Here’s How Nutrition Could Help Your Skin
Why Does System Akvile Believe In a Skin-Nutrition Connection?
Nutrition is the most controversial topic related to skin problems. After reading dozens of different articles one thing became clear: Even scientists cannot seem to agree. I think you can probably find anything that seems to prove or dismiss any thesis you like or are convinced of.
We know it’s a fact that certain diets can have positive and negative effects on our health. But does this extend to our skin? At System Akvile we believe in a holistic approach to skincare. Our skin is the largest organ of our body - we think if you treat your body with care your skin will also benefit.
Is There a Healthy Skin Diet?
We can all agree that a healthy and balanced diet has some impact on our skin as well as on the overall health of our body & mind. I don’t appreciate it when people tell me what to eat and what not to eat, but with every new blemish, I asked myself - should I be looking deeper into my eating habits? Perhaps no single food causes breakouts or effectively treats them but I’m sure you’ll agree that certain foods can potentially worsen the situation (greasy foods vs. veggies?). Personally, I don’t believe that we can cure all our skin’s problems with nutrition, supplements or superfoods alone but I’m sure we can influence it a little.
My Cappuccino Mystery...
I used to be addicted to cappuccinos. But I stopped drinking them because I felt that they may have been causing some of my blemishes. I don’t know if it was the skim milk, the coffee or both but I truly felt there was a connection between my cappuccino intake and my breakouts. It was hard to cut them out of my routine but the improvements were so worth it. My belief is that a good skincare routine can help my skin on a superficial level, but if my diet is rich in fried, processed and sugary foods this could lead to another zit disaster. Personally, I feel better when I am eating healthy, balanced foods full of good fats, antioxidants, vitamin C, and amino acids - my complexion and skin looks better too!
Long has been the idea that diet can affect acne-prone skin - but it’s only in more current times that researchers have started to try and figure out if this is true. An increasing amount of studies indicate that some nutrients, foods, or dietary patterns may act as a good or bad “triggers” that might increase the likelihood of new breakouts.
So, How Do We Know Which Habits Trigger Our Skin?
Should we eat low carb, low fat and low sugar? Gluten-free or dairy-free? Or maybe we should give the paleo diet a try or go heavy on superfoods & vitamins? Some people can eat anything all day long and still have skin like a newborn baby (I am imagining a lot of frustrated eye-rolling at this statement). Honestly, everything above can work. People can get positive results with all of these diet choices.
It’s enough to make us go crazy isn’t it?!
With so many options finding the right answer is not that easy. You and your skin are unique and so is the way your body processes nutrition. That’s why you need to:
Trust Your Own Judgement
When you have acne-prone skin, finding out what exactly sets it off can be extremely frustrating. What triggers a flare for someone else with the same problem, might not be a trigger for you.
My friend was convinced that gluten was causing my breakouts because it’s what had caused theirs, I didn’t think this was the case but I cut it out anyway. Nothing changed with my skin, if anything it got far worse. I should have listened to my instincts and trusted my body - it would have saved a lot of time and pimple damage control!
When it comes to nutrition there is no one-size-fits-all, you may wonder why that coconut oil diet isn’t working wonders on your waistline or the miracle herbal tea your drinking isn’t doing what that magazine said. Listen to your body and keep trying until you find the right nutrition for you. Don’t substitute anyone else’s judgment for your own. You know yourself best.
It can take years of trial and error to figure your diet out and even then factors such as age and illness can cause you to need to re-evaluate. We are always changing and our diet should also reflect these changes - so try and enjoy the journey! If you have no clue where to start when it comes to a change in nutrition here are some helpful ideas...
5 Popular Science-Backed Theories To Help Your Skin
There are so many different nutrition-skin theories floating around out in the world. As a result, I have fallen victim to a lot of diets that didn’t work for me. Much of the information on nutrition/diet is misguided, outdated, and unproven. With so much wrong information, you need to arm yourself with some knowledge so you can sift the bad from the good. I’ll start you off with some of this knowledge right now:
#1: Glycemic index/load - in case you didn’t know our body converts the carbs from our food into energy (glucose). The Glycemic index assigns a number to a particular food that gives us an idea of how it is affecting our blood glucose level (high or low). The higher the number the higher our blood glucose level. Rising blood sugar triggers a hormone (insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I)), which accelerates oil production in our skin. As we know, sebum overproduction can cause new breakouts. So, a low-glycemic-load diet may be beneficial to our skin.
#2: Milk - it’s not 100% clear why milk may affect our skin negatively although it may be something to do with the hormones that pregnant cows are producing when creating the milk we drink. This is then consumed by us and we, in turn, have these hormones in our bodies. Which is potentially bad for our skin.
#3: Vitamins - vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants are essential to our body and vital for the normal functioning of cells, organs & tissues - they can support our skin from the inside out. When considering a holistic approach to skincare this would indicate that there is a chance they can also make a difference to the overall condition of our skin.
#4: Superfoods - generally speaking, there is a not much scientific evidence that superfoods have a real effect on our breakouts, overproduction of sebum, or aging. The results of clinical studies are still very vague, but more and more studies are coming out that are telling us the superfood hype is real. All we can do is wait to hear more and give them a shot!
#5: Supplements - this is not a theory so much as a life hack. We all have moments when we are too busy to plan our meals & diets, right? Well, when I have this issue I have found that supplements can be so useful. I can make sure I get my recommended intake of vitamins, minerals etc. and not worry so much if I have skipped my daily snack of raw carrots (an excellent source of beta-carotene). This is why we have decided to launch our own range of supplements - because we want to make your lives as simple as possible!
Ylumi Cooperation (link)
So, To Recap
Limitations: Even though some of these theories are supported by research articles you should remember that they have also been dismissed by others. I know it’s frustrating but in the area of nutrition & skin, you should always remain critical of each theory you see and the limitations that may come with them.
Bottom line: Despite all theoretical limitations and vague evidence I believe that being conscious of our nutrition and taking care of our body from the inside has a huge impact on our skin‘s health. I don’t follow strict nutrition plans, however, I make sure to listen to my body.
If you suspect a specific food might be causing your breakouts (junk food, processed carbs, milk, sugar, coffee, some fruit or whatever), try to eliminate it for a few weeks and see if you can see any improvement on your skin. You’ve got nothing to lose!
P.S. Acne is a medical condition, that’s why if you suspect you have developed severe acne, you should visit your dermatologist immediately. If you have acne-prone skin, prevention is key! At System Akvile we are focused on prevention and improvement - not medical treatment!