What's the Deal With Acne? Why Do I Still Have Zits?!!? (+ FACE MASK RECIPE)

May 13, 2019

Whether you call them pimples, blemishes, or zits, ACNE is a common skin condition that can be a source of discomfort, frustration, and embarrassment for those who experience it.

 

There’s quite a lot of behind-the-scenes action happening in your body that contributes to the development of it.

 

 

What Is Acne?

 

Acne can occur at any age, but is often experienced during distinct phases of hormonal shifting, like adolescence, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. This is because fluctuating hormone levels can increase the amount of oil produced by the skin.

 

A bout of acne or even the appearance of a single pimple is the result of a buildup of oil, skin cells, and/or bacteria in the pores of the skin.

 

 

Causes of Acne

 

Studies have linked acne to:

  • Inflammation – the root cause of all disease

  • Compromised gut health (i.e. leaky gut, not enough good gut bacteria)

  • High blood sugar and unstable insulin levels

  • Hormonal imbalances

 

The foods you eat don’t usually directly cause breakouts, but can contribute to acne by promoting inflammation, impairing gut health, and spiking blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Inflammatory foods include those high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Examples include:

 

White breads, pasta, and rice

Candy, baked goods, and other sweet desserts

Sweetened drinks, like soda

Fried foods

Hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and saturated fats found in margarines, processed foods, and many animal products

 

Refined carbohydrates (many of which are high glycemic index foods), contain little fibre and protein, which helps slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes.

 

Instead, these sugary foods are quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing blood sugar to climb and lots of insulin to be released.

 

Excess insulin can affect other hormones and cause too much oil to be made by the skin, resulting in those dreaded breakouts.

 

 

Typical Acne Treatments

 

Most people deal with breakouts on the surface, relying on topical cleansers, creams and lotions to treat their blemished skin as fast as possible.

 

However, relying solely on these types of treatments can result in a cycle of continuous breakouts and can delay complete healing of the skin. 

 

‘Spot treatments’ are just that – they treat the symptom (the acne), but never address the underlying root cause.

 

Instead of reaching for the harsh topicals and concealer, try healing your skin from the inside out. 

 

 

Treating Acne Holistically

 

It’s important to consider any foods you may be sensitive to and to try avoid or minimize those. Your immune system can react to certain foods, causing even more of an inflammatory response. 

 

If you suspect your breakouts may be caused by a food sensitivity, consider testing or trying an elimination diet to identify the food trigger. This is best done under the guidance of a nutrition professional or healthcare practitioner.

 

Common food triggers include sugar, wheat, soy, and dairy (cow’s milk). 

 

To heal skin and prevent future breakouts, focus on foods that contain plenty of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats like:

 

·      A variety of fruits and vegetables – the more colourful your diet, the better!

·      Nuts and seeds, especially flax & chia for the extra dose of omega-3 fats

·      Wild-caught salmon

·      Lean, grass fed meats

·      Whole grains & seeds, like quinoa, oats, and brown rice

 

COOL TIP: When a breakout occurs, you can use the same healing foods topically to help soothe, hydrate, and cleanse irritated skin.

 

The foods that are health-optimizing for your insides can also be soothing and calming for the outside! 

RECIPE Soothing DIY Acne Face Mask

 

¼ cup papaya, mashed

1 Tbsp oatmeal

1 tsp raw honey

 

Optional

2 - 4 drops tea tree oil (or combo tea tree and lavender)

 

How to prepare

Stir together ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to clean, dry skin (face, neck, shoulders, back - anywhere you have irritated, acneic skin).

Leave on 15-20 minutes, then rinse off completely, and pat dry.

And voilà, happily refreshed skin.

 

* If you choose to “taste” your mask before slathering it on, do NOT ingest if you have added essential oils!

References:

Healthline - Foods that cause acne

Healthline - Anti-acne Diet

Healthline - Symptoms of acne

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. The information provided is for general educational purposes, and has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietician or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices. Reading and applying recommendations from the blog does not constitute a client-coach relationship. See our full disclaimer at https://www.fiercelynourished.com

 

It's such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier.  Please share with friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested or inspired by it.

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