Acne and spots are closely related to what you eat and this is something that most people who suffer with the condition are very aware of. This is why ‘acne diets’ are so popular and many of us carefully control what we eat in order to give our skin the best fighting chance.
But no matter how hard you try, there are going to be occasions where you slip up and give in to temptation. To err is human and even the most disciplined among us will sometimes be presented with a chocolate cake at a friend’s house, or a very tempting looking burger at a restaurant.
And then come the breakouts…
So is there a way you can prevent breakouts even when you’re not eating quite so healthily? Let’s take a look at the best way you can minimize the damage and keep breakouts under control while snacking on things you probably shouldn’t be…
The first tip is not to stress.
Because you see, it’s not just the food itself that is causing the breakout. There’s also an indirect link between the food, the stress that food causes and the way you then feel. If you eat a big burger followed by a chocolate milkshake, it will likely make you stressed that you’ve broken your diet. In turn, that stress suppresses your digestion and your ability to absorb nutrients. It also alters your hormonal balance and all in all, it can lead to a lot more acne.
There’s also a placebo element here. When we believe we’re going to get acne, it can actually lead to more acne. It might sound like wishy-washy advice but studies show that patients see their skin improve when they expect it to – and this works for things like psoriasis too!
One more reason not to stress? Stress leads to cortisol, which triggers the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ and increases your chances of snacking again!
Learn From Your Mistakes
Instead of stressing, try to see this as a chance to learn and to address your current diet strategy. There’s a good chance that you broke your diet because your diet was too restrictive to begin with and it’s important not to become too strict with your food as this can actually make you less able to deal with changes to your food in future.
Try to make a note of what happened and why it happened. Then use this information to modify the rules slightly so it’s less likely to happen again.
Help Your Digestion
Something else helpful you can do is to help the food you’ve just eaten go down. Digestive stress may be one of the things leading to your breakouts and so you want to help everything get processed as efficiently as possible.
To accomplish this, you can try taking a digestive enzyme with your dinner such as bromelain. You can also get this same thing from consuming pineapple.
Another option is to use probiotic or fermented food. This helps to increase the good bacteria in your gut which aids with digestion as well as many other crucial processes throughout your body.
Another tip might be to try and consume some more alkaline foods. This is one argument against pineapple – it is highly acidic and many people find that acidic foods increase their likelihood of developing bad skin.
To solve this issue then, you might want to try consuming alkaline foods to try and create a more neutral pH balance in your stomach.
The amount of impact that pH values of your food can have on your health is a topic that’s somewhat controversial and hotly debated. Thus a good idea is to try these techniques and to see which works best for you. We’re all different, so keep a food diary and try to notice which slip-ups lead to the worst acne breakouts. Once you know this, you’ll know the best way to prevent them.
To prevent weight-gain after a ‘cheat meal’, author Tim Ferriss recommends using a small amount of exercise which can help to direct more of the calories to the muscles rather than fat stores. Theoretically, this could also help you to avoid the damaging effects that large amounts of sugar and fats in your bloodstream have on your skin.
It takes about an hour for glucose and nutrients from your food to be absorbed into the blood. So just do some jumping jacks or a few press ups around this time. This will also help to reduce stress, replacing that unwanted cortisol for the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water, generally is one of the very best ways to improve your health, your digestion and your acne. In particularly though, if you’ve just eaten a lot of sugar, then drinking water can help to flush out your system and prevent it from causing the inflammation and other symptoms that lead to acne breakouts.