If you have acne, I can completely relate since it plagued my life and self esteem until I was 19 and learned some simple dietary solutions to reduce acne. Everyone says that acne is hormonal, and that is very true. Yet, what I wish we heard more about today is how the foods we eat actually influence every single hormonal reaction in our body. No, we can’t stop puberty or menopause, but we can eat to support our hormones so acne doesn’t happen. How do you do that? I’m going to show you through 9 simple dietary solutions to reduce acne, in just as little as two weeks. After six months, I’m willing to bet you’ll be completely acne free if you keep up the good work too!
1. Introduce Omega 3’s
One of the very first dietary solutions to reduce acne is to introduce omega 3 fatty acids to your diet. It is great to eat fish three or four times per week and be sure to eat only wild fish, not farmed, to avoid toxins and high doses of mercury. If you don’t like fish, consider taking fish oil. I actually take fish oil everyday anyway, because it is such a great anti-inflammatory for the skin. It helped clear my acne along with the other things I’ll tell you about, but I can honestly say, it is what helped keep my skin softer and more moisturized too. If you don’t want to use fish oil, try flax oil or flax oil capsules, which work just as well. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are also excellent sources of omegas, as well as hemp oil and hemp seeds. The fats promote a response in the cells that inhibits and treats inflammation that leads to acne, redness and irritation.These fats also support your thyroid and other hormones. These hormone reactions also help to promote a positive mood almost immediately after eating them.This hormonal response isn't just great for your body and mind, but also your skin.
2. Ditch Sugar ASAP
You should immediately quit eating sugar in all refined and added forms, and even cut back on fruits for a short time. Fruits are healthy for you, but they are high in sugar and they are also acidic by nature. This creates inflammation in the skin, especially if you’re already skin-sensitive and have acne to begin with. Sugar is very acidic, highly inflammatory, and it has a truly negative effect on your hormones, even though it makes you feel the opposite. Refined sugar has been proven to be just as addictive as cocaine, yet it ruins your blood sugar and can actually cause depression because of what it does to your hormones. It creates a roller coaster effect to your blood sugar that alters your insulin levels rapidly. Insulin is a hormone in your body and when too much is being released at one time, stress signals are released through your body and your blood sugar is all over the place. This wreaks havoc on your hormones, which leads to acne quickly.
3. Ditch Refined Grains
Refined grains are no better than sugar when it comes to your skin. Yes, even whole grain bread is a refined grain product. Even though it is whole grain, it is highly processed and your body uses it very similarly to any processed whole grain cereal or other food. Refined grains like white flour are the worst of all. It’s best to stick with grains in their whole form, such as whole oats, quinoa, brown rice, or better yet, just eat root veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots and squash to get in your complex carbs. Refined grains and processed grains create a rise in the glycemic index similar to sugar, though slower. You want to keep your glycemic index on as an even keel as possible if you want to reduce acne fast. The fewer processed carbs you’re eating, the faster this happens.
4. Eat Lots of Greens
Greens are one of your best friends when it comes to getting rid of acne fast. Filled with chlorophyll and Vitamin A, they’re just brimming with nutrients that fight acne, wrinkles, sun damage and inflammation. Saute them with some coconut oil and garlic with lemon, or just use them in a smoothie, which is my favorite way. Also, toss them in your salads and stir them in your omelets. Either way, greens are fantastic for your skin, and you truly just can’t get too many of them.
5. Fill up on Lean Protein
Why lean protein for acne, you ask? Well, lean protein does two things that help fight acne and hormone fluctuations. First, it steadies your blood sugar, which creates this nice, even baseline for your insulin levels. It keeps you from reaching from the candy bowl or cookie bag right after you eat, so you don’t crave junk that will break your face out. Next, protein also provides the body with collagen. Your skin is made from collagen fibers and part of reducing acne, is repairing skin cells and giving them the nutrients they need to actually repair efficiently. Protein manufacturers collagen in the body, so it is essential for good skin. For the best anti-inflammatory effects, get your protein from more plant-based sources instead of animal-based sources, which are inflammatory and also aging to the skin. Eat mostly plant-based proteins like hemp seed and hemp protein powder, quinoa, spirulina, spinach, and keep animal sources to pastured eggs, wild fish and even small amounts of non-fat, organic and plain Greek yogurt.
6. Take Probiotics or Eat Them
When it comes to clear skin, it truly does start from within, beginning with your gut. Your gut has more microbes and bacteria than skin cells in your body. Is that not incredible? These gut microbes pretty much comprise who you are, and they can either be made of good bacteria, or bad bacteria, depending on what you feed them, what toxins you encounter, how much stress you’re under, or other health conditions. Two thirds of your immune system is also located in your gut. This means that the microbes in your gut determine your health, and your skin is one of the first indicators of what is going on inside your body. When your gut microbes are made of bad bacteria, you’re suffering from toxic stress that will be released through your skin, causing acne. A high sugar diet, fast food diet, and processed food diet all contribute to bad gut health and feed bad bacteria. So, to reverse that, you need to feed your body good food and also give it back good bacteria through probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria absorbed by your gut. They put in the good stuff, and kill off the bad. I take a supplement three times a day of a multiple strain probiotic, and I also eat my probiotics. Probiotics occur in fermented and cultured foods such as sauerkraut, non-fat and plain yogurt and kefir, wheatgrass, kimchi, pure cacao or pure chocolate, real pickles ( not the processed ones on the shelf at the store), and miso, along with a few others. Eat one or two of these foods a day and take a supplement once a day if not more. Your skin will start to clear because your gut health will improve and help get rid of harmful bacteria and toxins that make their way out through your skin.
7. Eat Lots of Veggies
Just like you need lots of leafy greens, you also need veggies. Veggies are filled with nutrients that nourish your skin, reduce inflammation, and they have Vitamins A and C, and various B vitamins that nourish the skin. Most also have Vitamin K, especially lettuces, which all help improve blood flow to the skin. Carrots and other orange veggies are amazing for you because they contain beta-carotene, which fights acne. Did you know the chemical acne medication known as Accutane is merely made from a scientific version of beta-carotene? Just eat your beta-carotene instead and save money and chemical exposure! I love carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
8. Drink Decaf Green Tea
Green tea is amazing for your skin. It combats acne and inflammation, but be sure to use caffeine free. Regular green tea is fine once a day, but too much caffeine can cause your blood sugar to drop rapidly, making you crave sugar and creating the same insulin response in the body. Drink herbal teas and decaf green tea, which are caffeine-free for the most part, and also have other nutrients within them that aid in skin health.
9. Drink More Water and Add Some Lemon Too
Water is great for your skin, and adding lemon makes it just a notch or two healthier. Why? Lemons detoxify the skin and the entire body, especially the liver, where toxins are filtered out from the blood. Lemons also contain Vitamin C that aids in skin health and repair. Plus, lemons make water taste more refreshing, especially over ice, so it makes your water easier and more pleasurable to drink anyway. The more alkaline your body, the less acne you’ll have and water is a great cheap and simple way to alkalize your body all day long.
If you have the money, juicing is also excellent for beating acne, as are green smoothies. Just be sure to watch how much fruit you’re consuming if a quick reduction in acne is a goal. You can always add them back later over time, slowly, to see how your skin reacts. Fruits are natural healthy foods, unlike refined sugar, but in the beginning, it can help to lower your sugar overall, even from natural sources. Juicing and blending green smoothies are a fabulous way to bring in more nutrients and chlorophyll into your blood and I promise you’ll learn to love them as much as I do once you see how great they make you feel and look. What’s your favorite skin food to eat to beat acne fast?