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The Best Foods That Clear Acne

When it comes to clearing acne, our skin needs all the help it can get. One of the best ways of helping it is through the food we eat.  Of course there are still people who say that diet and acne are not connected. My personal favorite (which annoys me of course ) is “There are no scientific studies that prove that acne and diet are connected”. If you’re out of your teens and still struggling with acne, let me tell you the quickest way to clear and acne free skin is through diet. Even if you do not have acne, adding the below foods to your diet can make your skin glow and look so much better. Do try it out and let me know. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Now, I’m  not telling you to overhaul your diet and start eating a diet completely different to what you can get around you. Just a few changes and additions and you’re good to go. Trying to overhaul your diet completely is a battle that is lost from the beginning. If you eat rice, like I do, on a daily basis and you ask me to quit rice, I know instinctively that I cannot do it. I might say I can, but I am human and I love food, plus I was brought up eating rice.

So here are the best foods you can add to your diet so that your acne starts healing. I’ll include recipes and how you can include it in your diet.

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

These are a powerhouse as they contains loads of antioxidants that are beneficial for your skin. Antioxidants speed up your skins repair system and they prevent further damage.  This makes them a great addition to your diet. You can add baby spinach leaves to your salad. You can make a green smoothie with mixed greens. Leafy greens include spinach, fenugreek leaves, amaranth leaves, kale, collard greens, beet greens or any green leafy vegetable you get local to you.

Here is a basic recipe you can make using spinach, fenugreek leaves or any leafy green. Or even a mix of them.

  • 1 Onion (chopped fine)
  • 1/2 tomato (chopped fine)
  • 4-5 handfuls of greens – spinach or any of your choice (washed well and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil ( any vegetable oil will do also)
  • 1 teaspoon grated coconut (optional)
  • salt to taste

Add all the above ingredients to a except salt and coconut to a vessel. Put this vessel on the stove and set the heat to low. Put the lid on and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Then open the lid. The leaves would have wilted. If not, put the lid back on again and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes more. Open the lid and add salt to taste and coconut if required. Coconut is needed mostly if you are Indian and want to eat it with rice and dal (lentils). Skip the coconut to serve with steak or grilled chicken.

2. Chia Seeds

foods that clear acne

These seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and they are also high in antioxidants. They help fight inflammation in your body and also help with dry skin.

 

Below is a breakfast recipe using chia seeds.

  • 1 cup almond milk, coconut or any milk of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Soak the chia seeds in the milk and leave it overnight covered in the refrigerator. Next morning the chia seeds would have absorbed the milk. Add toppings like fresh fruits, cocoa powder and sweeten with honey or maple syrup for an amazing kick start to your day.

3. Probiotics

To have good skin your body should be healthy. This means good digestive health as well. Skin prone to acne has shown to improve with a daily dose of probiotics. Source

Probiotics are in yoghurt, home made pickles, fermented foods like idly dosa, home made curd, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and buttermilk.

4. Berries

foods that clear acne

The deep color of berries is due to an antioxidant which protects the damage to your skin by free radicals. Add a handful of any locally available berries to your daily diet.

 

Here’s how you can include chia seeds and berries into a breakfast smoothie.

foods that clear acne

  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 to 1  cup milk, yoghurt, almond or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend all in a blender and enjoy.

5. Green Tea

foods that clear acne

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants. It is also good for regulating your insulin levels which in turn reduces the sebum or oil your skin makes, which in turns leads to less acne. All these factors make green tea an excellent agent to fight inflammation in your skin. Now green tea is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea! To make it more palatable add freshly squeezed orange juice or lemon juice to it. Have it cold if you don’t like it hot. Just make the tea and let it cool. Or add ice cubes to the hot tea to cool it.

To calm your face you can dab your face gently with the used green tea bag.

6. Citrus Fruits

foods that clear acneCitrus fruits contain loads of Vitamin C which is great for your skin. I wrote an article here about how Vitamin C helps acne. Adding these to your daily diet will help reduce the life cycle of your acne and also keep it at day. Vitamin C calms your immune system which in turn prevent your body from harming your skin. Vitamin C also helps reduce the redness on your skin due to acne.

