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Are breakouts bringing you down? Check out these foods that can help and hinder your acne problem.
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of SELF.
Having amazing skin isn’t only about the products you put on your face. Your complexion is also a reflection of the food you eat. Certain additions to your diet can help heal acne and inflammation, while other ingredients can cause your breakouts. Read on to find out the best (and worst) foods for your skin.
Fill your plate with these foods that fight inflammation and acne.
Found in kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles, they may help reduce inflammation by encouraging healthy bacteria to grow in your gut.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Inflammation-fighting foods like salmon and walnuts have a higher ratio of omega-3s (the good fats!) than omega-6s, says William Rietkerk, M.D.
Acne sufferers have fewer of these complexion boosters, says Whitney Bowe, M.D. Snack on dark greens and berries to get your fill.
Lower levels of this essential mineral have been connected to more severe acne, says Dr. Rietkerk. Nosh on cashews and almonds to up your intake.
Eat these ingredients in moderation to keep your breakouts at bay.
1. Coconut oil
The oil of the moment could be a pore clogger. Consider swapping it for sunflower-seed oil if you see breakouts around your mouth.
2. Whey Protein
One small study showed that this ingredient could lead to acne. Dr. Bowe has seen improvement when patients eliminate powders and bars that contain it.
3. High-Glycemic Foods
“These raise blood sugar,” says Jennifer Burris, R.D. That causes hormone levels to rise. Stick to whole, high-fiber foods instead.
Double trouble: Not only does most dairy cause hormone production on its own, but it’s also full of the same acne-causing hormones from cows, says Dr. Bowe.