I realized our bodies are amazing machines, created to be good to us when we’re good to them.~ Cameron Diaz
Had to quote an actress to make all the teenagers believe in what I am about to write on how to prevent pimples.
Acne, Breakouts, Pimples, Zits!! Whatever you call them, I personally call them spoilers.
They spoil the look, personality, confidence, fun and what not.
Though common to the teenagers, but nowadays are happening to almost everyone. They are not mere scars on the face, neck or back, rather a scar on a person’s soul.
Why me, you ask!
And I can give you this list of reasons for the breakouts:
- Excess oil production from the oil glands on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Bacterial growth in the follicles or glands
- Excess activity of hormones namely androgens which are on a rise during puberty
- Certain medications and their reactions
- Eating oily and high carb diet
Diet plays an important role in acne. That’s what my dietician told me when I was a teenager. She recommended certain changes in my diet plan to make sure I don’t suffer from acne.
Today, when I am a dietician myself, I wish to share her recommendations with you.
#1 Low glycaemic diet
A food item when ingested converts itself to glucose. How fast this happens in the body is known as the glycaemic index of the food.
Foods with a low glycaemic index release sugar slowly into the blood stream than foods with a high glycaemic index.
Foods with a low glycaemic index help in reducing the growth of acne. On the other hand, high glycaemic foods lead to the production of hormones that increases oil production.
Foods with a low glycaemic index include non-starchy foods like sweet potatoes, legumes like beans and peas, fibre-rich food like oatmeal, oat bran or muesli, fruits like apple, papaya, and berries, and vegetables.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables in a salad as they are also a rich source of water that keeps the skin hydrated.
*TIP: See this list of 10 wonder foods to keep your skin well-hydrated.
#2 Zinc-rich foods
Zinc is a mineral required by the body for the proper production and maintenance of hormones. It plays a pivotal role in maintaining the skin integrity and structure. Also, it helps in reduction of inflammation and bacterial growth in the affected area.
Deficiency of this mineral has been linked with increased breakouts of acne. Patients with severe cases of acne are given 40 mg of Zinc per day to reduce the severity.
That’swhy zinc is one of the ingredients in all the antiseptic creams.
The food sources of zinc are oysters, beef, salmon, pork loin, baked beans, peas, yogurt and peanuts. Zinc is normally present in all the sea food. Quinoa and pumpkin seeds are also rich sources of zinc.
#3 Vitamin A rich foods
Vitamin A is an important anti-oxidant rich nutrient that helps maintain the integrity of the oil glands under the skin. Oil/sebaceous glands are the one that help store oil in the skin.
Deficiency of Vitamin A leads to imbalance in these glands, an increase in the growth of bacteria, and ultimately pimples.
Vitamin A has two sources: animal sources for active retinols and plant sources for inactive beta-carotenoids.
* Read: A complete guide to Vitamin A here.
Say yes to all your bright coloured fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta-carotenoids. Carrots, sweet potato, pumpkins, beetroots, spinach, butternut squash, papaya, mango etc. are all rich vegetable sources. Animal sources include egg yolks, cod liver oil, trout, caviar, beef, lamb liver etc.
Free radicals are the by-products of various metabolic reactions happening in our body. They are responsible for producing oxidative stress on all the organs of the body, which eventually leads to premature ageing of the organs.
Our skin being no different is affected in the same manner. Therefore, we constantly need antioxidants in our diet to fight these free radicals. Acne caused due to emotional stress can also be cured by increasing the antioxidant intake.
Foods rich in antioxidants include your favourite berries like strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, blackberry etc., herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano etc., artichokes, kidney beans, vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli and fruits like tomatoes, grapes, mango, plums etc.
#5 Omega-3 Fatty acids
Contrary to the fact that fats are harmful for acne-prone skin, omega-3 fatty acids are needed to replenish the skin cells. Essential fatty acids are required to help skin cells take up the nutrients and expel out the toxins in a proper manner. These toxins if not expelled out,collect in the pores and lead to the bacterial growth. This makes acne appear on the skin.
Omega-6 promotes inflammation and omega-3 helps in reducing it. A right balance of both is needed for the skin to work in unison. Our skin replenishes everyday, so it is very important that the dead skin cells are cleaned from time to time.
Oils such as canola oil, cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, mustard oil, soybean oil and walnut oil are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon fish oils, tuna, sardines, herrings are other sea food sources. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, chia, flax seeds and hempseeds are also rich in omega-3. Vegetables like Brussel sprouts are the richest source amongst the vegetarian diet.
#6 Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a natural fat-soluble anti-oxidant. When ingested, it stays in the body for a longer period of time and plays an important role to fight free radicals that harm the body.
It strengthens the cell membrane and helps in increasing the blood flow. Vitamin E contains natural moisturisers that bind the fats to the skin and makes it supple. Therefore, this particular nutrient is effective for people who have a dry skin and suffer from acne.
Since dry skin is always itchy, hence regular touching leads to bacterial growth which eventually causes acne. Vitamin E helps in hydration of the skin and prevents dryness.
Food sources of Vitamin E include seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, vegetables like sweet potato, butternut squash, turnip greens and fruits like mango, tomatoes and avocados.
Bonus Ways to Prevent Acne
Apart from the diet, protect your skin with these bonus tips:
Maintain skin hygiene by regular cleansing and toning.
Save your skin from UV rays and external pollution.
Keep your skin well hydrated by consuming good amounts of water.
Don’t touch your face unnecessarily. Use a clean napkin to wipe the face.
Wash your face with well suited face cleanser and don’t try all the products available in the market.
Remove make-up before sleeping and use only those products that suit your skin type.
Oily face can use non-comedogenic products whereas dry skin can use products rich in Vitamin E essential oils.
Regulate your diet and habits and be time bound.
Never break your acne. Let them proceed at their own rate and die out by themselves to prevent scarring.
So, how to prevent pimples naturally?
Acnes are the game changers for some. But, by adopting these foods that prevent acne in your routine, you can easily prevent and cure them.
Pimples are not the topmost cause of embarrassment in your life.
Let them run their course and change what you can. Remember, this is the most common disease of everyone, even your favourite actors and actresses.
So, are you ready to switch your diet plan to prevent pimples naturally? Still have queries? Post them in the comments below and I will answer them.
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