A recent article from The New York Times reported that acne isn’t just something that only teens deal with. 45% of women between 21 and 30 have acne, 26% between 31 to 40, and 12% between 41 and 50.
From the article:
There is no definitive proof that specific foods cause breakouts, but some medical professionals say diet can play a role. “Whenever hormones surge — around your period, during perimenopause and menopause, when you’re pregnant, when you start or stop the Pill, and, yes, when you’re stressed or eat hormone-enhanced foods, i.e. nonorganic meat and dairy, skin changes can occur.”
I know a lot of the 21 and up crowd out there will agree with me that stress plays a HUGE role in your skin. I’ve personally experienced this during stressful times at school and work – my skin will completely freak out in parts of my face that don’t typically break out, around the periphery of my face and where the hollows of my cheekbones would be if I had them.
I’ve been trying to deal with this with my usual arsenal of products:
- face wash with salicylic acid – my go-to is Kate Somerville Purify Clarifying Cleanser, but there are plenty of other face washes that target both acne and anti-aging. Be careful of acne face washes targeted at teens – the beauty of youth is that teens have more resilient skin, and the same face washes could dry our skin out.
- daily acne treatment – this is something that I put on my entire face every night for prevention and mild treatment. I like La Roche-Posay Effaclar K, which has salicylic acid. After this runs out, I’m going to give Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment a try.
- targeted acne treatment – only used over active breakouts. I like Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, but I’m going to try either Origins Super Spot Remover or La Roche Posay DUO next – they both get rave reviews from the beauty community on Youtube.
- a gentle moisturizer – all that acne treatment can dry out the skin. I’ve been enjoying Natura Bisse NB Ceutical Tolerance Recovery Cream (brief review here), which boosts the skin’s natural tolerance level.
In addition to stress, diet supposedly causes acne breakouts as well but there seems to be mixed research on this. According to another article,
Diary and sugar (in all its blood sugar raising forms)–both cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens) and increases insulin levels just as foods that quickly raise blood sugar (sugar and starchy carbs) spike insulin.
I’ve heard of many cases where women cut out dairy to clear up their skin. I’m currently experimenting to see if this might work for me, so I’m replacing dairy with soy milk. I’ve only been trying this for about a week so far so it’s too early to tell. Overall, I find that my skin in general is much more sensitive to the food I’m eating – I used to be able to eat salty snacks on end with no visible evidence on my face, but now it’s not the case. Lots of water and eating fresh foods definitely help detoxify inside and out.
How do you treat acne? Do you eat/avoid certain foods?