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"Skin Sinners" - Foods That Cause Acne

Updated on February 2, 2018

Foods that cause skin problems

Acne is annoying, ugly and sometimes can even cause scarring, which is why reading labels is so important, especially if you want to know what you are putting into your body. Your body is interconnected on every level and while eating and drinking certain foods may not seem like a bad idea at the time, later on when you have a huge zit on your forehead, you can remember back to that ice cream you ate or soda you drank and ask yourself if it was really worth all the topical ointments and blackhead removal strips.

Starchy foods. Stay away from starchy foods because they can indirectly cause acne by increasing pore blockage resulting from over-production of skin cells and skin oils. Potatoes, bread, pasta, cereals and rice are a few starchy foods you should avoid if you already have acne-prone skin. Starch isn't that bad compared to others, but if you have acne-prone skin it can cause blemishes when you consume it in large amounts.

Caffeine. Not only does caffeine elevate key hormones related to stress-response, but it also triggers oil production in the skin as a result of the hormone changes. Your skin will respond to the new hormone levels by increasing it's sebum production, which clogs pores and leads to blemishes.

Alcohol. It may be a relief to come home from a hard days work, turn on the T.V. and "toss back a few," but alcohol dehydrates the skin and to compensate for this, the skin produces more oils, which clog pores. Even with the use of a regular moisturizer, alcohol can still dry skin out and lead to pore blockage and acne.

Foods high in sugar. Studies have shown sugar increases inflammation, which can indirectly cause acne. Sugar also causes an increase in sebum production related to an increase in androgens (type of male reproductive hormone) which leads to acne.

Foods high in Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates like sugar, can also cause an increase in oil production due to an increase in the production of androgen, a type of male hormone that causes an increase in oil production in the skin when levels are elevated. Small amounts of carbohydrates can actually be good for the body and are actually important to good health, but it's the over-consumption of it that leads to acne.

Foods high in Saturated fat. Saturated fat is something else you need to watch for on your nutrition label because it leads to hormonal acne and an increase in skin cell production and oil production, which leads to a pore blockage.

Processed foods. Canned foods, pre-packaged noodles with seasoning, refined flour. The harmful amounts of carbohydrates and sugar found in processed foods are alarming, not to mention bad for your health and complexion. Stay away from processed foods if you care about your skin.

Milk and dairy products. Some dermatologists believe that milk and dairy products can cause cystic acne, a type of acne that is considered the most severe. Milk itself contains growth hormones and even causes inflammation. Stay away from milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt. Some people believe that milk and dairy products don't actually cause acne and this is half true, yes it doesn't cause acne in everyone, but it does lead to an increase in sebum production, skin cell over-production and an over-production in certain key hormones that lead to acne. It usually only causes cystic acne in people who are already acne-proned and most people can drink milk and not worry.

Gluten. Stay away from gluten, it can make acne worse by promoting inflammation in the body. Foods that contain gluten just to name a few are; wheat, rye, barley and seitan, just to name a few. Gluten isn't as big of a problem as some of the others and usually won't trigger a breakout unless you have acne-prone skin already.

Grains. Stay away from grains because one thing that I didn't really mention about gluten and grains is that they cause an increase in insulin production, but specifically an insulin like growth called IGF-1 which leads to over-production of androgens, which lead to blemishes.

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