Ever since I started my blog, people always ask me random beauty, fitness or health questions, but the one question that I get asked most often is, ‘Sabrina, I started breaking out recently and I take care of my skin – HELP me, please!”
To all of the people who have asked me this question, I want say thank you and let you know that I appreciate the fact that you see me as a resource, but I want to stress that I am not a medical professional, any advice that I have given you is based on my own research.
I’m going to answer this question broadly, based on all of the scientific research that I have done and on my own experiences. I want to stress that this advice will not work for everyone, but I think it will help you to understand the source of your acne issues and it might even help to clear up some of your breakouts.
I’ve never had terrible skin, but like everyone I break out with the random pimple here and there.
And let me tell you, seeing that zit can really put a huge damper on my self-esteem so I understand why everyone is always looking for quick and easy ways to treat it.
When people reach out to me I think they’re expecting me to suggest some miracle cream or medicine ( trust me, I wish it was that easy). However, one of the biggest issues with only topically treating your pimples is that it won’t cure the cause of your breakouts. Using a cream or a spot treatment will only work to clear the existing pimple, but it can’t guarantee that another one won’t pop-up.
Look at it this way, the skin is the largest organ of the human body and it’s a pretty good indicator of what’s happening on the inside. So if you take care of your insides, most likely it will show on your outsides – does that make sense?
I’m going to give you 3 changes you can make to your lifestyle that might help lessen your acne. If you do these things for a few weeks and see no changes, I would then recommend seeing your physician.
1. Keep A Food Diary – Cut Back On Sugar
You want to keep track of what you’re consuming. While the science is not conclusive on the effect of diet and acne, many recent studies have been published linking glycemic levels to acne.
What is a glycemic level? Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Source: Harvard Medical School
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, having a diet with a low-glycemic index might help to improve acne symptoms.
Foods that have a high glycemic index include, sodas, cakes, bagels, and some juices. To see a more comprehensive list, click here: Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods
The easiest thing to do would be to cut out all processed sugars. Whenever I tell people this, they always say that they, “never eat any sugar”, but you’d be surprised at all of the places sugar hides. So if you’re eating something packaged or prepared read the ingredients. More than likely there will be added sugar.
This is a great TIME article to help you cut sugar from your diet: 10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet
2. Drink Enough Water
A 2013 study found that nearly half of Americans are not drinking enough water, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Water is an important part of maintaing healthy functioning organs, which also means it can help to clear your acne.
Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day can help to cleanse your body and potentially clear up your skin.
3. Make Sure You’re Not Over-washing Your Skin
People sometimes think that if they have oily skin or are breaking out, it’s because their face is “dirty.” That couldn’t be farther from accurate.
Sometimes washing the skin too much can actually exacerbate acne. By washing your face too much it can strip the skin of essential oils, which can then lead to the body producing more oil and potentially causing more pimples.
I hope these tips help and please let me know if you have anymore questions. I would love to hear from you all.