Acne: What Does Your Food Have to do With it?
You are now in college. You most likely have a car, job, and even pay bills. Since you have crossed the line into adulthood, why are you still dealing with those annoying pimples on your face?
Acne is terrifying at any age. I still recall examining my face with angst in front of the mirror every morning. I couldn’t see anything other than pimples and sadness. It stopped me from having a boyfriend, getting a job, and enjoying what were supposed to be “the best years of my life” because I felt ashamed, inferior, angry, and insecure.
Did God hate me? Why was this happening to me?
If, like millions of other Americans, you have done everything in your power to be worthy of clear and beautiful skin, but you are still falling short, it is time to consider the role your diet plays in skin health.
Acne occurs when pores in the skin become clogged and sebum (skin oil) is trapped inside. As the body attempts to rid itself of this sebum, the area is irrigated with blood and fluids, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This causes an inflammatory response, which leads to blemishes on the surface of the skin. The appearance of acne can vary from a white or black head, or it can appear red with a white/yellow center. Sometimes a clogged pore will become so inflamed that it can lead to larger, painful lesions called cysts.
Natural hormone variations and genetic disposition definitely play a role in an individual’s risk of developing acne, but before you blame your mother, know that your diet has a very large influence on the condition. The consumption of animal fats (especially dairy products) can worsen acne because they are loaded with hormones.
As early as 1965, a study by Dr. Jerome K. Fisher found a significant link between acne and dairy consumption. Fisher observed that acne sufferers consumed up to four times more milk and dairy than the general population. He also observed that the more milk one drank, the worse one’s acne became.
That is because according to Joseph Keon’s book White Wash, one glass of cow’s milk contains at least eight pituitary, seven hypothalamic, six thyroid, and seven steroidal hormones. It also contains synthetic rBGH and insulin-like growth factor, all of which worsen the condition by disturbing the concentration of hormones in the body, and activating the production of sebum by glands in the skin.
For generations acne sufferers have been warned against eating chocolate for this high-fat food has been blamed for aggravating the condition. However, scientists to date do not have enough evidence to confirm or deny the claim. It is likely, however, that the culprit is not the cocoa, but rather the sugar, the milk, and the caffeine, which are present in most processed chocolate candies.
Conventional acne treatments can include topical cleansers and lotions containing sulfur, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol. Other treatments include birth control pills to balance the levels of hormones in the body and antibiotics to control the growth of bacteria. None of them go without side effects such as local irritation of the skin, allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, diarrhea, or yeast infections…Not to mention the damage to your wallet, as blemish fighting costs Americans up to $2 billion dollars a year!
Here is an experiment that may change the appearance of your skin without resorting to the pricy treatments: completely remove all dairy products from your diet for 90 days, and look for decreases in the severity of your acne outbreaks. If you need help going dairy-free, visit www.notmilk.com
For even better results, switch to a whole-plant-based diet. Not only can this help clear up your skin, but you will be significantly increasing your health and vitality. A plant-strong diet also has benefits of lowering your risks of crippling and deadly diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and several cancers. As Hippocrates stated: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”