If you are currently struggling with adult acne, consider having it as a blessing in disguise. Your skin problems are your body’s way of saying, “you need to make some diet and lifestyle changes — stat!”
Don’t feel bad — you are not alone! More and more teens and adults are suffering from acne, so much so that acne is considered an epidemic. It’s a disease of western civilization, due to our diet and lifestyles.
Our lifestyle and diet choices are over-stimulating acne producing hormones and TOR activators. TOR is a necessary growth engine as children, but as we grow, TOR enzymes stimulate acne and advanced aging. Adult acne is an indicator of bigger issues, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s.
There is good news. Diet alone can suppress acne producing hormones, TOR enzyme production, and TOR driven diseases. You can prevent disease and also treat acne at any age. To have a problem free skin at any age and eliminate heavy hormonal and TOR enzyme production, you need to have a good supply of nutrients, oxygen and removal of metabolic wastes, and a healthy diet!
Here are my 10 daily dietary tips that you can practice to be acne-free. Give them a try for a week and you will see results that quickly!
1. Increase consumption of organic green tea.
Green tea is rich in an anti-inflammatory chemical called catechins, which helps to combat free radicals. It also reduces hormonal activity, and aids the body in detoxifying breakout inducing toxins from the body. If you don’t like the taste of green tea, that’s okay — take it in capsule form for the same results.
2. Go dairy-free.
Cow milk is designed for cows, not humans. Cows grow more than 40 times faster than human babies. Add in the amount of hormones in the average gallon of conventional milk and this results in over hormone stimulation in humans. In fact, we were never meant to be on milk for our whole life! If you favor milk in your diet, plant based alternatives of hemp, almond, and coconut milks are healthier options.
3. Eliminate processed sugars and processed foods.
Processed foods and sugars cause inflammation and also increase insulin production, which spurs breakouts. In addition, our body is not made to digest processed foods, which sometimes results in food allergies to ingredients we’re not familiar with. Breaking out is our body’s response to those crazy chemicals in processed foods that we aren’t biologically meant to be ingesting.
4. Use healthy fats.
Coconut, avocado, pumpkin, sesame, walnut and olive oils, for example, are all good sources of monounsaturated fats and contain essential fatty acids that are needed for good health. Fats are an integral part of cell membranes and will help to nourish the skin and give it a glow from the inside out. The rich omega-3 oils are powerful antioxidants that help to keep the skin plump and flexible. Omega-3 oils are also found in oily fish such as salmon, or in flaxseed oil capsules.
5. Eat lots of berries.
Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries, in particular, are all rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin cells, helping to repair damaged skin. You can’t get the same results from frozen or preserved fruit. Juice your fruits with vegetables for a good skin blend.
6. Get healthy amounts of beta carotenes.
This strong antioxidant found in foods like romaine, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, dark leafy greens, spinach, and cabbage converts vitamin A into retinols naturally, which in aids in cellular turnover and skin renewal. In addition, beta carotene can limit sebum production and increase the elimination of free radicals while decreasing inflammation that leaves us susceptible to more breakouts.
7. Consider eliminating gluten.
If you are gluten-intolerant, your body will treat gluten as a foreign body and have an adverse reaction. Over time, continuing to eat gluten with a gluten allergy will damage your small intestines, creating digestive issues and showing up on your skin as acne. This is because your body pushes the “toxins” out through the skin. If you think you have a gluten issue, get tested or go gluten-free for one month and see if your symptoms decrease.
8. Take your vitamins and mineral supplements.
Vitamin A reduces sebum and keratin production. (Caution: taking mega doses of Vitamin A can cause headaches, fatigue, joint pain and other side effects. Consult your doctor before taking mega supplements). Use daily Vitamin E – an antioxidant (200 to 400 IU a day). To aid your body in metabolizing hormones, take 50 mg of Vitamin B-6 per day, this will help with hormonal acne. Zinc supplement can help contribute to reducing the inflammation and helping heal your already damaged skin, all you need is a 30-60 mg supplement per day. Chromium is another great supplement that helps boosts the body’s ability to break down acne inducing glucose, recommended amount is 20-30 mcg per day.
9. Take a daily probiotic.
Probiotics reduce inflammation in the gut. Inflammation is directly linked with acne, by treating inflammation at its source, you will see visible results in your complexion.
10. Up your water intake.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do for healthy skin. Start by increasing your water intake to a minimum of half your body weight in ounces per day. Besides providing better skin tone, hydrated skin equals flexible pores, pores that cleanse without blocking. Dehydrated skin causes everything from small bumps, to blackheads, to full-on breakouts.
Photo credit: Mike McCune via Flickr