Adult acne is embarrassing for many people – most of whom believed that they left the possibility of having acne behind years ago as teenagers. However, adult acne isn’t all that uncommon according to Jonette Keri, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and chief of dermatology at the Miami VA Medical Center, who says that nearly 30% of women and 20% of men between 20 and 60 are routinely troubled by breakouts.
While hormonal imbalances, clogged pores, and trapped bacteria are the most common causes of adult acne, what you eat does play a significant role in the health of your skin. No, fried foods won’t make you breakout, but making certain modifications to your diet could help your skin look better.
Replace Processed Sugar with Fresh Fruit
Processed sugar won’t immediately cause you to break out, and having that sweet treat once a week isn’t what’s giving you acne. However, processed sugar increases inflammation in the body, which tends to result in making acne look worse, as well as feel worse.
To promote healthy skin, try replacing processed sugar with fresh fruit. Ideally, focusing on fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries is best.
Berries are particularly good for your skin because they contain large amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, that help kill free radicals in the body that can lead to collagen breakdown and less supple skin – both of which make adult acne appear worse than it really is.
Snack on Raw Nuts, Not Processed Junk
Potato chips and crackers are convenient, but they aren’t doing much for your skin. Instead of tossing a package of crackers in your bag for that mid-day snack, try a handful of raw nuts.
Raw nuts are good for your skin because they are high in omega fatty acids, making the skin more supple and actually helping to reduce inflammation. When it comes to nuts, always choose raw unsalted nuts like almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, or hazelnuts.
You’ll also want to limit your intake of nuts to one serving per day, as they are relatively high in calories and fat – even if it is the healthy kind of fat.
Cook with Olive Oil
There are lots of different oils on the market that you can use to prepare food, but when it comes to skin health, olive oil is still the king. Olive oil is high in antioxidants and has significant anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s so good for making your skin soft, smooth, and supple.
Although olive is relatively high in fat, it’s a heart-healthy type of fat that’s good for your body. When cooking with olive oil, avoid high heat – this leads to a breakdown of the oil, causing it to lose some of its health benefits.
Skip the Refined Carbohydrates
Adding more fruit, raw nuts, and olive oil to your diet can all help your skin, but removing refined carbohydrates from it – at least as much as possible – may be even more beneficial. Refined carbohydrates, which are basically just sugar to your body, cause significant inflammation and are generally associated with skin damage.
The biggest offenders include white bread, white rice, snack crackers, cookies, cake, and other baked goods. Whenever possible, look for products that contain whole wheat or whole grains instead of processed white flour.
Having adult acne makes it feel like you stand out like a sore thumb from the crowd of adults in your workplace or in your personal life. However, adult acne doesn’t have to be a life sentence.
Eating right won’t always change your skin completely, but combined with proper skin care and help from your dermatologist, eating well for your skin can make a noticeable difference.