7. Avocados

foods that clear acneMany years back I used to watch Nigella Lawson’s cooking shows. She once described avocado as a moisturizer that you can eat. She said it moisturizes your skin from within. That’s a pretty good description for the avocado. Avocados are full of healthy fats that are fantastic for your skin. Add them to your salads, on toast or enjoy them just on their own.

Here’s a salad you can make with avocados

foods that clear acne

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1/2 each of green and red peppers
  • 1 cup kidney or any beans (cooked and drained)
  • 1/2 tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of one lemon

Mix all the veggies in a bowl. All the olive oil and lemon juice to a small bowl and add salt and pepper to it. Mix it well. Add to the veggies. You can get creative and add apples, oranges, spinach and lettuce to the salad as well.  This is a very versatile recipe. It can be modified a lot.

8. Ginger

foods that clear acneI used to always notice that my skin looked much better when I had a cold. It always confused me until I realized I drank ginger tea when I had a cold. Along with a lot of turmeric in lot water. Ginger has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Whatever it does to help your cold and sniffles away, it does similar things to help your acne heal as well.

Ginger can be added to stir fries, added to tea or it can be added to your green smoothie. I used to grind half a kilo of ginger and strain the mix using a sieve. The juice that comes out of it can be stored in a clean glass bottle for up to a month. This juice can be added to green smoothies.

9. Turmeric

foods that clear acneLike ginger, turmeric also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It works great added to your food and also applied topically to your skin. You can add turmeric to your scrambled eggs and also to your soup. A teaspoon of turmeric stirred into a pot of soup adds a very earthy flavour to it.

So here they are – some of the best foods to clear acne. Be creative and mix 2-3 of them up in one dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you do experiment and it tastes good, mention it in the comments below. Below are just some examples.

  • Spinach, avocado and citrus fruits can be added to your salad.
  • A green smoothie can be made with spinach, mint, avocado, ginger juice, turmeric and green tea
  • The breakfast smoothie above has chia seeds and berries. Add yoghurt too.
  • Green tea can be had with citrus fruit juice ( lemon juice or orange juice )
  • Turmeric, ginger juice and lemon juice can be added to green tea
  • You can grind spinach and add it to plain yoghurt with salt and garlic powder. This can be used as a dip.

 

How To Quit Sugar to Get Your Best Skin Ever

I quit sugar in May 2012. I did this to try and clear my face of cystic acne which was really bad at that time. I had bumps on my forehead that did not heal for about 6 months. Even medical treatments could not fix them. When my acne cleared after quitting sugar, thrilled I continued to look around on the internet on why my acne cleared with this diet change.

The video below was shared with me by my husband.

Continue reading “How To Quit Sugar to Get Your Best Skin Ever”

How to Calm Your Skin when you have a Cystic Acne Flare Up

If you have acne you may have been in this situation many times. Your face suddenly takes a turn for the worse. It looks red, feels inflamed and feels like it is on fire. Normal activities like washing your face, brushing your teeth and going out suddenly become these huge hurdles, you just can’t get past. Your face actually hurts because the acne are deep within the skin and cause pain. Even sleeping becomes a problem as the rubbing can cause further irritation.

So what do you do when you have a cystic acne flare up?

1. No applying products and  hands off your face

Yes, you read that right. No applying any products or any ointment. I’ve been down this road more often than I wanted to and I know that nothing works. Nothing you apply to your face at this point is going to help you. Also no touching to feel your face. It’s a common temptation when you have acne, to touch your acne to see how big they are. This does not help and only irritates your skin further.

2. No makeup

Cystic acne

As tempting as it might be to try and cover up, all you will be doing is irritating your skin even further. It will be worse when you have to wash it off and irritate your face all over again. Makeup at this point is just not worth it. You probably will not be able to cover it up. Plus your skin does not need an added irritant at this time. If you do use makeup not only will you irritate your skin applying it, you will irritate it much more when taking it off.

3. Take a Vitamin C supplement

cystic acne flare up

You need to stimulate your immune system to fight this. The best way is to take a Vitamin C supplement. You can try to increase your intake of it through diet but for your skin to calm down you need a much larger dose, more than you can eat in a day. 1000 mg a day will be fine.

