne and dietThe topic of diet and acne has been debated and well researched by many people over the years.  The link between our complexion and our diet is not a new topic and scientific research dates back to the 1900’s.  Fighting acne and having healthy skin has initiated many theories.  What has been found most recently coincides with maintaining a healthy living diet.  Research has found eating food with a high glycemic index (GI) or foods that quickly release glucose into the blood stream can aggravate and sometimes actually trigger acne.  Milk has been found to be another major factor in increasing blemishes and spots on the body.  The consumption of milk as well as sodas and sugary treats probably is a major reason why teenagers and an increasing population of adults are affected by the painful and self-conscious condition of acne, including spots and blemishes on the face, neck, back and chest.

What exactly is Acne?

Acne is caused by a combination of your skin producing too much sebum and a buildup of dead skin that clogs your pores and leads to a spot or infection of the pore.  During adolescence, especially the teenage years, sebum is produced by hormonal inflictions.  This can explain 80% of teenagers’ acne bouts.  This acne does not have any real danger; but it can cause anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.

How long has Acne been researched?

Research linked a relationship between acne and diet since the 19th century.  During that time, chocolate, sugar and fat were thought to be the main culprits of acne.  From the 1960s until recently, researchers believed there was no link between food and acne.

What has been found through research in recent years is eating foods that are high in GI – foods that the bloodstream absorbs quickly – are actually thought to directly affect the amount and severity of acne, triggering hormonal fluctuations.  These foods are thought to activate your hormonal levels that spike insulin, which is conceived to increase sebum production.  A recent study in Australia looked at two young males who tried a low GI diet and saw great improvement in the intensity of their acne.

Milk and AcneWhy Milk?  Milk contains hormones that increase the production of acne.  A study at Harvard in 2007 by the Harvard School of Public health found a link between acne and milk and even found that skimmed milk increases the development of acne.  The thought is that processing milk increases the hormones in the beverage.   After drinking skim milk, your likelihood to develop acne increases 44%!

How do you fight acne through food?  Through the research of recent years, we suggest combating acne should start with your diet.  Here are some starting points when choosing the right foods:

Choose Low GI goods (What are GI Foods?)Foods with low GI

  • For starters, only carbohydrates have a GI rating.
  • Foods that are low in GI make you feel fuller because it takes longer for your body to break down these foods and allow glucose to enter blood stream.
  • Low GI foods include fruits and vegetable, wholegrain foods – including Quinoa, Buckwheat, wild Rice, Barley, Rye, Bulgur and spelt.
  • High GI foods include sugary sodas, baked goods including cakes and pastries, chocolate, white bread and potatoes.

Having a diet of low GI foods is so important to keeping a healthy body and having skin without blemishes and spots.  These foods combined with a complete cleansing system to remove dead skin and replenish with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will not only give you clear skin, but skin that radiates and shines.  Make an appointment with your esthetician to find out more about acne solutions.  Email or call us at 603.888.7900 to find out more information.


Eat Your Way To Healthy Skin – 8 Easy Steps

New research solidifies claims that your diet might be the culprit for your blemishes and break outs. It’s been suggested that we need to become beautiful starting from the inside. While we take great care of the top layers of our skin (products generally penetrate the top 20%) in order to see the amazing results we crave we need to work from the inside out. We’ve compiled this Dermatologist backed diet into 8 easy steps on eating your way to clearer skin.

1) Steer clear of the ‘white food family’ – This would include white bread, cookies, cakes, and crackers.
Why? Processed foods like the ones listed above digest too quickly. This leads to insulin ( a hormone that increases levels of acne-causing androgens like testosterone)spikes and a chemical called IGF-1 to be released. Both lead to clogged pores and excess oil production.

2) Eat more fiber-rich carbs – Up you intake of brown rice, whole-grain pasta, sweet potatoes, and lentils.We’ve all heard this one before, but maybe we didn’t realize it might be causing our break-out burdens.
Why? It takes longer to breakdown these items due to the lower GI (Glycemic Index) which translates into less insulin spikes ( and thus clearer skin!)

3) Cut down on dairy – Try to avoid milk, cheese, and ice cream.
Why? Did you know that almost half of all dairy cows in the US are pregnant? You may be thinking,’Why do I care?’ the answer is simple. Due to this fun little fact it’s known that the milk we drink regularly is full of growth hormones , which experts have linked to acne-causing testosterone levels. Try Almond milk in your cereal, or if you must fix your craving for dairy opt for yogurt. The fermentation process may reduce some of the hormones that can trigger your acne.

4) Avoid processed meats- Think hotdogs.
Why? They contain inflammatory omega-6 fats (not the good omega-3s) linked to inflammation and oil production. This is where a lot of your redness and shininess can come from. Try to stick to organic and free-range meats whenever possible.

5) Eat the rainbow – Beets, carrots, spinach, blueberries and any other deeply hued produce. That’s right, you’ve been hearing it all your life…’Eat your vegetables!’
Why? Eating a wide (and colorful) variety of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies will help your skin and body heal and protect against current and future damage caused by your environment. Eat them raw as often as possible as they are made up of as much as 96% water. As we all know good hydration is the best way to great skin. Eating raw veggies is said to be even better then drinking a glass of water because it is gradually released, unlike a glass of water that goes right through your system.

6) Eat oily fish – Salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Why? These fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which help stop inflammation, an acne and redness trigger.

7) Switch your cooking oil – Olive oil.
Why? Replace your corn and vegetable oils, heavy in omega 6 fats, and replace with the heart healthy choice of olive oil. Opt for ‘Cold Pressed’ to get the most flavor and health benefits!

8) Cut down on alcohol – Why? Ok, we’re not saying not to have a glass of wine at the end of a long week ( since its actually a stress reliever for most people it’s good for your skin in that way) we’re more talking about the binge drinking. It’s been proven that excessive drinking exacerbates adult acne, eczema, and rosacea.

You’re only 8 easy steps away from more beautiful, clearer, and younger looking skin!

For more information regarding this research and testimonial stories check out Glamour Magazine’s November 2012 issue!