How to Eat Your Way to Clearer Skin

We all know how important a healthy, clean diet is in the war against breakouts. But do you know what you really should be giving up and why? Some foods have long been thought of as acne culprits (think chocolate and potato chips), and while they aren’t great for your skin, there are others that are worse offenders.

New York Dermatologist Eric Schweiger, MD, says that it’s foods with high glycemic levels that can your skin to break out. “Research points to processed foods like white breads and sugary drinks that trigger the production of androgens, a hormone responsible for oil production,” says Dr. Schweiger. “There’s also research that shows a link between high glycemic index foods as well as dairy foods and acne. Many of the cows are pumped with hormones and these hormones may be passed to use when we drink milk, potentially increasing our circulating hormone levels which can contribute to breakouts.”

Instead of reaching for anything that’s refined and processed, cookies, sugary cereals, muffins and white rice, opt for something that’s healthier for both your skin and body, like red peppers, mushrooms, whole wheat, kale, sweet potatoes and eggplant. “Cutting back on trigger foods may help control acne breakouts. Some people believe foods containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation in the body and acne is an inflammatory skin condition. But there is no hard evidence to support this,” says Dr. Schweiger.