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Effect of diet on acne

There are differing opinions among experts regarding the relationship between diet and acne. Some believe that diet does not play a significant role in the appearance of acne, but the majority of studies prove the exact opposite.

Acne is a result of the production of a large amount of sebum and clogging of the openings of the sebaceous glands with dead skin and bacteria. This leads to inflammation and the appearance of comedones, pus-filled pimples, and in some people even more severe forms of acne such as papules, pustules and nodules. You can read more about the essence of the skin disease and the factors predisposing to its appearance in the article What is acne and how to take care of it.

During puberty, the body produces more of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor IGF-1, or Somatomedin C. According to some studies, it is this hormone that increases sebum production and worsens acne symptoms.

Certain foods contribute to increasing the amount of IGF-1, and avoiding them (or at least significantly reducing them) can improve the condition of the skin and reduce the appearance of pimples and acne.

Foods that cause an increase in IGF-1 hormone levels are:


Dairy products

Dairy consumption, according to numerous studies, is one of the most common food culprits for problematic skin and acne. Dairy products contain the protein casein, which causes the accumulation of mucus in the body. Mucus is a necessary component protecting the membranes in the human body from toxins and other irritants. But when it is in large quantities, for example with excessive consumption of cow’s milk products, mucus can have the exact opposite effect – unlocking a number of diseases affecting the lymphatic system, reproductive organs, respiratory tract, digestive tract, excretory system and connective tissue. The reason for this is that the body tries to get the mucus out of the body in any way possible – for example, through the nose (runny nose and congestion), the respiratory tract (cough) and the skin (acne and pimples).

Dairy products that could worsen acne symptoms include fresh milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt. But avoiding them does not always lead to a complete elimination of the skin problem. This is because acne manifests itself in different ways and degrees in different people, and food is not the only factor that affects its appearance. A good solution is to eliminate or reduce your intake of dairy foods to see if it will have a positive effect on your skin. Keep in mind that milk is also found in other products in the form of whey powder, milk powder, milk chocolate, and more, so it’s a good idea to always read the labels. You can try different alternatives to dairy products – soy yogurt, almond and coconut milk or tofu cheese for example.

Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) and high glycemic load (GT)

The glycemic index shows how quickly a carbohydrate food is broken down in the body into glucose (blood sugar) and increases its level, respectively the level of insulin. Foods with a low GI cause a moderate increase in blood sugar, and those with a high GI – increase it sharply.

The glycemic load classifies foods in terms of their impact on blood sugar and takes into account not only the carbohydrate content, but also the amount of fiber in individual foods. That is why it is considered the most accurate and reliable meter. Foods high in fiber have a lower glycemic index.

If you struggle with problem skin and acne, it is good to replace high GI foods (eg white sugar, white bread, sweet and salty packaged treats, chocolate, soft drinks, white rice, potatoes, alcohol in excessive amounts) with foods with medium and even low GI  like beans, lentils, whole grain bread, soy, walnuts and apples.


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Learn more about acne-causing foods in the article “10 Foods That Cause Acne.” But remember, in addition to eating wholesome and healthy, it is important to treat acne-prone skin with specialized cosmetics. MAGNISKIN Solutions Sensitive Skin Toner precisely cleanses, soothes, tones, moisturizes and prepares the skin for the application of MAGNISKIN Solutions Anti-Acne Lotion, which reduces the sebum secretion of the skin, making it clean, fresh and supple, and really removes unwanted pimples, whether they are on the face, hands, back, or other sensitive area.