What causes acne and what to do about it.
You are what you eat. So if a steady diet of pizza and cheeseburgers is showing up on your face as blemishes and inflammation, it might be time to clean up the grease, inside and out.
Acne is a skin issue that might include blackheads, whiteheads, inflammation, rashes and deeper gland congestion. You typically see acne on parts of the body that have sebaceous glands (tiny oil-producing glands) which include face, back, chest, neck and upper arms. If there is an issue, it can be BIG, leading to scarring problems as well as emotional frustration, sadness and worse.
Some of the many reasons behind skin breakouts:
- Genetics: Some people have a genetic predisposition toward excess oil production in the sebaceous glands, which cause increased bacteria, triggering breakouts.
- Hormones: Hormonal acne typically occurs during teenage years due to increased sex hormones. Scientific literature has shown diet impacts hormonal acne, especially in the forehead and chin area.
- Imbalanced blood sugar (or too much sugar): When you have one of those Starbucks sweet drinks, a donut, or even a big bowl of white pasta, the body’s response is a big blood sugar release, which causes an insulin release and consequently could cause your oil glands to produce more oil.
- Food sensitivities: There are some foods that are seemingly healthful that are not actually healthy for your skin. For example, almonds are a great food to eat to increase healthy fats. But sometimes they become an irritant, which causes inflammation and could cause skin upset, especially in the cheek area.
- Nutrient depletion: Sometimes the food we eat doesn’t give us everything we need. In the case of skin issues, the body’s vitamin and mineral deficiencies sometimes show up on the skin. Zinc, omega 3s, iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and antioxidants are all important nutrients and if the body doesn’t have enough of them, it could cause breakouts.
- Imbalanced bugs: It may be that your large intestinal microbiome is out of whack, meaning your good beneficial bacteria is outweighed by your bad, opportunistic bacteria. In that case, it could cause your skin to talk with some breakouts.
According to research, some known acne-spurring culprits include:
- Saturated fats
- Processed foods with additives and/or preservatives
These foods stimulate the production of hormones that will cause excess oil creation and secretion.
What to Do!
The saying “beauty starts on the inside” really is true. When you work one-on-one with Healthy Nest holistic nutritionists, we’ll get to work and change your diet in a personalized way, balancing the inside so that your skin clears on the outside. We’re experts in family nutrition and bio-individual programs, customizing plans based on your specific body chemistry and lifestyle.
Diet might not work in isolation of other contributors but in our opinion, it does matter and will help. Start by eating whole brown ancient grains, lots of veggies, some fruits, healthy fats and proteins to make you feel energized, satisfied and full throughout the day.
If that’s not enough, contact us and we’ll help you figure out what to do as your next step to help your skin clear. It’s a personal puzzle and we’re here to help you put all of the pieces together.
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!