Poor diet, alcohol and your skin
After a stressful couple of years living through a pandemic, even though the UK were allowed to go out and celebrate, more and more people opted to stay at home this year and celebrate Christmas and New Years with food, drinks and their family.
But has the over indulgence on chocolate, cheese and alcohol led to breakouts on your skin?
Here’s the reason why – A poor or not so healthy diet can cause issues in the gut which results in nasty breakouts , while alcohol triggers breakouts and congestion due to the high sugar intake. Then the hangover kicks in and this will also dehydrate the skin. When skin is dehydrated it over compensates oil, leading to the production of more oil, so your complexion is more likely to become congested and spotty.
Lets break down some key ingredients and how they can impact the health of your skin. Before we start, you should be aware that food is not directly responsible for acne. However, if you have acne-prone and excessively oily skin, or poor gut health and lack of a proper cleansing routine, the following foods can cause a reaction and increase breakouts making them worse.
Sugars (in pure form or through our foods) get absorbed fast into the bloodstream, raising your sugar levels higher than normal. The increase in insulin levels then push the excess sugar into your cells. Consuming sugar in excess means you are more likely to develop insulin resistance, which can result as excessive hair growth (hirsutism), production of dark patches on the skin (pigmentation), and aggravation of acne breakouts.
2. Greasy Foods
Although there is insufficient evidence to prove that greasy food causes acne,
fried foods or items like bacon and burgers that have a lot of grease, also have extra fat in the meat. Eating these types of products in excess means the excess oil and fat can lead to an outbreak of pimples. We are not saying greasy food isn’t ok once in a while, but eating it every day will lead to a definite change in your skin and complexion.
3. Dairy Products
A study conducted on teenagers showed that consumption of low fat and skimmed milk led to an increase in acne. However, the relation between milk and acne is not clear yet. While researchers are still figuring out what the underlying connection is, dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones that affect their milk supply. Those hormones may throw your hormones off balance when you consume milk products. If you notice acne post milk consumption, it is best to avoid dairy.
4. Refined Grains
Also known as white flour, usually found in breads, pasta, cereals and rice noodles, have a high glycaemic index and raise blood sugar levels. Insulin makes the androgen hormones more active, leading to faster cell growth and sebum production (more oil) – and we know what more oil leads to, more acne. It’s been recognised that people who suffer with acne tend to ,on average consume more refined carbohydrates than those with no acne.
In a study conducted on men, it was found that those who consumed 100% unsweetened cocoa ,caused a significant increase of acne. The study concludes that eating chocolate (which usually contains milk – a dairy product and sugar] makes the immune system react strongly to acne causing bacteria. A 2013 study on cells in a lab suggests that chocolate may increase the severity and frequency of acne breakouts by encouraging the immune system to react more aggressively to the two bacteria that cause acne.
So, these are the top 5 reasons you could be going into the new year with a few extra pimples or a dull and congested complexion.
To start the new year right, getting into a better eating habit pretty soon is key, as well as looking after your skin at home and using the correct ingredients to combat the issue and giving you a head start.
Keeping your skin PH balanced so it doesn’t create more oil than necessary is also key, its important you chose skincare products with a PH of 5 and below which is the natural PH of your skin. When dealing with breakouts its important to use acidic skincare which won’t aggravate the skin any further.
Using Active Ingredients like Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic and Hyaluronic Acids can play a role in keeping breakouts at bay, as well as anti inflammatory ingredients such as Rose Waters, growth factors, liquorice, aloe vera, chamomile, and turmeric. Not forgetting to protect daily with a broad spectrum SPF. Applying a moisturizer with high SPF protection is the best way to keep your skin defended. And using one specially designed for acne-prone skin is the best at keeping excess oil and acne under control while your skin stays UV-protected. When you expose your skin to the infrared heat from the sun, acne flares up even more.
Following the above steps, you should start to see a difference in your skin, but give it time. Good skincare and eating habits need time to manifest on your skin, a minimum of 3 months is required to see the full benefits so don’t expect miracles over night.
Keep tuned for our up and coming blog regarding skin purging and a beginners guide to starting active ingredients.