If you’re eager to recover from your last aggressive breakout of acne, you need a few basic diet directives to relax the symptoms and combat the condition. While the link between diet and acne has been a controversial one, research suggests that what’s on your plate plays a significant role in combating or preventing the condition.
Your first line of defense - omega 3 fatty-acids
To begin with, you want to make sure that your diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids can be obtained only through our diet. Broadly, seafood or plant-based foods that are enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of acne.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:
Fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines, pastured eggs, soybeans and soy products such as tofu, spinach, kale, navy beans; nuts such as walnuts and almonds, flaxseeds, mustard seeds and wild rice.
Treating acne can be tough to figure out. Sure, the usual course of treatment seems straight forward enough: Cleanse, use gentler skin products and see your dermatologist when things get out of hand. But sometimes the results just don’t show. You do everything right and the acne comes back for seconds.
Here’s the problem. Topical treatments like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and lately, retinol have pretty much been the same for the last few decades. Because for far too long, we’ve blamed the same triggers for acne: a mix of sebum, dirt and pore-clogging bacteria.
But lately, there’s strong evidence to suggest that there may be a new reason for your acne attacks – free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules released by sunshine and pollution, and boy can they wreak havoc on your skin. Free radicals destroy collagen, form dark spots and most importantly cause inflammations in the skin. Thankfully, there’s a way to build up your skin’s defense systems – antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds naturally formed in your body. But you can also find them in certain foods. Foods rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre are effective against those inflammations we just talked about.
- Dark chocolate
With so much uncertainty surrounding the problematic relationship of diet and acne it can be hard to know which foods to adopt and avoid. To put it simply, certain strategies may work for some but not for others.
Keeping a food diary and religiously reporting it to your doctor can be immensely useful, but changing a diet also demands all your patience.
If you’re looking for swifter results, speak to your dietitian or dermatologist for safer oral antibiotic alternatives. Drugs with isotretinoin are often prescribed for this, especially for very severe cases of acne. It’s a Vitamin A derivative, so your body reacts to it in the same way. Alongside the fatty acids and anti-oxidants, it too may be worth bringing to the dinner table.