Everyone who knows me or follows me on social media knows I've suffered from acne for a very long time. Last summer, it was under control. I was finally free from active acne (except the occasional zit or two) and I was working on getting rid of the acne scars. I was really happy with where I was and couldn't wait for my skin to be fully clear. But then winter happened and things got slightly worse, I wasn't too upset and just kept working on getting my skin clear.
Fast forward to this year, around January or so my cystic acne came back and in full force. This happens when I am in contact with chemicals, like if I am around when painting is done, or if I use chemicals for cleaning. Knowing this, I have been avoiding such situations for the last few years and everything was going well until painting work was done in the office. After a while, I finally found a good dermatologist and ever since then have been trying to get my skin under control. Because I am a firm believer that acne cannot fully be cured from the outside only, I decided to also look at my diet and see where I can make some changes.
Firstly, I excluded diary products as much as I could. Milk contains a growth hormone called IGF-1 which is great for baby cows but for those who suffer from acne, it increases sebum product and impacts inflammation and redness making the acne only worse. Diary also stimulates insulin production and that means more acne. So based on those reasons, there is lots of information on the internet suggesting that those suffering from acne should cut out milk & other diary products from their diet. After reading a lot on this topic, I decided to give it a go.
Although I haven't excluded diary entirely from my diet, I have seen a difference in my skin. I still have pizza sometimes or an ice-cream, but I believe I am handling it pretty well. Since dairy also contains probiotics, calcium or other nutrients which we need, you have to keep in mind to find substitutes. For example you can have your oats with Almond milk or Coconut milk, just make sure to get the unsweetened one.
Secondly, I'm focusing on eating foods with lower glycemic index (GI). High GI foods are believed to cause spikes in the production of insulin and that as we already saw with the case of dairy means more acne. So even though I love me some potatoes made in the oven, those had to go because not only were they making my acne worse, but they were also making me full and bloated. Since I am now actively working out and getting in shape trying to build muscle mass and loose the belly fat, this impacts negatively on all the work I have done.
Lastly, I increased my water intake and decreased the amount of soda, juice and other processed drinks I have. Water is so important for healthy skin, not only for those who suffer from acne but for everyone in general. If you do not hydrate then your skin will be affected and will look dull. The processed drinks also contain lots of sugar which is really bad for your skin.
I will be looking into other information regarding the link between the diet and acne. As of now, I have about 3-4 active spots but the rest is just severe acne scarring which needs time to heal. If you have any suggestions on how to help sever acne scarring, then please leave them in the comments below. And if you are like me suffering from severe cystic acne, know that it will get better. Start by looking at your diet and go see a good dermatologist. If you are in Barcelona, drop me an email and I can give you the details of mine.
What diet changes have you made to help with your acne journey?