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Skin Diet: Can Oily Foods Cause Acne Breakouts?

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If you’re an avid follower of the skin care craze, you know for sure that the road to clear, radiant skin isn’t only about which creams and serums to put on your face, but also about what to eat. You probably keep avocados, walnuts, and sweet potatoes in your pantry to cook up meals not just for your tummy, but for your skin too. On the flip side, you most likely avoid certain food items to prevent breakouts. Case in point: oily foods.

While dermatologists certainly advise eating healthy for better skin, avoiding that greasy burger may be debatable. Once and for all, here’s the truth about the matter.

The Real Deal About Oily Foods

Although it may seem sensible that the oils in food can get into the skin and therefore trigger those pesky zits, there’s no evidence that this happens. French fries and burgers don’t affect your skin health. But, do take note that there are factors closely associated with oily foods that can be the trigger for breakouts.

For instance, if you do get those oils on your skin, they could clog pores and leave you with pimples. So, if you’re working in a grease-filled workplace, say, a burger or pizza joint, know that the oil particles in the air constantly covering your face can get in the way of your glass skin goals.

Of course, the solution isn’t to quit your job altogether. But, you do need to wash your face with an alcohol-free cleanser after your shift. Also, if you’re experiencing already some breakouts, ask a dermatologist for effective acne treatments. Salt Lake City practitioners can recommend products that are suitable for your lifestyle.

Another factor that can be associated with oily foods and acne breakouts is emotional stress. You could be blaming the late-night binge-eating on fries and burgers for those pimples when in fact, it’s the stress that’s giving you those red, bulgy bumps. Remember, when you’re stressed out, your body activates cortisol hormones, which rev up the activity on your sebaceous glands, as preparation for the fight or flight response. When this happens, you’re more likely to experience breakouts.

For sure, you already know the solution to this: manage stress levels. Learn relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation. If you can avoid stressors, better.

The Science Behind Acne

Acne skin

Again, oily foods have nothing to do with acne. Instead, this skin problem has everything to do with excess oil production, dead skin, and bacteria. Remember your high school science lesson: the follicle consists of a hair and a sebaceous gland. This gland releases oil, which goes up the hair, out of the pore, and onto the skin. The oil makes the skin smooth and soft.

What messes up this natural process is too much oil released by the follicles and too many dead skin cells and bacteria built up in the pores, giving way to acne. A lot of factors can contribute to this. For one, hormones, specifically, an increase in androgens causes the oil glands to enlarge and produce more oils. This is the reason teens, pregnant women, and those suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) commonly experience breakouts.

Another contributing factor is medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium can trigger acne. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance in your system or side effects from your medications, go to your doctor for appropriate acne treatments.

Again, there’s no connection between oily foods and acne breakouts. But while you know it’s only a myth, choose to eat healthy, still. It may not be for your skin per se, but it can benefit your well-being.

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