Why do I have adult acne?
Acne occurs when sebum in the skin blocks up skin follicles and cause an acne lesion AKA a pimple. Bacteria, dead skin, and imbalances hormones can also contribute to the development of acne.
Triggers of acne in adults may include
Blood sugar imbalances, particularly a diet high in high glycemic index foods which can spike blood sugar and increase the levels of hormone IGF-1 in the blood which trigger the oil glands to produce extra sebum.
Hormone changes in the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy can trigger acne. High levels of androgens/ testosterone contribute to sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria which can cause acne.
Smoking can cause acne in adults, specifically atypical post- adolescent acne. This is non-inflammatory and due to blocked pores in the skin. Smoking reduces vitamin E production in the body, and vitamin E is an important antioxidant that reduces peroxidation of free radicals. Sebum peroxidation also occurs in smokers, and the deterioration of it allows bacteria to more easily thrive.
High levels of stress can cause acne to flare up and worsen. Stress causes a spike in cortisol levels and disrupts the regulation of skin sebum leading to clogged pores and more breakouts.
Some beauty products may cause acne. Products that overly strip the skin of oil can trigger the production of more oil/ sebum and cause acne development. Other products may irritate the skin and clog pores, causing the skin the breakout in acne as an attempt to cleanse the skin.
What can I do to naturally help my acne?
Increase intake of vitamin E rich foods. Vitamin E is important in reducing inflammation and free radical activity. Supports skin health and the immune system. Protects against rancid PUFA fats. Find it in; Salmon, trout, avocado, poultry, dairy foods.
Up the zinc rich foods to regulate oil production, support skin healing and repair, and reduce levels of inflammation.
Find it in; Beef, oysters, shrimp, dairy products.
Increase levels of preformed retinol/ vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial for good skin health. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin A are associated with increased incidence of acne.
Find it in; Beef liver, milk, eggs, and dairy products.
Regulate blood sugar levels by eating every 3-4 hours and ensuring that each meal has a good balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate.