Some people may insist that whatever worked for them is guaranteed to work for you, while others may try to convince you to use products that you know for a fact aren't right for your skin. Rather than going for whatever un-vetted beauty creams your targeted Instagram ads are trying to sell you, you might want to directly turn to science, such as this recent study.
Published in the International Journal of Dermatology, the study looked at ten years of diet and acne research to determine six dietary factors that promote acne. So, what are the six dietary factors that could be causing you to break out? They include foods that have a high glycemic index (think, brown rice syrup), high glycemic load (white rice and pancakes), dairy products (ice cream), fast food (Big Macs), lack of raw vegetables (consider replacing your marinara sauce with some sliced cherry tomatoes), and chocolate.
Everyone's skin is different, but if you keep away from these problematic dietary factors and make a point of eating raw veggies, it will likely make a difference. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now).
"For my patients with acne, I always emphasize that food and diet is just one aspect of treatment, especially since genetics and hormone changes play such a big role for some people with acne," Rajani Katta, MD, author of "Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet," told Eat This, Not That! in an interview. "Having said that, we know that certain foods and eating patterns can trigger acne."
She notes that whey protein supplements and added sugars are among the most common culprits for people of all ages. Additionally, if you're concerned about prematurely aging, she suggests avoiding foods that will raise your blood sugar levels, as these can lead to "sugar sag," which is when your skin loses elasticity. "So that means limiting added sugars and processed carbohydrates as much as possible," Katta advises.
So what foods should you be eating to promote good skin health? In addition to raw veggies, cooked vegetables can also help, as can fruits and foods high in fatty acids (think salmon). These acne-protective factors can help keep your skin clear and pimple-free.
And, for more on how you can change your diet to improve your skin, check out these 25 Healthy Foods That Give You Glowing Skin.