Ice cream, gelato, and similar dairy-and-sugar deliciousness have a profound and FAST effect on the mechanisms that trigger acne breakouts. First off is the dairy; while trying to clear your skin or avoid new breakouts, you simply must know that dairy is your enemy- primarily because of the hormones (insulin-like growth factor hormone along with progesterone). These are naturally occurring in dairy milk and both hormones influence sebum production in the deep hair follicles that line your jaw and chin, hence the painful, underground, even cystic acne that arrives the day after dairy. The kicker is that products are largely ineffective at preventing these breakouts because they originate about ½ inch under the skin, far too deep for products to reach for prevention. The best solution for these breakouts is Benzoyl Peroxide with sulfur to tame the inflammation and dry up the sebum. But that leads to dry, peeling skin and doesn’t work well for darker skin types due to hyper-pigmentation that can come from the skin being too dried out topically. Why create a problem at all then? Not worth your precious time in our opinion. Opt for a sorbet and you’ll still get a dose of happiness without worrying what your skin will look like in the morning.
The other factor to consider with desserts is the sugar and chocolate content. As with everything, the devil is in the dosage. A bite or two here and there won’t plague your skin but a full serving will spike your blood sugar, which also triggers excess oil production and general inflammation. HINT: you’ll mainly notice sugar acne around your nose, inner cheeks, and potentially forehead. The nose is the first responder to sugar-induced breakouts, so if you see extra blackheads after a sweet attack, you’ll know you had a bit too much. But guess what? We like people to love life and go nuts once in a while! “Everything in moderation, including moderation” I always say. Here is what to do if you want to indulge and also want to minimize breakouts:
1) Chug water after sugary foods. A full liter ASAP is always a good help. Helps to dilute the sugar in your blood and keep body temperature & inflammation down.
2. Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements, about 400-600 mg taken prior to or just after indulging. This helps with detoxification and glucose (sugar) metabolism.
3. Get your Alkaline on. Organic celery juice, powdered wheat grass powder, other low sugar green drinks the next morning will help minimize inflammation and get the clear skin momentum back in your favor.
Pro Tip: Try cashew or coconut ice cream! Stick with whole ingredients – ones you can pronounce. Yes, there will still be sugar but you’ll dodge the dairy disaster acne. Bon appetit!