It might surprise you to learn that acne is essentially caused by inefficient skin turnover. If your skin doesn’t renew its cells properly, it can lead to some dead cells staying behind. This prevents oil glands from working correctly, due to these cells blocking pores and causing breakouts. Although you should implement a good skin care regimen (and sometimes medication) to deal with acne flare-ups, food plays an important role in keeping your skin healthy and clear as well.
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You should also know what foods to eat more of! There are certain nutrients that help to make skin much clearer and they work in different ways to achieve this. Some of the best acne-fighting foods include:
1. Zinc-Rich Foods
Adding zinc to your diet can help you in your battle against acne. The reason is that zinc makes your skin less appealing to bacteria that cause breakouts and it also soothes skin irritation after pimples strike. Common sources of zinc include meat, poultry and oysters. If you’re vegetarian you will need to choose non-animal, zinc-rich foods, such as fortified cereals and dairy or take a zinc supplement.
Since acne is really just a form of inflammation, you want to eat foods that are anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 foods can be found in sources such as fatty fish like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts. If you don’t get enough omega-3s from your diet, consider supplements as well.
3. Clean Foods
The trend of clean eating, which basically involves eating foods that are in their natural state without being processed, is highly beneficial to clearer skin. Research has found that teens in the Kitava island region do not show signs of any acne problems because they eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables, while including little to no refined foods, such as white flour and sugar, in their diet.
Try to get in as many daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables as you can since they contain a variety of nutrients and antioxidants to give you healthier skin. When shopping for fresh produce, choose fruits and vegetables with the richest color as these have the most antioxidants!
4. Vitamin C
Foods that contain high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, are great for skin because they strengthen the walls of cells. This prevents horrible scarring from occurring after breakouts, helping you achieve stronger and clearer skin.
5. Vitamin E
This is another must-have antioxidant. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, whole grains and vegetable oils (be sure that they are not highly processed so that you get the most benefit). Vitamin E helps skin heal after a breakout, while keeping it moisturized.
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Start a Food Diary
There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach to beginning an acne-preventing diet. That’s why it’s important to keep track of what you’re eating. For instance, some people find that after eating dairy their skin breaks out. This is because the hormones in dairy are thought to lead to sebum production. By keeping a record of what you eat on a daily basis you can see first-hand what foods may be irritating your skin and avoid them in future.
Throw in Some Spice
Don’t forget about herbs and spices! Turmeric is a great example of a spice that’s especially good for blemish-prone skin. It contains an antioxidant known as curcumin which helps fight inflammation. Aside from sprinkling it on foods, you can also use turmeric, topically, by mixing it with olive oil and then applying it to your blemishes.
When blemishes are zapping your confidence and making you want to hide away, reaching for foods that encourage a clearer complexion can help you face the world with more beautiful skin.
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