If you are frequently breaking out, but don’t have a clue why – then this blog is for you! Whether it be hormones, food allergies and intolerance, stress, or environmental factors, almost anything can cause a break out these days. We’ve all been there, in our teens when we are eating junk like sugar, bread, refined foods, way too many carbs, and not enough healthy fats or protein. Vegetables were also something you just claimed you didn’t like. But after adopting a healthy lifestyle, and using lifestyle options to support my hormones, I’m now free of acne, and have more face confidence than I’ve ever had in my life. To find out the reasons you’re breaking out like I used to, check out these possible factors.
You can’t get enough of sugar
One of the most important reasons why you’re breaking out could possibly be that you can’t go a day without some form of sugar in your system. Now, first things first. Refined sugar in processed foods, and even excess healthy sugars like honey and agave, are all forms of sugar, and in people sensitive to sugar, they will cause breakouts. Anything that has sugar, even fruit, will raise your glycemic index a bit. Of course, fruit is better than any other form of sugar, but your body sees it all the same. If you notice that you break out when eating eating sugar of any kind, even fruit, back off of it for a week to see if your acne improves. Sugar causes insulin to spike in the body, and can make you break out due to fluctuations in your hormones. Even though fruit has fiber, for some people like myself, it causes acne. Others of you may just react to refined sugars, like those found in junk food. Either way, experiment with reducing your sugar intake and see if things improve. Sugar actually causes a breakdown of collagen in the skin, which triggers inflammation that leads to acne, so reducing it however you can will most likely take care of your acne issues, and even help you look a little younger too!
You’re allergic or sensitive to gluten
Most refined grains contain gluten, and if you’re consuming refined foods, most likely you’re eating some form of it. Even if you don’t have a proven gluten allergy, gluten can trigger acne because it causes inflammation to a high degree. Whole grains, such as whole wheat breads that contain gluten, are obviously healthier choices than white bread or refined grains, however gluten can still cause acne if you’re sensitive to it. To determine if gluten is the reason for your acne, eliminate all forms of it for a week to see if things improve. You’ll have to be extremely adamant about reading labels, and don’t stock up on all the processed gluten-free cookies and chips, which are mostly refined grains in some form as well. Instead, opt for whole, delicious foods like oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice as your source of carbs instead of gluten-containing products. An even better choice are carbs like sweet potatoes and butternut squash, which actually help fight acne due to their high Vitamin A content. Anything you can do to reduce your glycemic index by cutting your carbohydrate intake will help reduce acne. I’ve lived it and know many people who now have clear skin thanks to this one change in their diet. Give it a try, and see how it works for you!
Hormones are changing
Even if you’re eating healthy, you could still be breaking out if you’re going through a hormonal change in your body. When I hit menopause at a very early age, I found that no matter what I had done in the past to combat acne, I saw small flares again. I realized this was hormonal, and within a year, the issue had straightened itself back out, leaving me acne free again. If you’re eating a low-glycemic diet, avoiding excess stress, and not using products that may be breaking your face out, it could be hormone related. You’ll also probably feel different internally if it is hormone related. You might be more tired than normal, suffer excess sweating or moodiness, and overall just feel less than stellar. If you suffer severe symptoms, feel free to see your OBGYN to see if there are any medications that may help, or lifestyle changes you can adopt to ease symptoms.
You’re feeling the stress
Stress will give you acne just as much as anything else that I’ve mentioned here. Stress triggers the hormone cortisol in the body, and all hormones influence your acne issues. The more cortisol you have, the more insulin your body pumps out, and the more you’ll gain weight, have acne and have trouble sleeping. If you’re especially suffering high levels of stress, do whatever you can to combat this issue. If it is work related, considering altering your situation at work to remove the stress, confronting someone who is causing the stress, or getting help regarding the issue. In your personal time, it is more important than ever to eat a clean diet, eat regular meals, get 8 hours of sleep and do stress-reducing exercises like yoga, walking and meditation to reduce cortisol production. Herbal teas and green tea are also wonderful for reducing inflammation and stress to the body, and are very soothing as well.
You need to make some tweaks to your diet
I noticed a year ago that although I was eating healthy, something was missing. I felt anxious a good bit of the time, which led to a few breakouts here and there due to stress. I turned to my diet and quickly realised I wasn’t eating enough calcium-rich foods and magnesium-rich foods, which both combat stress and fatigue in the body. They also aid in bone-health, sleep, nervous system function, mood, and more. Due to their beneficial effects on the body, internal and external sources of stress are reduced just by eating them. To get the healthiest sources of these foods, be sure to include dietary sources such as nonfat plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, leafy greens, raw almonds, raw walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, fish such as salmon, and even pure 100% dark chocolate into your diet. Each of these foods have wonderful anti-stress properties to offer the body, and are some of the most beneficial foods to eat for acne as well. If you have a dairy intolerance, opt for dairy-free sources of yogurt instead.