Researching about having clear, acne free skin can be a bit overwhelming. There are thousands of articles and advice telling you so many different things. So let’s keep it simple. As an Acne Expert and Holistic Nutritionist here are my top 7 things to steer clear of if you have acne.
1. Picking, Popping or Squeezing Your Pimple
This is the number 1 no-no but also the hardest for people to give up. We get it, something irritates you on your face and you just have to go at it. But are you ever happy ever? Picking, popping, or squeezing when not extracted by a professional always makes it worse, leaving the healing process to take twice as long. By popping a pimple you can actually spread bacteria causing more pimples to show up. It also leads to increased redness and infection. Just avoid touching a pimple at all costs!
2. Pore Clogging Ingredients
When purchasing makeup, skincare, and hair products many of us just look at the words on the front of the bottle, aka the marketing. Some of it is true, some of it false. You need to take control over your products and know what to avoid so they aren’t leading to additional breakouts. We made it easy for you! Check all of your current products against our Pore Clogging Ingredients list. Now you can save this as your holy grail list to check all products before purchasing!
If you have chronic acne this should be the very first food category to cut out. Acne is an inflammatory condition which means foods that cause excess inflammation can cause or worsen acne. This includes dairy. The hormones in dairy can react with the hormones in your body increasing the production of sebum (the oil that clogs your pores). I addition, whey and casein both release a hormone in your body which is known to trigger breakouts. We recommend switching to an unsweetened coconut, almond, or cashew milk for your morning coffee and checking all places where dairy might hide such as in your nutrition bars, protein powder, and salad dressings. We have created a best anti acne diet page and skin nutrition advice that you can follow to decrease inflammation in your skin and avoid triggering breakouts.
Along with dairy, sugar causes inflammation. This can make already existing acne worse as well as cause new breakouts. When you eat sugar you cause spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels which in turn causes spikes in the hormones that lead to acne. Examples of sugars are: bread, crackers, cereal, white rice, white flour, pasta, soda, sweeteners such as cane sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup.
We recommend eating low-glycemic whole foods for clear skin. This will help to balance out your hormones and blood sugar levels. The holistic approach doesn’t happen overnight, eating clean food consistently will be the key to healing.
5. Certain Supplements
Surprisingly enough, some supplements can actually cause acne, especially if it is a supplement your body does not need.
B12- Though a very necessary vitamin for you body, if you are already getting enough B12 through nutrition, excess vitamin B12 has been shown to throw off the skins natural bacteria leading to breakouts.
Biotin – A vitamin that is marketed as one good for hair, skin, and nails can actually be one of the worst for causing acne. Biotin is naturally produced in the body and many of us produce the correct amount. Supplementing with it can be unnecessary and lead to acne. Check your multivitamins, powdered drink mixes as well as hair products because many contain biotin!
Multivitamins – These are a mix of vitamins we may need but also many we might not. A big trigger is iodine which is directly linked to acne. Most multivitamins also contain B12 and Biotin which we already talked about. We recommend supplementing with specific vitamins you need rather then packaging it all into 1 and risking and increase in vitamins you don’t need. Look out for our future articles on best anti acne supplements.
Easier said than done right? When you get stressed out you raise your cortisol levels. When that happens your immune system is suppressed and your oil glands begin to produce more oil, leading to breakouts and many times cystic acne. Though you can’t get rid of all stress (because stress is important for survival) you can learn to manage it! Find what works for you, maybe it’s taking a walk, going to yoga, taking deep breathes, calling a friend. Whatever help you lower your stress levels!
7. Hot Showers
We call this “shower burning” your skin. Hot showers actually damage your skin cells and tissues by causing tiny tears in the skin leading to breakouts and infections. If you already have acne, hot showers will make it worse by aggravating it and causing your acne to spread. Worst of all you will dry out your skin by burning away your skin’s natural oils that protect your skin. This not only increases the aging process of the skin but then sends a signal for your skin to overproduce oil leading to more breakouts. All in all, hot showers are a big NO. Stick to cool water for your face and warm water on the rest of your body.
Also be sure to check out our awesome CLEARstem serum that will help heal your skin and it’s acne safe. Our plant stem cell serum will also heal acne scars, moisturize your skin as well as add anti-aging properties, for healthy skin that is calm, bright and glowing.