Do you suffer with acne?
Most people suffer with acne at some point in their lives to varying degrees. Whether it is as a teenager or later in life it can have a major impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. It is not clear why some individuals suffer more than others but is believed that the hormone androgen plays a major role. Androgens control the release of oil onto the skin and whether excess keratin (a protein) is produced that can block pores. The severity and progression of acne can also be influenced by the presence of bacteria and inflammation.
Acne can take a few different forms but it all consists of blocked pores in the skin. They can be blackheads, whiteheads, papules or pustules (that are more like lesions with red swollen skin around the blocked follicle) or even cysts that are deep pus filled pores.
There are some very obvious reasons why acne can flare but there are also some less obvious ones. Let’s look at the obvious ones first:
- Eating foods high in trans fat – chips, crisps, cakes, pastry – these increase oil secretion
- Eating high sugar foods – chocolate, sweets, desserts – these increase oil secretion and stimulate extra keratin production
- Eating high refined carbohydrates – white bread, white pasta – these increase oil secretion
- Lack of cleansing – to clear bacteria from skin
And some less obvious reasons:
- Lack of fibre – fibre decreases insulin levels (another hormone released when we eat sugar) so decreases oil secretion and extra keratin production
- Lack of water – water helps the skin to detoxify and therefore helps to ‘flush out’ toxins
- Lack of sleep – our bodies repair and regenerate overnight, lack of sleep affects all functions
- Sunburn – inflames the skin and so can make acne worse
- Lack of oily fish (omega 3) – these decrease oil production
- Lack of exercise – this decreases insulin levels so decreases oil secretion and extra keratin production
- In some people dairy can cause acne as it is a food sensitivity for them
- Eating excess processed food – as mentioned before our bodies detoxify via our skin. Overconsumption of processed foods containing chemicals can overwhelm the liver and the kidneys resulting in the skin having to help to release the toxins
- Use of cosmetics that block pores
So, what do we need to do to combat all of these and help our skin look better?
- Cut out high trans fat foods
- Cut out high sugar foods or at least cut them down and balance your blood sugar levels (an article will be released on how to do this soon)
- Switch to wholegrain versions of bread and pasta
- Increase fibre consumption by increasing the number of fruit and vegetables you eat
- Drink more water – aim for your 6-8 glasses per day
- Get your ‘beauty’ sleep – 8 hours a night
- Get a little sun (10-15mins to get your vitamin D) but don’t overdo it
- Cut out or at least minimise processed foods
- Cleanse with natural water based skincare products
- Minimise or consider cutting out dairy – WARNING – you need calcium daily, if you think this may be a trigger for you please see a nutritional therapist who will help you safely cut out dairy and replace it with other calcium sources
- Exercise regularly – sweating helps to remove toxins from the skin
- Eat more oily fish – sardines, mackerel, salmon, anchioves or ground linseed (flaxseed) as an alternate source of omega 3
- Eat zinc and vitamin C rich foods as they are essential for good skin – zinc is found in cashews (not roasted or salted), almonds, beef and dark meat of chicken or turkey; vitamin C is found in strawberries, kiwi, oranges, broccoli.
Other natural remedy tips…
- Dab tea tree oil on spots – it’s a natural antiseptic which can help reduce size and appearance of blemishes
- Wash with calendula soap which is a natural product to help cleanse skin
- Use cinnamon on food to help balance your blood sugar
If you try these and you are still suffering with acne please do give The Food Physio a call or book an appointment now for us to review other possible triggers for your acne. We seldom have just one problem so the best thing is to have a review which covers all systems in your body so that we can tailor make a programme that’s specific to you.