19 Dec Diets and Food to Keep Your Skin Clear
While there is no magic cure-all for acne — at least not yet — there are ways to keep your skin clear and vibrant. The dermatologist can certainly help calm flareups and angry cysts with medication and light therapy, but there’s something you can do, too: change up your diet.
Look into the low glycemic load diet.
A low glycemic load diet — in other words, a diet that doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise — has been linked in some studies to fewer pimples. A low glycemic load diet doesn’t mean just cutting out sugar — it means eating better carbohydrates, as carbs are broken down into sugars when digested. White bread and rice, potatoes, bagels, cake, pasta and cookies all have high glycemic loads. Replace any “white” version of food with its healthier whole-wheat counterpart, such as whole-wheat bread, rye bread and brown rice.
Reduce dairy consumption.
Certain studies have shown a correlation between dairy intake and acne, specifically milk. Like chocolate, there has been no definitive proof that consuming dairy causes acne, but the correlation may be enough to convince you to cut out the milk. Some of the studies cite the hormones in the milk being a factor in acne, not the fat, so switching from whole milk to skim won’t make much of a difference. If you’re a dairy lover still suffering from acne, it may be worth it to cut out or, to start, reduce your intake of instant breakfast drinks, cottage cheese, cream cheese and other milk products.
Eat the colors.
Eating your fruit and vegetables won’t just make you grow healthy and strong — it will help keep your skin clear. It may seem like an obvious suggestion to eat more of these food groups, but eating the right ones can do wonders for your skin.
To figure out which fruits and vegetables will help the most, look to their colors: many red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can help protect against sun damage, while orange-colored foods such as carrots contain beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body and helps keep skin smooth and healthy. Dark green vegetables such as kale and arugula can help prevent collagen from weakening with age — and they are far better for you than their lighter counterparts such as iceberg lettuce. The deeper the color, the more nutrients they have.
Drink more water.
The easiest change to make to your diet is simply increasing the amount of water you drink. Staying hydrated may not get rid of your acne, but it can ward off dehydration, which can make your skin tight and flaky. The regimen of “eight glasses of water a day!” isn’t backed up by any scientific proof, but it does at least encourage people to drink more water instead of sugar-rich drinks such as soft drinks and juice.
It’s a long-held belief that certain foods such as chocolate cause acne, but there’s little evidence that points to clear causation. However, some studies have linked certain diets to fewer pimples and clearer skin, making it worthwhile to look closely at your diet not just for your overall health, but the health of your skin.