4. Have a Green smoothie or eat lots of green vegetables

The best foods for acne are vegetables. More specifically green leafy vegetables which is the best food you can eat when your skin is acting up. Drink it in the form of a smoothie or add them to your diet, any way is perfectly fine. Green leafy vegetables include spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), broccoli, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, lettuce, watercress, mustard greens.


5. Drink a lot of water

acne

There is a myth out there that drinking water will get rid of your acne by flushing toxins. I have no idea what these toxins are and I also know that drinking water will not cure acne. But what drinking water does is keep your skin hydrated and bring down the redness on your face.

6. No stimulants

Till your skin settles down avoid alcohol and extremely spicy foods. I am not going to ask you to cut out tea and coffee completely but do restrict the amount you drink to 2-3 cups a day.

7. Skip sugar and dairy for a few days.

Sugar and dairy tend to cause inflammation in some people. Cut them out of your diet for a few days till your face settles down. Little milk and sugar in your tea or coffee is fine but no more than that.

8. Calm your skin with cold water

Your face may feel hot and irritated. Splash cold water on your face whenever needed. Avoid excessive heat and hot showers till your skin settles down. Avoid drying your face and let it dry naturally.

 

9. Relax and Remember that your skin will Heal

cystic acne flare upAcne does tend to make us lose perspective of things and we feel really down and depressed. With a few changes your skin can heal properly. When you have acne you feel that life is unfair to you. This is completely normal. While completely understandable you do not have to give in to these feelings. Try and find something that makes you happy and do that. Give meditation a try. It can be beneficial for your life in general.

 

Home Remedies for Acne Prone Skin

This is a guest post by Sophia from healthandbeautybay.com.

There’s no denying that skincare products can be very costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to use natural home remedies as much as possible. There are a number of different household substances that you can use to help with acne prone skin. In this list, we’re going to go over eight different home remedies that you can use for getting rid of acne and keeping your skin clean and clear without having to break the bank.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an excellent product to use for astringent purposes. The tannins that you find in it are able to create the same effect in a more natural way. Instead of spending a lot of money on an astringent product, it’s definitely worth trying out witch hazel first. It’s recommended that you soak a cotton ball in it and rub it gently on the skin of your face twice per day for about two weeks when you first get started. After that, you can just maintain the habit by using it only once per day.

Yeast and Yogurt Mask

All you have to do to create this mask is to mix together a little bit of plain yogurt and one teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast. You’ll only need enough to create a thin layer to put on your face at most, so be careful not to use too much or it might mess with the effects.

Apply to your skin, paying special attention to the oily spots on your face. Let it sit for about fifteen to twenty minutes so that it can soak in. Then rinse it off thoroughly with warm water. Once the mask is gone, follow it up with some cold water to help close your pores.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is known to have a number of great effects on your skin and is sometimes used in store-bought skin care products. The most obvious benefit is that oatmeal is able to offer some exfoliating properties that can help clear dead skin off your face. It can also help to absorb oil and even bacteria.

If you mix about a cup of cooked oatmeal with the juice from half a lemon and one teaspoon of honey, you can use it as a mask to help your skin. All you have to do is apply the combination to your face and leave it to sit for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm water.

Lemon Juice

It goes without saying that lemons are naturally acidic. Because of that, they can help to clean unwanted dirt and gunk out of the pores in your skin. It can be especially helpful for skin that is very oily, but be careful because using lemon juice too often can also be drying. For particularly difficult areas, you can rub a slice of lemon on the spot and let it sit for a few hours while you do other things, letting the juice sink into your skin before rinsing it off. If using lemon juice alone seems too harsh, then you can also mix some lemon juice with rose water and use that solution the way you might a face wash.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil functions very well as a natural antiseptic, which means it can do a great job of disinfecting pores. It’s recommended that you use only small amounts of it because it can be a strong, drying substance. It’s great for killing off acne-causing bacteria so if you find you’re having a particularly bad outbreak, it can be really helpful for getting rid of that.

