Food for skin
I wrote before that adopting plantbased diet has helped me to clear out my skin. Here are some more specific ways and mechanisms behind them, that will give you that glowing skin.
How our skin looks has more to do with our lifestyle: what we eat, how we sleep than what we put on it. It does help for sure, but until you don’t put order in what you put inside your body it doesn’t matter how expensive your skincare will be.
Mechanisms involved in forming acne and breakouts are:
-sex hormone imbalance
Which in turn lead to formation of lesions by:
- increased production of sebum,
- excessive proliferation of keranocytes
( abnormal colonization of the skin by bacteria, mainly Propionibacterium acnes also plays a role)
I’m going in deep, so if you want just the practical tips scroll down to the list of products.
Inflammation is one of the most important ones. Elements of the immune system such as CD3 + and CD4 + T lymphocytes, interleukins, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) and TNF-α are involved in the development of acne lesions. In the case of acne significantly higher amounts of inflammation markers ( IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α ) are produced in sebaceous glands compared to people without acne lesions. IGF-1 stimulates sebocyte proliferation and secretion of excessive sebum, it also leads to increased skin keratinization, similar to IL-1. IGF-1 concentration in individuals in adolescence reflects the severity of acne lesions. IGF-1 increased concentration in the blood, occurs through increased insulin secretion, after consuming products that release it in large quantities, e.g. products with high glycemic index or glycemic load or dairy products. At the same time protein binding IGF-1 gets lowered. Increased blood insulin levels also stimulate the secretion of androgenic hormones, which play an important role in the development of the disease, including increased sebum production and keratinocyte proliferation. Treatment aimed at sensitizing cells to insulin results in lowering blood levels of androgens. Therefore, dietary interventions to improve carbohydrate metabolism seem to have a positive impact as well for acne. Hormone imbalance plays a role especially in woman as it is easier to throw our hormones off.
Acne isn’t something natural. The underlying mechanisms below it are also involved in development of other diseases. In my opinion acne is a first sign that something is not working in a proper way and shouldn't be seen as just an adolescent sign.
Now transferring that into things that are good for you and prevent acne and breakout and those that cause the underlying mechanisms that I mentioned.
Diet for healthy skin comes to things that are beneficial for it and those that should be avoided. I want to disclaim that we are all different. I’m writing about things that work for most people, but we all have our sensitivity levels different, so it’s always good to consult individually if the problem is persisting.
Elements of the diet to limit
Sugar- processed sugars lead to inflammation, high blood sugar and insulin levels which leads to development of acne. High consumption of processed sugar has been correlated with acne prevalence.
Dairy -especially processed dairy like milk chocolate bars, sweet yogurts, cheese,… Milk have been associated with acne prevalence in studies. One of the mechanism may be that it increases levels of IGF-1.
Alcohol- It’s proinflammatory and usually high glycemic index.
Wheat- As it is highly processed it has high glycemic index leading to higher levels of blood glucose and insulin levels, which lead to inflammation.
Processed foods- processed foods, especially greasy ones or with trans fatty acids have been associated with acne.
Smoking- increases inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
Things to include for healthy looking skin
Anti Inflammatory products- All fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, especially those rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Healthy fats- Everything from avocados, olives, nuts and seeds should become your friend. Omega 3 fatty acids are super important here.
Antioxidants- Naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables.
Water- may seem obvious but if you’re dehydrated your skin will look like it too. Remember to drink at least 1,5 l of water every day.
Probiotics- are a good option to try as healthy gut plays a huge role in most processes in our body, but please consult doctor or a clinical dietician to choose the best one for you. Gut biome is a mediator of inflammation between food and the body. It has been observed that acne patients have more often gut dysbiosis and use of probiotics is an optional advancement to therapy.
Fiber- Fiber supports healthy gut bacteria. It slows down the absorption of sugar, therefore preventing high blood glucose and insulin levels. Fiber also binds toxins and hormones and gets them out of the body.
Low glycemic index foods- in few studies high glycemic load foods have been associated with prevalence of acne. Glycemic load is a tool that groups foods into ones that cause high blood glucose spikes after eating them and those which cause just a light one. High glycemic load foods you should avoid, not only because of acne, are all processed candy, white flour products, all buns, croissants, confectionery… everything that has processed sugar added to it. Too high glycemic load mediates into acne through insulin response, androgen spike and gut microbiome.
It is suggested that acne is a visible manifestation of a systemic problem, for example insulin resistance, inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and poor nutrition.
The remedy for it is focusing on plant foods, eating as little processed foods as possible and wisely using supplementation after consulting with clinical dietician.
If you want individual care set a date with me for a consultation or order individually prepared meal plan in which preparation I take into consideration your health state including acne and skin problems.
You can try out one of my ready meal plans in the store. All meal plans I prepare consist of low processed anti inflammatory foods.
Want more individual care?
You can book a consultation online, just write at:
or order a meal plan.
You can choose a ready meal plan in the store or order individually prepared one.