Anti-Acne Diet: 6 Foods To Eat To Clear Your Skin and Balance Your Hormones
Diet plays a major role in the development and worsening of acne. Whilst much of the focus is on foods to avoid that contribute to acne, there are so many nutritious foods to be focussing on to boost your skin health and fight acne.
Try incorporating the following 6 foods into your diet at least 3 times per week for best results.
Many forms of adult acne are driven by an underlying hormonal imbalance.
Want to know if out-of-whack hormones could be contributing to your acne?
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#1 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Oysters and other zinc-rich foods
Zinc is one of the most beneficial nutrients for reducing acne because it works locally in your skin to fight the bacteria that causes acne, and also helps to speed up wound healing. This means that healed infections are less likely to scar which is important once you address the cause of your breakouts.
Zinc works really well for hormonal acne because it helps to reduce your production of testosterone. High testosterone is one of the major contributing factors in hormonal acne - the kind which often appears around your chin, jawline and upper lip and commonly flares around the time of your period.
Zinc is one of my Top 5 Supplement Recommendations for Acne, but it can also be consumed through diet which is why it is my number one anti-acne food.
Some of the foods highest in zinc are:
#2 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Although certainly an acquired taste, liver and organ meats are some of the richest sources of nutrients for your skin health. Beef liver contains high levels of pre-formed vitamin A. This form of vitamin A is the most easily absorbed and utilised in our skin to reduce acne.
Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin contain a precursor form of vitamin A called beta-carotene which must be converted in the body to vitamin A. This requires significant effort, and in some cases is not possible to convert due to genetic variations. Some studies estimate that beta-carotene from plants has a conversion rate of as little as 3% to usable vitamin A.
A study of skin and serum vitamin A levels revealed that acne-sufferers had significantly decreased levels of vitamin A than non-acne sufferers, suggesting a link between vitamin A deficiency and developing acne.
Eating foods that provide vitamin A in the pre-formed version is the easier way to quickly boost your body’s supply of acne-clearing nutrients to your skin.
If you struggle with the taste of liver and organ meats (this is a big one for me!) try asking your butcher to grind the livers and add small amounts to regular ground meat dishes like bolognese or pasta sauces - you won’t even know it’s there!
Find the thought of eating liver too challenging? There are several great brands of beef liver capsules available on the market now. I like Vital Proteins Beef Liver capsules.
#3 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Salmon and other oily fish
Oily fish provide a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which your skin LOVES. Omega 3’s help to naturally reduce inflammation in the body so are useful in inflammatory acne conditions, and also help to balance skin oils.
My favourite source of oily fish is wild salmon. You can find wild salmon in many fishmongers these days, and in some cases order frozen online. Wild salmon contains a favourable omega-3 profile than farmed, so opt for this form if you can find it, however any oily fish in your diet is better than none.
#4 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Dark coloured berries, like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are concentrated sources of antioxidants along with vitamin C - two nutrients that are highly beneficial for skin health and reducing acne.
Vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein which is vital in the formation and health of our skin. You have probably heard it being touted as the natural anti-ageing nutrient as it helps to keep skin plump and youthful, however it has a key role in managing acne as well.
Berries contain high amounts of antioxidants which help to neutralise free radical damage and repair our skin, further reducing inflammatory and infected spots.
#5 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Apple Cider Vinegar
There is a strong link between your gut health and acne breakouts. Just like your gut has a microbiome, so too does your skin and it is intimately influenced by your digestive health.
When your gut microbiome is not populated with favourable bacteria, your skin microbiome will also suffer. Addressing ongoing gut issues is vital in managing your acne and overall health.
Up to 40% of acne sufferers are reported to suffer from low stomach acid. Signs that you might be suffering from low stomach acid include frequent bloating after meals, stomach pain or cramping or burping.
Improving your stomach acid production helps to breakdown your food better, which in turn improves nutrient absorption. Healthy stomach acid production supports both a healthy gut and skin microbiome.
Apple cider vinegar is a simple, natural way to boost your body’s production of stomach acid. Try having one teaspoon in a small glass of water 5-10 minutes before eating to help boost stomach acid. (Note: rinse your mouth after drinking apple cider vinegar to avoid any effects on your tooth enamel).
If you feel good doing this, you can slowly work up to a whole tablespoon in a glass of water if you notice beneficial effects.
#6 Food For Getting Rid of Acne:
Spearmint (but not peppermint!) tea has been shown in studies to significantly reduce the production of testosterone in women. It has demonstrated effective results in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition of excess androgens (like testosterone) that cause acne, unwanted hair growth and irregular cycles.
Two cups per day of spearmint tea has been shown to be an effective dose, so get sipping!
Addressing hormonal acne is multifactorial. Addressing dietary triggers like inflammatory omega-6 fats, cows dairy and sugar, along with supporting the skin by providing all of the nutrients discussed above is crucial in achieving clear skin naturally.
Now that you know the foods to be enjoying for clear skin, head on over to my other blog on which foods to avoid to banish acne.
If you have tried addressing your acne through diet for several months without results, consider adding one or two anti-acne supplements to your regime.
Remember, lasting changes to your skin can take up to 6 months to be seen so keep persevering!