These are the foods that’ll cause and cure your acne

As much as we love our expensive skin care products and our DIY face masks, did you know your diet might play a bigger role in how your skin looks and feels?

We got a chance to ask Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology, about the foods that can make your face break out like you’re going through puberty all over again, as well as the ones that can save it. 

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First things first, you have to get your shit together and eat right. Dr. Lortscher says that what’s good for our hearts, brains and bodies is also good for our skin. So this means all those times your grandma told you to drink eight cups of 8-ounce cups of water a day to keep you healthy was true. This is a major key to getting clear skin.

Next, cut sugar out of your diet as much as possible. Soda, candy and super rich deserts can actually aid in causing acne to turn up on your face.

“Sugar (white and brown, or in any form) influences the two major causes of acne: hormones and inflammation,” Dr. Lortscher says. So lets break down how some of the most common foods we eat daily can either cause or cure acne.

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1. Alcohol: no bueno

“Although drinking too much alcohol does not directly cause acne, it is certainly feasible that it may trigger acne,” Dr. Lortscher says. “Excess alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, causing your body to lose more fluids than normal by producing more urine, which is also more dilute. Hydration is key for well-nourished skin.”

2. Chocolate and fatty foods: good to go

Just when you thought old faithful chocolate didn’t have your back, it’s super unlikely that eating fatty foods and chocolate causes acne in most people, although the evidence is not conclusive either way.

3. Carbs: it depends

“The latest scientific evidence suggests that diets high in sugar or simple carb foods and dairy, even organic and varieties without added hormones, may predispose some people to acne,” Dr. Lortscher says. “There are 2 broad categories of carbs: high glycemic index (bad) and low glycemic index (good). High GI foods like white bread, pasta, potatoes, and most desserts increase blood glucose levels, forcing our bodies to produce insulin to absorb the extra glucose. Insulin causes inflammation in the skin and may trigger acne.”

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4. Fruit: very good

 Eating “smart carbs” like green veggies, berries, legumes, tofu, seeds and whole grains can lead to healthier skin overall and fortify skin against premature aging, which is what we all want and need.

5. Dairy: not so much

“Milk contains precursors to testosterone and other androgens, which influence the hormone receptors in the skin to catalyze the process that causes acne,” Dr. Lortscher says. “This in turn leads to the clogging of pores — an effect that is more pronounced with the intake of skim milk than that of whole milk. It’s possible that cheese, ice cream, and yogurt may be associated with acne, but the link appears to be stronger with milk.”

At the end of the day you’re grown and you’re going to eat and drink what you want. So when it comes to clear skin and a healthy lifestyle, just try substituting little by little and you’ll probably notice the changes in your skin.

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