Wondering if last night’s spicy dinner gave you acne? Everyone would wish to have a perfect, clear skin. But thanks to painful acne breakouts, this is rarely possible. Going out with those big spots all over your face is, at times, a challenge to your self-confidence.
It’s not just your lifestyle choices that cause acne but also your food habits. But, these factors affect each person differently. Spicy food alone may or may not be the culprit, but what you eat along with it can make a difference. You are very likely asking for trouble if you have milk or processed foods along with your spicy meal.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is primarily caused when the hair follicles are clogged with bacteria, oil, or dead skin cells. Although acne can occur at any age, it is common during puberty. This happens due to hormonal changes, which cause the oil glands to enlarge and produce more oil.
In addition to the food you eat, using the wrong skin products, stress, exposure to air pollution, and overwashing your face could be causing the breakouts.1
Link Between Spicy Food And Acne
Spicy food, by itself, does not cause acne. Studies suggest that spices are not really the troublemaker, but eating spicy food may worsen the condition.2 You might argue otherwise… you probably got a severe acne breakout after eating something spicy. In such cases, you could blame the sweat!
Foods That May Trigger Acne
If sugar is causing an acne breakout, decide if the taste is really worth it. There’s no need to assume that you’ve to completely give up on sugar. Instead, experiment with the quantity. If you are eating a lot of sugar on a daily basis, more oil is released from the skin, which can cause a breakout. Try reducing the sugar intake and see if notice any difference.
Although the exact reason is not clear, scientists show a link between drinking cow’s milk and acne breakouts.5 Cow’s milk can cause a spike in blood sugar, which in turn increases your insulin levels and the production of oil on your skin. The excess oil production clogs pores, resulting in pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Additionally, cow’s milk contains hormones that may cause an overgrowth of skin cells that may lead to blocked or clogged skin pores.
3. Processed food
Processed food is easily digested by the body, causing insulin spikes and increasing your blood sugar. This can result in inflammation, which is the main cause of acne. Avoid cakes, cookies, and white rice as they have a high glycemic index and are broken down easily. Instead, go for whole grains, vegetables, and brown rice, which keep your blood sugar stabilized and prevent inflammation.
|↑1||Yosipovitch, Gil, Mark Tang, Aerlyn G. Dawn, Mark Chen, Chee Leok Goh, Yiong Huak Chan, and Lim Fong Seng. “Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents.” Acta dermato-venereologica 87, no. 2 (2007): 135-139.|
|↑2||El Darouti, M. A., O. A. Zeid, D. M. Abdel Halim, R. A. Hegazy, D. Kadry, D. I. Shehab, H. S. Abdelhaliem, and M. A. Saleh. “Salty and spicy food; are they involved in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris? A case controlled study.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 15, no. 2 (2016): 145-149.|
|↑3||Bowe, Whitney P., Smita S. Joshi, and Alan R. Shalita. “Diet and acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 63, no. 1 (2010): 124-141.|
|↑4||Pappas, Apostolos. “The relationship of diet and acne: a review.” Dermato-endocrinology 1, no. 5 (2009): 262-267.|
|↑5||Danby, F. William. “Nutrition and acne.” Clinics in dermatology 28, no. 6 (2010): 598-604.|