Honey

Honey is able to offer moisturization without the risk of making your skin even more oily as well as antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are important for keeping your skin clean and clear. You also don’t need to mix it with anything, while you can create some homemade cleansers and other products with it if you choose.

All you need to do is spread a thin layer of honey on your skin and allow it to sit for about ten minutes, so that it has time to allow the effects to seep into your skin. Then rinse it off thoroughly.

Aloe

Aloe is something that most people know to be a go-to aid for burns. It’s known to be able to soothe and cool the skin, which can actually allow it to help with other kinds of skin conditions as well. If you have problems with flaky skin in combination with oil, you may be able to get some healing effects from aloe by putting a little bit of it on before bed and letting it soak in while you rest. If you’ve never used aloe before then make sure to do a patch test on your forearm to make sure you aren’t allergic.

Turmeric

There are a number of home products that you can use for making masks to help your skin. One of these is turmeric, which is known to have a number of helpful properties. Mixing two teaspoons of turmeric powder with about a half cup of chickpea flour and some ghee or almond oil can create a mask that can help to clear acne and bring some life to your skin. You just leave it on for about five to ten minutes, and then rinse it off well with water.

Conclusion

Each of these products are great in different ways and offer unique benefits for your skin. You might find that some work better for dry skin and others for oils skin. Not all skincare products, natural or otherwise, are created equal for every skin type.

Make sure you are prepared to counteract any negative reactions that your skin might have to certain products, just in case. If you’re worried you might be allergic to anything, it’s always a good idea to test a small amount of the product before slathering it all over your face. Aside from that, have fun trying out new home skincare recipes!

Hi, I’m Sophia Alves. healthandbeautybay.com is where you can find me – my passion is living a full, healthy life and being as beautiful as you can be! I’d love it if you hopped on over and said hello.

How to Get Rid of Oily Skin

One problem that generally goes hand in hand with acne is oily skin. Skin that looks like it has been drizzled with oil. Besides giving you a sticky feel, oily skin looks dull. You might also have this weird combination of skin being dry as well as oily. This is a common problem when you are battling adult acne. Trying to use makeup when you have this dry and oily combination skin can be a bit of a challenge.

Where does this oil come from ?

The oil or sebum is an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are everywhere on your body except your palms and the soles of your feet. Coincidentally there is a greater concentration of sebaceous glands on your face. These glands may be connected to a hair follicle or open up directly onto the surface of your skin. When the pore is filled with sebum or oil it spreads on the surface of the skin to keep it moist and healthy. When the gland keeps producing oil and the pore is blocked with dead skin cells it leads to acne.

Let’s keep something in mind here. This oil to required keep your skin looking good, healthy and protected from infections. Without this oil your skin would be dry and dull and would age faster. What we want is a fresh dewy look but not the sticky and yucky feel that comes with excess oil.

Why does Your Skin Get Oily

Sebaceous glands are controlled by hormones. That is why teens generally get acne as their hormones are fluctuating and since these hormones control the sebaceous glands, excess oil is secreted. This hormonal imbalance sometimes continues or starts in adulthood due to diet, stress, genetics, environmental factors etc. There is no way of knowing which factor or combination of factors causes it. The way I see it, it is generally irrelevant what causes your oily skin or your acne. Focus on fixing the problem.

So How Do We Fix This?

What’s the first thing you do when you have oily skin? Well, wash it of course. A few hours later, your face gets oily again and you wash it again. This cycle continues. You then go looking for face washes meant for oily skin. Face washes meant for oily skin generally tend to be harsher. The cycle of skin being oily and washing continues. This is what I did. Let me tell you that this is one of the worst things you can do when you have oily skin. My skin got sensitive, red and raw. Of course I cannot blame just the washing. I have to put equal amounts of blame on the BP and antibiotics.

There is a lot of advice out there about treating oily skin, that I really do not agree with. The only thing I can say is that all this advice comes from people who have never struggled with either acne or oily skin. The advice ranges from being mildly unhelpful (like do not moisturize oily skin) to completely awful (which says to ask a doctor for Accutane). Using Accutane to stop the oiliness is on the same lines as using dynamite to blow up your house just to kill the cockroaches in it. While washing your face frequently to remove oil may seem like the logical thing to do, it does not really work at stopping the oil. The oil continues to flow to the surface of the skin and the constant washing continues to dry out the skin. The oil can’t just be washed away with a face wash.

