Got a breakout? Here are the foods to eat ASAP

We’ve all experienced a breakout that comes without warning, and no amount of concealer is enough. You’ve whittled your skincare routine down to a science (investing in all the best cutting-edge serums, creams, and masks, no less), yet acne is still a thing. WTF? You can go to your trusty spot treatment or pimple patch, but you might also want to look in your fridge for help clearing up the breakout, too. A clear, glowing complexion starts with what we put into our bodies. Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside, so it makes sense that loading up on whole, nutrient-dense foods might just help fight off pesky papules, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and so on.

Ahead, dermatologist-approved foods and registered dietitians to eat to banish an acne flare-up statistic. Word to the wise: As much as we want to get rid of a breakout like yesterday, it can take up to 12 weeks for a dietary change to have a noticeable effect on your skin, so hang in there. Glowing skin awaits you.

1. Water

If you need a reason to keep sipping on that H2O, consider this: By maintaining proper hydration, you’re giving your body a head start in optimal digestion, hormone balance, detoxification, and circulation, which, simply put, can lead to glowing, flawless skin. Plus, Jennifer Aniston and Beyonc swear their water intake is the secret to their glow, and who are we to argue with them? “Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin,” agreed Melissa Wasserman Baker, a certified RDN and founder of Food Queries. “Drinking an adequate amount of water helps maintain skin hydration and can contribute to a more vibrant complexion.”

2. Green tea

Swap your morning cup of joe for some matcha tea. You’ll get your caffeine fix by consuming polyphenols, which can act as antioxidants (read: protect your cells from harmful free radicals that would otherwise damage them) and also reduce inflammation. Translation: The green drink packs a double punch in preventing oxidative stress, slowing the aging process, and repairing and rejuvenating skin. Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, also said that when combined with lemon, green tea is effective in treating acne.

3. Green leafy vegetables

Is there anything sexier than putting your greens in? Apparently not when it comes to your skin. “Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can promote skin health and healing,” Baker said. Consuming these plant-based staples results in increased resilience against sun damage and external toxins such as pollution, thanks to being rich in antioxidants, as well as boosting collagen and elastin production. Additionally, spinach and kale are rich in vitamin C, which increases skin cell turnover and produces healthy new skin cells for vibrant, youthful skin.

4. Berries

It again points to the power of antioxidants because berries are chock full of powerful compounds. “The antioxidants in berries act like a double-edged sword against those pesky dark spots, preventing them from forming in the first place,” Dr. Chacon explained. When you snack on blueberries and strawberries, you’re loading up on vitamin C and anthocyanins, antioxidants that act as a powerful skin weapon that promotes healing and can help your body build more collagen, AKA a protein that gives skin structure. your skin and plumpness.

5. Papaya

The tropical fruit has not only earned its right as a healthy snack, but also as an effective and potent ingredient in skin care products. This is no surprise considering that one study found that papaya is high in vitamins A, B and C and proteolytic enzymes, such as papain and chymopapain, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. “Papain is strong enough to exfoliate dead skin cells, unclog pores, lighten acne scars, and moisturize skin when applied topically to the skin and stop any further outbreaks,” described Dr. Chacon.

6. Sweet potato

The root veggie is so much more than just a Thanksgiving dish. Abundant in beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are converted in the body to retinol. “A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is excellent for treating acne and preventing wrinkles,” said Dr. Chacon. Retinol also encourages skin cell production, helps unclog pores, exfoliates skin, and improves collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase elasticity. The result? A fresher, plumper look. Additionally, as an antioxidant, beta-carotene holds potential as an anti-aging agent.

7. Lemon

More than just a refreshing flavor addition to your water, lemons are known for their detoxifying effects, and not just when you ingest their vitamin C and citric acid components. According to Healthline, there is growing popularity of using lemons on the skin as a natural treatment for skin conditions, such as age spots and acne. “The natural astringent properties of fresh lemon juice make it a popular remedy for reducing the appearance of blemishes and tightening sagging skin,” agreed Dr. Chacon. Because of the acidity of lemon juice, it can help reduce inflammation and oil that can contribute to acne formation. Additionally, citric acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), can help break down dead skin cells that lead to non-inflammatory forms of acne, such as blackheads.

8. Omega-3 fatty acids

Skip expensive skin care products and treatments. While they have their place, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish (think: salmon and tuna), and nuts and seeds (think: walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds) may help improve barrier function , inhibit inflammation and promote skin healing that money can’t buy. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce the production of inflammatory compounds that contribute to the aging process.

9. Foods rich in probiotics

Consuming probiotic foods can help maintain a healthy and balanced gut microbiome, which can help reduce eczema, acne, dry skin and even wrinkles, and the risk of skin cancer linked to UV damage. Some probiotic strains have been shown to increase the skin’s production of ceramides or lipids (fats) that trap moisture in the skin and keep levels of acne-causing bacteria in check. A 2016 review showed that probiotics can restore skin pH, relieve oxidative stress, reduce premature skin aging caused by UV light, improve skin barrier function, and improve hair quality. So stock your fridge with yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other probiotic-rich foods—both your gut and skin will thank you.

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