Studies show that consuming excess amounts of sugar can feed yeast and inflammation in the body, increasing acne. Sugar is added to almost all packaged foods so it’s very hard to avoid totally but be sugar smart and use tools like the NHS Sugar Smart app which is free to download and shows you how much sugar is added to packaged foods by scanning the bar code. Healthy adults should consuming no more than 30g of sugar per day (approx. 4 teaspoons). Remember even though you can’t see it there is often sugar added to bread, flavoured waters, tinned soups and breakfast cereals so start reading food labels and cutting back where you can.
Conventional dairy is very mucus forming in the body so replace cows milk with nut, rice or oat milks and look at replacing your yoghurts with coconut based dairy free yoghurts which have the added benefit of high protein levels. Chocolate is particularly high in compounds that can trigger acne so eliminate chocolate completely if possible but if you consume it then make sure it’s pure dark chocolate 70% or above. If you have particularly bad acne then you should go a step further and reduce gluten and wheat from your diet and avoid fried and fast foods which contain a number of ingredients that cause inflammation including hydrogenated oils, sodium, flavorings and of course, sugar.
Acne is a result of toxins leaving our body so by increasing the amount of plain, filtered water you drink you can help flush these toxins out of your body quicker before they build up. How much you should drink varies considerably from person to person but as a general rule keep sipping throughout the day rather than drinking large amounts in one go. It’s very important the water you drink is filtered though. Although safe to drink, tap water in the UK has a number of added chemicals in it so to reduce the toxins you are consuming opt for water that has been through a carbon filter.
Organic, unpasteurised (unless you are pregnant then opt for pasteurised) apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ in it is amazing at reducing inflammation and clearing up problem skin. Use it as a salad dressing or be brave and down it like a shot but either way make sure you are consuming 2 tablespoons per day. If you are already suffering with break outs then you can also use apple cider vinegar directly onto your acne by diluting it with 1 part vinegar 2 parts water then applying to a cotton pad. This will reduce the redness and scarring very quickly. Adding probiotic rich foods to your diet like Kefir and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut will help crowd out yeast and bad bacteria which lead to acne.
My other top tip is to include zinc rich foods like sprouted pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds which improve immunity and help heal gut issues which cause acne in the first place. Spinach, carrots and beef liver are high in vitamin A which supports healthy skin and fiber rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds support cleansing the colon and growth of good bacteria in the gut which can help eliminate acne. Remember it’s toxins we want to avoid for clear skin so rather than expensive face creams buy organic foods and start from the inside.