If your struggles with acne didn't end during your teens, you're not alone. However, dealing with periodic pimples is even more frustrating once you're simultaneously working with an anti-aging regimen. Though certain over-the-counter medications and topical treatments can reduce the size of pimples when they appear, treating these breakouts from the inside out is often the best approach. Learn more about how an anti-inflammatory diet may be able to help treat chronic acne.
What Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
An anti-inflammatory diet is similar to a low-glycemic diet in that it focuses on consuming foods that don't cause inflammation or sudden spikes in blood sugar. Consuming these inflammatory foods can set off immune responses that may trigger breakouts, while focusing your diet on low-inflammation foods can give you time to heal. This means forgoing foods like bread, potato chips, pastries, sugary drinks, and white rice in favor of fresh vegetables, fruits, oats, and legumes.
Not only can an anti-inflammatory diet reduce your risk of breakouts, but it can also improve your overall health, helping you lose weight, reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, and feel more energetic without the use of caffeine or other stimulants.
How Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Combat Acne?
Consuming high-glycemic and inflammatory foods can boost sebum production, which increases the amount of oil on the surface of your skin. Washing your face more often can only compound the problem; as this can also boost sebum production. In short, the only way to permanently reduce the amount of oil your skin produces (short of medication) is to change your diet.
In addition, eating greasy foods like potato chips and french fries with your bare hands can increase the risk of transferring oil to your face via your fingers. Even if you're careful not to touch your face after you've eaten these foods, unless you wash your hands immediately, you're likely to transfer this grease to your computer keyboard, your phone screen, or other surfaces you touch frequently.
If you decide to try an anti-inflammatory diet to see whether it helps reduce your acne, it can be useful to keep a food diary. By tracking when you eat certain foods and what skin symptoms you experience afterward, you'll be able to observe any patterns that can let you know which foods to avoid going forward. For example, many people find that consuming dairy can trigger breakouts, while others have found a connection between an increase in caffeine consumption and oilier skin.