Many people may think they know what is causing their acne, but without careful testing it’s hard to know for sure! But, here are some common misconceptions and underlying causes of acne that most people wouldn’t think to address. We think we need medicated creams or prescription drugs - but lifestyle changes which are will help address the underlying cause and help you lead an overall healthier life! I admit, they can be tough to do, but as long as you stick with it, the easier it gets.
When you get to the core cause of acne, the common factor is the amount of inflammation in the body seems to increase acne.
Dairy. I’m sure you’ve heard by now a lot of people say cut out dairy! With good reason too! It’s because milk contains growth factors similar to insulin and sex hormones and can cause a reaction in people where it overstimulates our sebum production which leads to oil clogged pores forming from deep within the skin!
To test if dairy mainly causes your acne, cut out all dairy for at least 2 months and see if there is any difference. If you usually have some sort of dairy, substitute your milk with almond or coconut milk without added sugar.
Carbohydrates may also worsen acne!
A study was done on those were increased the ratio of protein instead of carbs in their diet, and their acne dropped by half which is a huge improvement. Not all carbs are bad though, the bad carbs are those that are high in the glycemic index. Why? Because these foods break down quickly into sugar and cause a spike in insulin. Similar to the whole dairy containing insulin thing mentioned above that leads to more acne.
Not saying you should avoid all sun, we need it to live and produce vitamin D. But if you are going to be going out for longer than 10 or 15 minutes you should wear a facial sunscreen. Preferably something that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy on your skin. The UV can cause melanin overproduction in post acne marks, which is what causes those dark spots that are left behind after acne.
Acne may look better but you’re just tanning so the pimple stands out less. Over time, the sun damage weakens your skin’s natural barrier and dries out skin. This dryness and damage over time causes skin to overcompensate and try to repair by producing more and more oil! This again, leads to the overproduction of sebum that can cause acne.
When you are under high stress, certain hormones get created and released into your body and it can activate the oil glands to overproduce. Unfortunately, stress is one of the tougher things to combat because it’s out of your control, so the best thing you can do in these cases is by practicing ways to manage stress and learn better ways to deal with stressful situations. For example :Spending 20 minutes a day walking your dog, Take a 15 minute break blasting your favorite feel good playlist while bathing. Whatever works for you!
Not enough anti-inflammatory foods!
To counter inflammation, you need antioxidant rich foods and foods that are on the opposite end of high glycemic index. So basically, you can’t really go wrong with anything rich in fiber like whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds like pumpkin and flax, and whole grains like oats and quinoa.
Hope these tips help you learn a little more about the root causes of acne and ways to counter it!