It is no secret you are what you eat! Breakouts occur in certain areas of our face and is our body's way of letting us know we need to make a change. If what you eat is coming through on your skin, it is best to minimize or eliminate the food choice.
Roughly 9.4%* of the population suffers from acne, but (interestingly) within this statistic, there is a higher intake of certain foods. Acne is the most common skin condition in the US** and it may be linked to our consumption of added sugars.
Let's explore some food choices that may lead to breakouts:
2. Refined Grains and Sugars
Refined carbohydrates, sugars and dairy products increase insulin levels in the body, making way for higher levels of inflammation and an increase in oil production. As the carb, sugar or dairy products enter the body they hit the blood stream spiking blood sugar and increasing insulin. Increased insulin means more active androgen hormones, which increases the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Consequently, acne development is initiated by making skin cells grow more quickly and boosting sebum production.
3. Spicy Foods
When it comes to spicy foods it's not necessarily the food that affects the skin, but rather the side effects. Most spicy foods contain acidic lycopene (a bright red carotenoid hydrocarbon) that can irritate your skin, disrupt the balance of your pH levels, and trigger breakouts. Additionally, they cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, producing a rise in temperature and the spice sweats. The less comfortable you are with spice, the more likely you will sweat which triggers oils to be released in the skin. An increase in oil traps dirt and bacteria which causes acne.
4. Omega-6 Rich Foods
An imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 foods can increase inflammation in the body contributing to a rise in acne. Sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils contain the highest levels of Omega-6.
5. Fast Food
Rich in calories, fat and refined carbohydrates this food of choice has been linked to an increase in acne when it is regularly consumed. According to PudMed it may affect gene expression and alter hormone levels in a way that promotes acne development.
* K;, Burris J;Rietkerk W;Shikany JM;Woolf. "Differences in Dietary Glycemic Load and Hormones in New York City Adults with No and Moderate/severe Acne." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 10 July 2022.
** "Skin Conditions by the Numbers." American Academy of Dermatology. Web. 10 July 2022.