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Want Clear, Glowing Skin? Avoid These Foods

by grace gallagher - December 21, 2020

If you have a medicine cabinet filled with fancy skincare products but are still struggling with acne, you might want to check your diet and add foods for clear skin. We spoke with a dermatologist and two nutritionists about the foods you should be avoiding for clear, glowing skin. Plus, the foods that can feed your beauty. Keep reading for more.

What foods should I avoid for clear skin?

It turns out there may be some truth to the idea that greasy foods can cause breakouts. "Anything fried can lead to excess oil production in the skin," Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN, and co-author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? tells Lively. Jamie Hickey, trainer, nutritionist and Founder of Truism Fitness echoes this idea: "One of the worst types of foods for your skin is anything that is deep fried. They actually make your skin produce more oil which results in acne and blackheads, and the hydrogenated trans fat will also dull your complexion."

In addition to fried foods, Schapiro says dairy can increase oil production, which can clog pores, causing blackheads and breakouts.

If you're hoping to get clear skin (or keep it clear), consider skipping foods that can cause sugar spikes. "It is now an established fact that foods that lead to high sugar spikes or food that have a high glycemic index lead to a release of insulin. These effects can result in stimulating your sebaceous/oil glands to become more active. This is one of the triggers for acne,**" says Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, dermatologist and author of Beyond Soap. High glycemic index foods include pasta, sugar, complex carbohydrates, white rice, bread and food made of simple sugars. This can also include dairy and saturated fats. According to the studies, this so-called 'Western diet' is said to contribute generally to acne.

What helps clear skin naturally?

Just as diet can negatively impact skin, certain foods will help clear skin naturally. 

"Studies have shown that eating low glycemic index foods, which are made from complex carbohydrates can reduce acne in some individuals," says Dr. Skotnicki. These foods include unprocessed fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. In addition to fruits and veggies, Schapiro adds that salmon is rich in omega 3s, which decreases levels of inflammation in the body and can help with healthy skin. "Nuts and seeds are rich in omega 3s, plus vitamins A and E, which are powerful antioxidants," adds Dr. Skotnicki. "Properties in nuts help to promote elasticity and regenerate cells."

foods for clear skin

Which fruit is good for glowing skin?

You may have seen face scrubs that contain fruit extracts or enzymes like pineapple. Fruit seems to work topically, but does eating fruit give you glowing skin? The short answer is yes. "The fastest way to give your skin a healthy glow is to eat fruits high in vitamin C, or to receive an enzyme scrub," says Dr. Skotnicki. "The fruit enzymes have natural acids in them that actually digest the dead skin and leave behind the living healthy skin." Fruits with a low glycemic index — like blueberries, tomatoes, pineapple and papaya — can also help skin look clear and bright.

How do you get clear skin in two days?

While it's difficult to make drastic changes to skin in just two days, if you have a few blemishes that you're hoping to get rid of, you can try using a drying lotion, acne spot treatment or pimple patch, which is a sticker packed with active ingredients that help dry out the blemish. If the pimple is really bad or painful, or you have a major event coming up, consider visiting your dermatologist for a cortisone shot.

foods for clear skin

What can I drink to clear my skin?

It seems like every time a celebrity is asked how they get such great skin, they mention that they stay hydrated. And while drinking water alone doesn't guarantee perfectly clear skin, it does help. "The science here is light, but there is some evidence that antioxidant-boosting beverages may help reduce overall inflammation, which may benefit acne," says Dr. Skotnicki, citing turmeric, matcha and spearmint tea. "If you are going to drink tea, you might as well drink blends like jasmine or green tea" she tells Lively. Carrot juice, tomato juice and aloe vera juice are also great options.

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