And boy, have those moments always been well-timed! Right before you had to go on a date or attend that special ceremony where you have a gorgeous outfit to show off.
What happens next is that you want to something to blame. You ask your vegetarian friend and they say ‘Red meat causes acne’ or ‘Eggs cause acne’ and so the seed is planted. Then you research online and the web is littered with listicles of foods that cause acne and you get further confused. While your friend has your best interests at heart and people on the internet are writing from experience, let’s see if there is any truth to these claims before you go removing dairy, eggs or meat from your menu.
What Causes Acne
Here are the primary causes of acne. While they might not be diet in the very direct sense, but diet often influences these causes so you should know about these.
Hormones – Truth is, that all acne is hormonal to some degree. What you eat affects your insulin and IGF-1 levels, the two key hormones that cause pimples.
Inflammation – This is another one of the top causes of acne. Read this article here to understand how you can fight inflammation with antioxidants.
Digestive Health – What happens in your gut shows on your face. Drawing the gut-skin axis will help you understand if you need to check your diet for acne causes.
Eggs & Acne
Eggs are rich in two minerals are right in your acne medication – sulfur and zinc. Apart from that eggs are rich in both Vitamins A and E. Both these vitamins are loaded with antioxidants that help heal your skin faster and reduce scarring.
If you took a look at the topical acne salve or cream your dermatologist suggested, it’s quite likely that it will be a sulfur treatment for acne or a retinoid (made of Vitamin A also known as retinol). Sulfur works as a keratolytic, meaning it dries out the skin and helps it shed faster so the blocked pore is opened and your skin heals quickly.
Eggs are also great sources of retinol so be sure to include them in your acne diet. They are loaded with Vitamin E, which is essential for skin health. While we’re on the subject, eggs are powerful little packets of zinc and selenium that your spotless skin is sure to thank you for. Please consume organic, free-range eggs that are nourishing and wholesome.
Meats & Acne
Zinc deficiency is one of the common causes of breakouts. The best diet for acne treatment includes foods with zinc like seafood, fish like tuna, red meats like pork and lamb, and white meats like chicken and turkey.
Both red and white meats can serve as best dietary sources of zinc, and can actually give you glowing skin when consumed in moderation. In any case, there is no proof to support the claim that meats bring on acne attacks. Studies have shown the bacteriostatic effects of zinc against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium related to acne. More research has proved the case of zinc deficiency contributes to growth of acne and how it can be reversed with zinc supplements.
While one must exercise caution while consuming red meat, processed meats should be avoided completely for clear skin. It has been observed that populations that ate higher amounts of seafood and fish showed lower prevalence of skin conditions like acne. This is because seafood is chockfull of omega 3 fatty acids, which arrest the inflammation brought on by cytokines.