There are two ways foods affect acne. First, certain foods tend to increase susceptibility to immune or sensitivity reactions, which can worsen acne. Examples of common foods which cause reactions in many people are: chocolate, caffeine, seafood and other iodine-rich foods, carbonated beverages, dairy products, and trans-fats. It isn't that these foods cause acne, but they can increase inflammation and sebum production, plus what you eat definitely has an effect on the health of your organs, including your skin.
While some foods may contribute to acne, nutritional deficiencies worsen or cause acne. Insufficient vitamin A (or beta-carotene, from which the body can make vitamin A), zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B6 all are implicated in acne. Some people have success with dietary supplements, but basically you can correct deficiencies by increasing your servings of fruits and vegetables and varying your protein sources. You can experience acne even if you eat a well-balanced diet, but acne is one indicator of malnutrition. Herbs are another way to supply your body with trace nutrients and other healthful compounds. For example, half a teaspoon daily (up to three times of day) of an herbal extract containing equal parts sarsaparilla, yellow dock, burdock, and cleavers may help to support a healthy diet, to prevent and control acne.
Watch What Is on your Skin
You can reduce acne by avoiding skin irritation and by not clogging your pores.
- Keep your hair off of your face, shoulders, and back.
- Wash your pillowcase frequently.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Don't squeeze pimples.
- Avoid wearing make-up or if you do wear make-up, make sure the products are non-comedogenic.
Treat your Skin
- Over-the-counter products may be highly effective at treating and preventing break-outs.
- Consider trying a face wash made for acne, but don't overwash your face. Avoid scrubbing. Overwashing or irritating your face will cause it to become inflamed and to produce more sebum.
- Applying a honey mask (apply honey, let it remain on the face for five minutes, gently rinse it off) may help minimize blemishes. Honey has antibacterial properties, yet is very gentle to the skin.
Try Whole-Body Solutions
- Massage increases circulation throughout your body, which helps to clear toxins and speeds healing of blemishes, in addition to other benefits.
- Reduce stress. Consider biofeedback, exercise, yoga, or meditation.