Did you know that certain foods you eat can cause your skin to break out? If you’ve noticed a shift in your skin recently, the first place to point fingers is probably your diet. Food plays a major impact on our skin structure but having said this keep in mind everyone's skin is different. Something that could impact you might not impact another person in the same way.
Let’s cut to the chase – to help you on your skin health journey, we have reviewed the most common foods that cause inflammation (sadly, maybe you'll think twice next time you reach for that bag of crisps or Cadbury black forest chocolate (a personal favourite)!
You knew this was going to be on the list! For 99.99% of us chocolate is a tried-and-tested comfort snack, as they say “never trust a person that doesn’t like chocolate”, however sugar can be one of the worst things for your skin. Large amounts of refined sugar cause the insulin levels in the body to spike which causes a burst of inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes acne, rosacea, dark patches, creases in the skin, and excess hair growth. Another reason to think twice before eating a chocolate chip cookie is that sugar ages you! Collagen and elastin are what help keep the skin looking young and healthy, but a high sugar diet can break down natural suppleness, causing the skin to become dry and brittle with fine lines and wrinkles appearing.
We all know chips are a crowd favourite- what's not to love about a fried potato? In fact, if you ate fried foods for every meal this wouldn’t necessarily lead to oily acne-prone skin. Fat in fried foods can cause inflammation in the body that can lead to acne. Omega 6, which is most commonly found in all of our favourite fried treats can aggravate and cause acne, but an Omega 3-rich diet can help reduce inflammation which in return can reduce acne. Fried food also contains large amounts of saturated fats and carbohydrates which causes the skin to produce more sebum that can result in acne.
Do you prefer oat or almond milk? The shift to plant-based milks has revealed just how harmful dairy can truly be on the skin. Dairy contains natural hormones that lead to excess sebum production which is known to cause acne. Since dairy is hard to digest (no wonder so many people are lactose intolerant!) this can result in large cystic acne or painful bumps. Large amounts of dairy are also known to raise blood sugar levels as well which can lead to even more inflammation in the body. According to George Citroner at Healthline, “New research shows a strong association between eating dairy... and adult acne.” So, in short – plant-based milks are a great alternative for avoiding inflammation!
It's important to note everyone has different skin; for some “lucky lucky people!” these foods could be eaten every day and they wouldn’t see a noticeable difference, for others.... well, not so lucky. While diet and hormones play a big part in most people’s skin health, acne-prone skin can also be a product of genetics. Clean eating and moderation are an important part of our collective health and well-being, we all know this, but most of the time when we’re considering the downsides of chocolate or ice cream indulgence we’re thinking of our weight or our energy levels – rarely do we consider the impact on our skin.
Inflammation has a direct effect on skin irritation, if you’re noticing changes in your skin health – what has changed in your diet?