Diet and acne are they linked?
There is a lot of incorrect information out there about acne such as it only happens to teenagers, is caused by dirty skin or bad hygiene. It is even thought that greasy food can cause acne. “Ever heard of that old wives tale, get a sun tan if you want clear skin?” None of these things are true!
So let’s have a look at what is. Hormones can affect acne because the imbalance can cause excessive production of sebum that causes acne. Diet can affect acne but not in the way most people think. It is not actually grease or fat that is the culprit but sugar (or rather the glycemic index – how fast the sugar from food is released into the blood) and certain types of dairy.
There have been many studies on the link between diet and acne and the jury is in. High glycemic foods such as refined carbohydrates, sodas and ultra-processed foods increase blood sugar levels too fast triggering hormonal reactions that affect acne. The answer is to eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables which release sugar slowly and limiting sugary drinks. It is also thought that the type of dairy foods, especially low fat dairy can affect acne because although how is not certain. It is thought that hormones in milk can cause inflammation in the body and when fat is removed from milk they get more concentrated when the fat is removed. It is also thought that a healthy gut depends on healthy gut microbes known as the gut microbiome. Probiotics can affect acne by reducing inflammation in the gut.
So what happens if you make these changes and still have acne? Firstly it will take a little while for the changes to kick in and in the meantime the active acne can be treated with prescription retinoids and acne-busting procedures. I like to use a combination of treatments such as LED therapy or Lumecca™ IPL to tackle both active acne and the after effects of breakouts and the pigmentation marks they leave. As well as chemical peels such as ViPeel® PURIFY with Precision Plus which clears away dead skin cells and excess oil to speed breakout clearing and purifies pores to prevent breakouts.