Today, there seem to be two types of people: those who are health conscious and those who are not. Those who are very mindful of what they put into their body firmly believe that a poor diet is the root cause of the majority of both mental and physical health issues. Those who are not as cautious about their diet tend not to hold any stock in those ideas. But, can our diet exacerbate some problems or reduce others from occurring?
When it comes to acne breakouts, is there a correlation between an increase in acne and what you eat? Or are there no scientific facts to back up that claim? As with most issues, the answer to these questions is not precisely cut and dry, but there is scientific information that seems to agree that you are what you eat in the case of acne breakouts.
What Science Says About Your Diet Causing Acne Breakouts
At present, most medical experts agree that there is not a definitive diet that should be followed to prevent acne breakouts from occurring. While that may be the case, they also agree that food in moderation and paying attention to how your skin responds when you eat particular foods is wise in determining whether or not you are subject to specific foods causing breakouts.
They are hesitant to reach a definite conclusion on this issue because there are too many variables for the science to be reliable. For example, if you are very conscientious about your food intake, you may recall having a particular food and then breaking out shortly thereafter. However, if you do not pay attention to everything you consume, you might not remember having a food that could cause your acne.
Is There Anything Scientists Can Agree On When it Comes to Your Diet Causing Acne?
While there is still debate surrounding this issue, most doctors and scientists can agree that there seems to be a correlation between several different types of food and acne breakouts.
Foods that are high in refined carbohydrates show to contribute to skin breakouts. Some foods that contain refined carbs include:
- Foods made from white flower
- White rice
- Sweetened beverages
- Sugar sweeteners
The science backing this theory is sound. Carbs like these cause issues with your body’s insulin levels. When these foods break down, they raise your insulin levels, and, in turn, they tend to block the glands on your face that secrete oil. Because those glands can’t “breathe,” they clog your pores with oil, causing acne.
One study conducted in the US showed some interesting results in this regard. Around 2,200 patients were put on a low-carb diet for other health-related issues. 87% of those patients claimed a reduction in acne breakouts during the study.
While this would seem to be definitive evidence to prove that a diet high in carbs causes acne, the study also says that there needs to be further research conducted before that conclusion can be drawn.
Another frequently ingested substance that seemed to make all of the acne-causing foods and beverages list was cow’s milk. In these cases, it did not matter the type of cow’s milk, as all types (whole, 2%, skim) seemed to affect skin breakouts.
One study showed a 44% increase in acne breakouts in women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day. Another showed that people who drank milk or ate ice cream regularly had breakouts at a rate of four times higher than those who did not.
The flaw with this theory is that there is no proof as to WHY milk causes breakouts. Most believe that cow’s milk contains a high amount of hormones, and an imbalance in hormones is a proven factor contributing to acne breakouts. However, it is still not verified that the excess hormones in cow’s milk cause acne.
While the possibility is excellent, most studies agree that more research must be done on the topic before concluding.
What is the Final Recommendation Concerning Diet and Acne Breakouts?
Most doctors and scientists agree that eating a healthy, balanced diet will always be the best answer for any issue regarding your health. Beyond that, they recommend tracking your food intake and taking note of what you eat and drink (by doing something like keeping a food journal) just before an acne breakout. Those foods and beverages are probably personal triggers for your skin’s inflammation, and they should be avoided whenever possible.
While the jury still seems to be out on whether or not your diet can cause acne breakouts, the evidence seems to support that it can. So eat healthily and avoid trigger foods in excess to prevent unnecessary acne.