With so many myths and misconceptions clouding the connections between diet and acne, it’s hard to know what to do or how to eat.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here are 12 dietary Dos and Don’ts to get your clear skin journey back on track.
1: DO Eat Less Refined Sugars and Empty Carbs
Refined sugar is delicious, addictive, and super bad for your skin.
Your body absorbs refined sugars rapidly, causing insulin levels to spike. Insulin then boosts your production of skin oil and excess skin cells, which can contribute to acne breakouts.
Empty carbohydrates do the same thing. Your body quickly breaks them down into sugar, absorbs them, and experiences an acne-inducing jump in insulin.
Limit refined sugar and empty carbs by prioritizing whole foods, like unprocessed vegetables and proteins.
2: DON’T Cut Out Good Carbs In the Process
Good carbs do exist, and they’re called complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbs contain a balance of sugar and fiber. The fiber helps your body absorb the sugar more slowly, saving your skin from that breakout-causing insulin spike!
3: DO Eat Foods With Skin-Clearing Nutrients
Whole foods also pump up your diet with skin-nourishing vitamins and minerals.
For example, fish contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, while fruits and veggies are full of nutrients like zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
For skin-positive food inspo, check our list of 99 Clear Skin Foods. Learn the best ingredients for your complexion, and how they take your skin to the next level!
4: DON’T Rely Solely on Vitamin Supplements
It’s fine to support your health with a supplement here and there, but don’t replace whole foods with pills. A Big Mac and four vitamin supplements isn’t a balanced diet.
Our body absorbs nutrients better from food. Plus, whole food nutrients are supported by essential fibers and micronutrients that aren’t in most supplements.
Supplements also don’t pack enough antioxidants, which protect our skin from free radicals and oxidative stress!
5: DO Try Nut Milk Instead of Dairy
The dairy in milk and cheese can worsen acne-prone skin. It increases insulin levels and contains androgen hormones, both of which can contribute to breakouts!
Milk also carries amino acids that increase the hormone IGF-1, another acne trigger. Booo!
6: DON’T Forget to Drink Water, Too!
It can be easy to forget about good old water, but hydration is key to a clear complexion!
Water flushes your body of toxins and lowers high blood sugar, helping prevent insulin spikes.
7: DO Take Care of Your Gut
Surprise: gut health can affect the clarity of your skin! Healthy bacteria in your gut affects your body’s insulin use and the severity of your acne breakouts.
If these bacteria become unbalanced, they can wreck your metabolism and encourage inflammatory skin problems.
Maintain your digestive health with foods that contain probiotics and prebiotic fiber. This power combo will help your gut’s healthy bacteria flourish, and keep your systems balanced!
8: DON’T Bother With Detox Teas
Bad news: detox teas are not scientifically proven to have any health benefits.
Our body is already built to flush toxins naturally, without help from special herbs or purges, so these treatments are just trendy and unnecessary!
Detox teas are also poorly regulated. They’re often marketed with misleading claims, and some contain harmful contaminants or interact badly with medications. Drink at your own risk!
9: DO Track Acne Triggers With a Food Diary
Think food triggers are worsening your acne? Try keeping a food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink, from breakfast to your midnight snack.
Keep the diary for a few weeks or months, noting any bad breakouts. Then look back at the data to identify any patterns around your acne flare-ups.
10: DON’T Stress Eat Over Your Latest Breakout
Don’t let stress tip you over the edge! Stress eating is just a counter-productive distraction.
Stress also triggers hormones that increase your oil production, skin cell growth, and even inflammation...making your breakouts even worse!
Try stress-lowering techniques like bubble baths, meditation, or breathing exercises. Most importantly, remember that you are not defined by your skin!
11: DO Include Diet In Your Clear Skin Regimen
...But don’t rush it! Use these tips to make small, gradual changes to your eating habits.
And don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to see results. It can take up to 12 weeks to notice improvements in your skin, but it’ll be so worth it!
12: DON’T Try to Clear Your Skin With Diet Alone
Diet isn’t the only factor in finally achieving acne-free skin. We suggest pairing your dietary changes with our best-selling Clear Skin Kit.
With steps to exfoliate, detoxify, balance, and clarify your skin, this kit has everything you need for real, lasting results in the fight against breakouts!