Does My Diet Have An Effect On My Acne Problems?

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

For millions of people around the world, acne is a real problem. It embarrasses you in public, and generally makes your life miserable when it decides to show up. It is a common myth that once you get out of your teen year’s acne just packs up and leaves, but most people aren’t so lucky. So what can we do about this problematic menace of the skin?

Unfortunately, like the saying goes “you are what you eat!” What we ingest on a daily basis does have a major impact on whether or not we develop acne. This doesn’t mean that if you eliminate a few things out of your diet you will suddenly have clear skin—especially if you have naturally oily skin—but it can definitely help to reduce acne outbreaks and give your skin a much clearer appearance overall.

Many of us don’t exactly take our diet seriously enough, particularly when it comes to our skin health. Sure, many of us our weight conscious, but even if you approach dieting from a weight conscious standpoint you can still eat food that makes you break out—and on that note here are some dietary tips to help reduce your acne outbreaks:

Eat a lot of vegetables

Instead of grabbing that bag of potato chips, consider reaching for some fresh vegetables. Vegetables are low in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) which is considered to be linked to acne outbreaks. Diets that are low in IGF-1 might help to reduce your symptoms of acne and future acne outbreaks.

Treat yourself to some dark chocolate

Who said that eating healthy had to be boring? Dark chocolate is considered to help improve blood flow to your skin and increase skin hydration. Both of these benefits are positive in terms of skin health. This doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of dark chocolate mind you, but mixing it into your diet could prove beneficial.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Most people eat a lot of food high in omega-6 fats, which unfortunately aren’t the best fatty acids for our skins health. Omega-6 fats are known to potentially increase your risks of having an acne flare up and are found in poultry, eggs, nuts, whole grain bread and corn oil. Omega-3 fatty acids on the other hand have the opposite effect and are considered to be quite good for your skins overall health. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish such as salmon, but if fish isn’t your favorite thing in the world you can also pick up fish oil supplements.