But as skincare specialists, here at Works With Water we want to use today to focus on how sugary treats, fried foods and refined carbs make us feel – and what regularly eating this kind of “junk” really does for the condition of our skin.
In the past we’ve written about the fascinating links between what we eat and how our skin looks a few hours or days afterwards. Some experts believe there isn’t a huge correlation and there are no “demon” foods when it comes to skincare, but a lot of anecdotal evidence would suggest otherwise!
We love this summary from skincare research specialist Apostolos Pappas in a recent skincare journal:
“May be we cannot treat acne with nutrition but we can certainly influence it. Perhaps no single food does causes acne or effectively treats its symptoms, but certainly we can advocate that it could ameliorate or worsen its severity.”
Are Sweets Bad For Skin?
You have to admit, sugar is having a really hard time at the moment.
There’s been a proliferation of documentaries exposing its dangers, like Fed Up Movie, and a whole host of wellbeing experts speaking out about how we should all work to actually cut it out of our lives completely, like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar.
So what’s the answer?
Well, last year we wrote about a sugar and acne study, which revealed that people with acne eat almost four and three times more sugar than people with mild acne.
But just like fats, carbs and dairy, it’s all about the type that you consume. There are generally two types of sugar, refined and natural. We found this great write-up from Built Lean that delves into the difference between the two:
“In short, processed, or refined sugars are derived from sugar cane, or beets and ideally be avoided. Processed sugar, referred to scientifically as “sucrose”, is not only totally devoid of nutrients.
“Regarding “natural” sugar, all plants produce sugar as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Fruits and vegetables have sugar in the form of fructose, which is broken down more slowly by the body than sucrose. In addition, fruits and veggies boast vitamins and minerals also have fiber to slow down the digestion of their natural sugars, which leads to more stable blood sugar levels.”
Well, that certainly clears things up.
If you want to improve the condition of your skin and beat acne, you don’t have to avoid all sugars and quit fruit (which some wellness bloggers urge you to try), instead you need to cut down on refined sugars, like sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks and some fruit drinks. Then you can enjoy fruit in moderation and get most of the natural sugars you need from veggies instead.
Is Fried Food Linked to acne?
We explored the link between fried food and acne on the Works With Water blog a few weeks ago and what we found was that fried food can often lead to inflammation in your body. And if you’re prone to acne, you know what that means: redder, more inflamed spots.
We also took a close look at the research about the different types of oils you cook your food in. Generally speaking, olive oil and “good fats”, like coconut oil, are much better for you than the oils you’ll find in fast food restaurants. So if you’re craving something fried and oily, head home to cook it yourself instead!
Can Ice Cream Cause Spots?
Dairy is another food group that has been linked to spots in the past. And most of the time it’s due to sugar content. Many people think ice cream is bad for your skin, but it’s often because ice cream is FULL of refined sugars.
Research into the link between milk and acne, is still in its early stages but it’s thought that it’s the natural hormones contained in milk, similar to the hormones we produce during teenage years, that can aggravate acne.
If you love your ice cream and can’t do without, why not try a soya based version? And here’s just a little bit of information about the vital proteins you might feel you are missing out on…
Our help: clear skin range contains a high grade lactoferrin. This is a bioactive milk protein that acts like an antioxidant by suppressing the free radical damage that can lead to skin problems. Its been proven to reduce acne, lessen skin reddening and even help those suffering from rosacea and eczema. Whilst it is a milk protein derived from milk, you can be assured that lactoferrin delivers the natural benefits of dairy products but has been processed to ensure that none of the hormones remain.
Will Refined Carbs Lead to Wrinkles?
Ahh carbs. Another kind of food that gets a lot of bad press!
It’s often cited as a food group to avoid completely if you’re losing weight, but a few years ago the mainstream press also covered the link between refined carbs and wrinkles. Since then, many experts have claimed that often the sugar contained in refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, can actually impact our genes and even shorten our life spans.
But again, it’s all about the types of carbs you eat. And how much. As part of a balanced diet it’s best to consume brown bread and wholegrain pasta in moderation. That means about a handful with each meal – not a massive pile of pasta!
If you want to follow an acne diet then cut down on junk food, like refined carbs and sugars, ice cream and fried food. Instead, fill your days with green veggies, some fruit, lots of water, “good fats” from coconut oil and avocados, Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and try a supplement, like our help: clear skin product, to supercharge your diet to fight against acne-causing bacteria even more. Once you start eating right for your body, you’ll notice a real difference.
Do you find there’s a link between the food you eat and how your skin looks and feels? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Related: Is Beyonce’s vegan diet good for your skin?