When I was a boy it used to be a rite of passage into adulthood - the pimple faced senior school years that some of us would be happy to forget. Thankfully, we're grown up now and our faces have cleared up. Except for the fact that in recent year's acne prevalence amongst adults is on the increase......
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the human body? Maybe not but we all know that the food we eat impacts on our well being, our energy levels, our immune system and so on but not all of us give consideration that what we eat has a huge impact on our facial complexion.
Some would argue that all skin disorders are purely hormonal but even if that were true (and it's not!) then the foods or junk foods we eat affect hormone behaviour too-whichever way you cut it you can't avoid that some foods are great for your skin and some are lousy. Obviously food isn't like medicine, it doesn't start a change in your body immediately but over time eating the right foods and staying away from sugary, greasy and fatty foods will work wonders on the cheeks.
Each individual has her particular foods to stay away from more than others but for most it's the usual suspects that cause the problem.
But what does the science say?
A literature review by scientists at HONEI (Humber Obesity Nutrition Education and Innovation) at the University of Hull assesses the latest evidence and comes to this conclusion:
• High glycemic foods may exacerbate skin conditions. So Pizza, doughnuts, burgers, French fries, alcohol, processed meats, ice cream and particularly chocolate are all major contributors to acne, blemishes, pimples or spots.
• Milk (but not cheese or yogurt) is also singled out in the review as a contributor to acne (Though it is not extremely high in glycemic index [27-40] compared to refined carbs.)
The scientists conclude:
"The research review suggests a low glycemic index diet but also a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, can have a protective effect on the skin, keeping it clear and healthy and also protecting against wrinkles and premature ageing. Further research is needed to fully understand the role diet plays in acne in specific populations but common sense healthy eating is the best way to treat skin disorders in the long term."
Exercise was also cited as a great way to regulate hormone balance too-not to mention how healthy perspiring is a great detoxifier!