How to wash your face

When your face is oily and you keep washing it to remove the oil, the oil glands just create more oil. There are a few ways you can deal with this. One is to stop using face wash completely and just rinse your face with plain water. Of course not everyone will like this method.

I am not sure there is a really mild face wash out there so I suggest using a home made face wash to clean your face.

Plain Honey

Honey is great for acne prone skin when used as a mask or as a face wash. You can apply honey all over your face. Leave it for 15 minutes then wash. If you do not have time just apply a coin size amount all over your damp face, rub gently and wash off. If the honey is too stick mix it with a little water.

DIY Face wash with Honey

Here’s a face wash you can make with honey.

how to get rid of oily skin

1/2 cup honey (preferably organic)

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon jojoba, rosehip, avocado /  1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil

Mix all and keep in a glass jar. Shake well before use. To use apply a coin size amount all over your damp face and wash off.

Oatmeal Face Wash

You can also wash your face using oatmeal. Oats are very soothing to the skin and are often used in creams to provide relief from dry itchy skin. Grind oatmeal and keep it in a jar. Mix one tablespoon of the ground oatmeal in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Rub the paste on your damp face gently and wash off with warm water.

Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

You can also wash your face using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), which although sounds counter-intuitive actually works. This is a bit scary for anyone doing this for the first time. Just keep it as an option though. You can try the above 2 methods for now.

Face Masks for Oily Skin

Honey Face Mask

My favorite face mask for acne, acne scars and oily skin is the one I normally recommend to most of the people who ask me what to use. This is the honey face mask which packs a huge punch.

Clay Mask

how to get rid of oily skin

The other masks that help with oily skin are clay based masks. The best clay for acne prone oily skin is bentonite clay. This clay actually helps control the over production of sebum and unclogs the pores. Over time it even shrinks pores, gives your face a glow and reduces the appearance of scars. Adding green tea to the mask also helps reduce the oil and tone your skin. This is optional.

1 teaspoon bentonite clay

1 teaspoon raw honey

2-3 drops rosehip oil

Water to make a paste ( or green tea )

Mix all the above to form a thick paste. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes or till it dries. Wash off with warm water.

Do you need a toner?

Most people with oily skin are told that they need to use toner to close the pores to prevent excess oil formation. Most toners contain alcohol which dries out the skin. You do not need a toner. If you feel you really need a toner you can use green tea or rose water. Or try any of the following DIY toners.

Green Tea and Rose Water Toner

To make this toner add equal quantities of rose water and green tea and store in an easy to use bottle in the refrigerator. Use whenever needed. make small quantities as it is better to make this fresh.

Mint toner

Grind a handful of mint leaves and strain the mix. Dilute the mix till it is transparent. Store this in a bottle and use as needed.

Ice Cube

Rub an ice cub all over your face. This has the same effect as a toner does.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

I personally would not use this one because I do not like the smell of vinegar. Combine 1 part of apple cider vinegar with 3 parts of water. So for one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar you need to add 3 teaspoons of water.

Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer?

Many people say that oily skin does not need a moisturizer. Makes sense as your skin is oily enough. But in truth your skin does need all the moisture it can get. So please do use a moisturizer. If you do not want to use it during the day, use it during the night. Any light moisturizer will do fine. Stay away from heavy cream based moisturizers.

Improving Your Diet

Overactive sebaceous glands are due to a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance can be greatly improved by cutting out sugar and dairy from your diet. The side effects of using diet to balance out your hormones are all good – great skin, great hair and good health. Once you cut out sugar and dairy I promise your skin will be a lot less oily.

You do not need to cut out oil from your diet. Oil in your diet does not cause oily skin. Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. Adding the juice of one lemon into this water will also help in bringing down the oiliness of your skin.

To conclude it does not take much to reduce the oiliness on your face. A few simple steps go a long way in getting rid of excess oil on your skin.