One in five adults age between 25 and 40 suffer from acne regularly. Some claimed that certain cosmetics, skincare products and foods can trigger their skin breakouts.
How Acne Develops
Acne is often triggered by overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum. The excess sebum then mixes with dead skin cells and naturally-occurring skin bacteria, causing blocked pores. These blocked pores provide the perfect environment for the bacteria to multiply rapidly, resulting in skin inflammation and infection, known as acne.
The sebum production is controlled by hormones, particularly androgens like testosterone. Compared to women, men produce ten times or even higher testosterone, that's why men tend to have oilier skin than women.
Foods That Help Calm Acne-Prone Skin
According to a study in 2016, these following foods can trigger acne breakouts in some individuals:
- Dairy products
- Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) and a high glycemic load (GL) such as sweets, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks or sodas.
On the other hand, numerous studies reported that these following foods can help improve the condition of acne-prone skin:
A 30 day clinical trial showed that drinking spearmint tea reduced the androgen levels in women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
2. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts contain selenium and zinc, two minerals that have been reported to help improve the condition of acne-prone skin.
Scientists believe that zinc helps calm irritation and prevent the growth of acne bacteria.
3. Fatty Fish
Acne is linked to inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help prevent inflammation and support healthy skin cells turnover. Fatty fish is the best source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Curcumin, the active substance in Turmeric is known to have excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for acne-prone skin.
5. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and oats are low in glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods help prevent high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels have been linked to inflammatory conditions including heart disease, diabetes, acne, eczema and others.
The Link between Stress Levels and Acne Breakouts
When your body is stressed, there is a hormone fluctuation that causes an increase in sebum production. The increase in sebum production due to stress is usually more prominent in women than in men. This is one of the reasons why women are four times likely to suffer from adult acne than men.
A healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular exercise, helps reduce stress levels and skin breakouts.
How to Care for Acne-prone Skin
Apart from hormonal imbalances, foods and lifestyle; skincare routine and products can affect the condition of your skin.
To help reduce and prevent acne breakouts, you can follow this simple skincare routine.
1. Cleanse your skin twice a day
Even if you have oily skin, don’t wash your face too often. Wash your face in the morning and at night with a gentle cleanser. Make sure that you remove all makeup from your face before going to bed.
Avoid using a harsh cleanser that contains Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate. These foaming agents can cause skin surface dryness which stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to compensate this dryness.
2. Keep your skin well hydrated
Healthy skin moisture helps regulate the sebum production and balance the complexion. Use a light serum or cream to keep your skin hydrated.
After washing your face every morning and evening, spritz multi-award-winning Henry Tianus Antioxidant Youthful Essence all over the face and neck. Formulated with Turmeric, Ginkgo, Blue Chamomile, pro-vitamin B5 and Allantoin to soothe and reduce inflammation while also protect skin from free radicals, oxidative stress and environmental pollution.
Scientific studies revealed that the regular topical application of linoleic acid, the major component of cacay oil, can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. To prevent dryness in acne-prone skin in winter season or at any time of the year, try award-winning PariQu Rose & Cacay Hydrating Serum Cream. Formulated with cacay oil, rose extract and a plant-derived skincare active called Saccharide Isomerate, to soothe, deeply hydrate and keep your skin smooth and calm without making it greasy.
Avoid using cosmetics and skincare products that contain beeswax or silicones such as dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and cyclopentasiloxane. Silicones and beeswax tend to block your pores.
3. Seek a professional help
You have been dealing with acne breakouts for sometimes. You have tried many things and none seems to work. What else should you do?
Well, it is time for you to get a professional help. Talk to your GP or other medical professional to see whether there is any underlying condition that need to be treated first.
The sooner you get a professional help, the more likely that you don't need to deal with acne scars and pigmentation problems.
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Sources: Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris, Postȩpy Dermatologii I Alergologii, 2016 Apr; 33(2): 81–86; Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome, Phytotherapy Research, 2010 Feb;24(2):186-8.