So you really did it. Last night, you were watching SNL and you heard the siren’s call of the Ben and Jerry’s fudge core ice cream and you went to town. You walked over to the freezer- one person, one spoon, one mission: to eat the whole thing. And that’s exactly what you did, and now you’re staring at it. That big old zit -right in the middle of your forehead.
You heard that food doesn’t cause acne, hormones do, and you believe it, but every time you eat chocolate, there it is, the huge pimple serving to remind you and your friends how you spent your Saturday night for the rest of the week. If only you could undo it! Well, acne sufferers, while food may not cause acne, some foods may actually prevent it? While there is no evidence that you can make that pimple go away by gorging on the following, there is some proof that certain foods can lead to clearer skin.
1. Flaxseed Or Fish
Not to be confused with omega-6 fatty acids which can cause inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids can actually reduce inflammation and reduce acne breakouts. Omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, and fatty fish.
2. Green Tea
Green tea contains the powerful antioxidant EGCG. Researchers in South Korea applied an EGCG containing cream to rabbit ears and found it decreased the size of the sebaceous glands, which are commonly enlarged in acne sufferers. The antioxidant also was proven to reduce the production of sebum. A follow-up study on humans found that EGCG noticeably improved acne in a split face, 8-week trial. If drinking green tea throughout the day seems a bit challenging, try applying cool, moist tea bags or a green tea moistened cloth to affected areas for 10-15 minutes.
Good for more than one thing, it seems. Oysters contain zinc, a mineral that has been shown in studies to reduce acne. It is recommended that acne sufferers get zinc from food rather than supplements, which can provide more that 100 mg of zinc per day, a dosage which may result in side effects. You are best off getting your zinc from oysters, veal liver, roast beef, roasted squash and pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds and toasted wheat germ.
Juicing is the new black, and it can also clear up your acne. Dark, leafy green veggies, found in some juices, contain beta-carotenes which are anti-inflammatory and help reduce oil while clearing toxins to form the body.
Mostly known for their ability to reduce inflammation in the gut, it has now been hypothesized that probiotics may also reduce acne. Research has proven that those who suffered from reactions to toxins found in the gut were also likely to display acne symptoms. Because, prebiotics and probiotics are effective in fighting oxidative stress and inflammation, scientists think that they may also be effective against acne. Probiotics are most often found in kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and yogurt.