Did you know that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually?1 Acne often causes significant physical and psychological problems such as permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression and anxiety.2 In additional to this mental and physical distress, the costs associated with treatment can exceed over $3 billion.3
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Although the most common myth about acne prone skin is hygiene, you may be surprised to know that the following can bring on or make acne even worse:
- Emotional stress.
- High sugar and processed food diet
Foods with a high glycemic load such as white grains (bread, rice, pasta) and sweets have been linked to acne.4
Although processed poor quality foods contribute to acne, GOOD quality foods can also heal the body. Here are the TOP acne fighting foods that reduce inflammation and increase good bacteria in the gut:
Probiotic rich foods – kefir, yogurt and cultured vegetables are foods that help crowd out yeast and bad bacteria which lead to acne.
Zinc rich foods – Sprouted pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds are high in zinc which improve immunity and heal gut issues.
Vitamin A rich foods – Spinach, carrots and beef liver are high in vitamin A which supports healthy skin.
Fiber rich foods – The fiber in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds support cleansing the colon and growth of good bacteria in the gut which can help eliminate acne.
Clean lean protein – Organic chicken, grass-fed beef, free-range eggs and wild caught fish balance blood sugar, which is essential in fighting acne.
Good Fats – Good fats such as organic coconut oil is an anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory to internally and topically help fight acne. I’m a huge advocate of coconut oil. Every day I consume a table spoon first thing in the morning with water. I also use it as a night moisturizer which help prevents acne due to it’s anti-micro bacterial properties. If one pops up, just put coconut oil on it!
- Bickers DR, Lim HW, Margolis D, Weinstock MA, Goodman C, Faulkner E et al. The burden of skin diseases: 2004 a joint project of the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2006;55:490-500.
- Strauss JS, Krowchuk DP, Leyden JJ, Lucky AW, Shalita AR, Siegfried EC et al. Guidelines of care for acne vulgaris management. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2007;56:651-63.
- Bhate K, Williams HC. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. The British journal of dermatology 2013;168:474-85.
- Bowe WP, Joshi SS, Shalita AR. Diet and acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2010;63:124-41.