It seems like just before a job interview, a wedding, or any major event, I get an acne break-out. Years ago, I asked my dermatologist if there was anything I could eat, or any foods I could use, that would help me get rid of acne or keep a break-out from happening, and she gave me a whole list of things. Some of these foods are to eat, and some of them are applied right to your skin. I tried them all, and here are the ones I’ve found that work the best:
The most important thing you can do to get rid of acne is to drink plenty of water. Adults need 64 ounces of water every day, and that’s regular water, not water from juices or soups or sodas. Water will keep your skin hydrated and will help in flushing out acne-causing chemicals.
2. Blueberries, Blackberries, or Raspberries
A handful of fresh (not frozen) berries is a great source of anti-oxidants and skin-healing phytochemicals such as beta-carotene. And they’re delicious!
3. Green Tea
Green tea is another great source of anti-oxidants and also of anti-inflammatory chemicals called catechins. Drinking green tea will help with the redness, puffiness, and soreness of acne, and also help prevent future break-outs!
4. Whole Grains
Foods with whole grains, like cereals, breads, and pastas, are a good source of selenium, another chemical that’s helpful is clearing up and preventing acne.
Cow’s milk is a great source of both vitamin A and vitamin D, both of which are good for healthy skin. For women, it’s also a great source of calcium, which we need a lot of anyway.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil and sesame oil are both good sources of monosaturated fats, which provide the fatty acids you need to nourish your skin and keep it clear of acne.
Last summer, ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham tried eating Japanese natto (made from fermented soybeans) to clear up her skin, and she swears by it. She’s been quoted as saying it smells funny and tastes “weird,” but has been excited by the results. I’ve tried it, and I don’t like the taste, but it does appear to work… so if you’re wondering where you can find it, stop by your local Asian grocery store and give it a try!
8. Chocolate or Fried Foods
I listed these because I’ve always heard that eating chocolate or fried foods can cause acne. Not true! That’s just a myth! So feel free to eat chocolate or French fries (in moderation, of course)!
9. Plain Yogurt
Apply cold, plain yogurt to your face once a day in the morning. Leave it on for just a minute or two (while you brush your teeth), then rinse off with warm water and pat dry. The vitamin A in the yogurt will help heal any existing acne, and will prevent it in the future.
10. Lemon Juice
This is a treatment you apply to your skin, not one you eat. To use it, mix a little fresh lemon juice with a teaspoon on granulated sugar and rub in small circles onto damp skin. This will fight acne, and will also fade any old acne scars. Be careful not to get the lemon juice in your eyes (ouchie!) and also try a small spot on your inner arm before applying to your face — some people have a reaction to this mixture.
Another food item you can use on your face, not just in your tummy! Make a paste yourself at home, or buy one at a store. The oatmeal soothes irritated skin, and dries out acne-causing oil.
12. Walnut Shells
Don’t eat these, use them on your skin! Ground walnut shells have been proven to be a good exfoliant, and also contain omega-3 oils and other chemicals that soothe and clear up acne-prone skin.
13. Apricot Pits
Just like walnut shells, apricot or peach pits have been used for decades as a skin treatment. Look for a facial scrub that contains these, and you’ll see an immediate improvement in your skin.
14. Watermelon Rind
I love this one! Eat the watermelon for the vitamins, then rinse with cool water and gently rub the rind on your face. It contains the same vitamins you just ate, plus anti-oxidants to help healing and to smooth your skin.
15. Avoid Caffeine
The only item on my list that’s been linked to actually causing acne. I think it’s because caffeine is a diuretic, so it will make you expel water before your body has used it properly. So stay away from sodas and coffee and tea that have caffeine in them!
Every morning, I use a scrub with apricot and walnut in it, and I haven’t had a break-out in ages! I also make sure to drink plenty of water, and to avoid caffeine. It’s worth it to have clear skin! What’s your favorite acne-clearing food? How do you keep your skin clear? Please let me know what it is, and how you use it… thanks!