Acne is a condition of inflammation. Many people associate acne with hormones or eating foods like chocolate or pizza. While diet does play a role in acne, the biggest issue is managing inflammation both internally and externally on the skin.
In terms of diet, research suggests that eating a high glycemic diet (think white bread and sugary foods) is the #1 worst thing you can do. This sets the stage for internal inflammation, which leads to breakouts. Dairy products have also been shown to increase acne, likely due to the hormones which are naturally present in milk. There are foods that help with acne too. Eating fatty fish on a regular basis, or taking a high quality fish oil supplement can reduce inflammation and support health skin cell structure. In addition, foods rich in probiotics such as fermented soy, yogurt, sauerkraut and probiotic supplemented foods help manage inflammation on the inside, leading to healthier skin on the outside.
When looking for acne skincare products, it’s best to choose products from a natural skincare line. These products do not contain harmful chemicals and additives that can further inflame the skin. Feeding the healthy flora that line the skin is also important. Products which contain fructooligosaccharides (fruit sugars) provide prebiotics – the food for the healthy bacteria that live on our skin. The healthy flora help manage the bacteria and bad guys we don’t want. Acne is all about managing bacteria, inflammation and keeping the skin exfoliated and clean.
A dmSkincare kit for acne should ideally contain the following products: a retinol-based serum to be applied in the evening, a toner which contains glycolic to deeply penetrate the pores and clean them, and an AHA exfoliator. The daily use of mineral sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher is also very important, as well as looking for those fruit sugars on the ingredient lists of your serums and creams. These products will help manage the inflammation by keeping bacteria at bay and providing the nutrients that the skin needs to stay clean and healthy. Manage the inflammation, manage the acne.