Categorized | Diet & Nutrition

Why Popular Acne Treatments Don’t Work, And Why Diet Does

What is the best way to get rid of acne?

No, it’s not Accutane, it’s not Proactiv, it’s not Retin-A. It’s not Cetaphil, either.

These treatments only attack the symptoms of acne, and completely ignore the true causes of acne.

The result?

1) Your acne might go away temporarily, but it will likely come back if you stop using the treatment

2) You’ll get side effects… dry, itchy, irritated skin, headaches, fatigue, and worse…

We need a new approach. The magic answer? Diet.

Quite simply, we create our skin health by what we put in our mouths. If we eat crap, our skin will look like crap, unless we’ve got perfect genes, which most of us (including your author) don’t.

In fact, I have to be extremely careful about what I eat, or I break out.

The problem is, we can’t just hope to “eat healthy” (whatever that means) and expect to get rid of our acne. It’s more complicated than that.

That’s because the “popular wisdom” about what constitutes a healthy diet is almost completely wrong.

Think about this: if popular wisdom about diet was correct, why do 60 million adult Americans have acne? Why are acne rates steadily rising, when they should be falling as our knowledge of health and diet grows over time?

Again, it’s because the popular wisdom about diet is wrong.

For example, take saturated fat. Saturated fat is NOT bad for you, and it does NOT cause heart disease, contrary to what almost everyone, including most doctors and the American Heart Association, will tell you. To prove this, I went to http://www.pubmed.gov, the federal government’s national science research database, and searched “saturated fat cardiovascular disease meta-analysis”. What I found stunned me:

“CONCLUSIONS: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

That’s amazing! This paper reviewed 21 studies, following 347,747 people in total. And what did they find? “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”

D’oh!

Now, this article is not about saturated fat, and it’s not about heart disease. It’s about acne.

More than that, though, it’s about why you should be EXTREMELY skeptical of popular wisdom about diet.

The popular wisdom about diet and acne is that, well, either diet has little to no effect on acne, or that simply by avoiding “greasy foods,” your skin will remain clear. I know from personal experimentation and reading many studies that this is patently false.

For instance: dairy. Eating dairy is almost guaranteed to give you acne, if you’re acne-prone like I am. Ultra-pasteurized, homogenized, feedlot-produced dairy is the worst kind. Why is dairy so bad for acne? Well, quite simply, it spikes your levels of the hormone insulin, which makes acne worse by:

1) preventing your dead skin cells from sloughing off properly, so they bunch up inside your pores and clog them

2) making your skin cells divide too fast, compounding the problem and clogging your pores

3) making your skin produce too much sebum, again clogging your pores

Furthermore, dairy is a highly inflammatory food, meaning that it kicks your immune system into high gear for no good reason. That means clogged pores will become large, red, painful, swollen, inflamed bumps. And that, as I’m sure you know, is the worst kind of acne to have.

There are other common “health” foods that can make acne worse too — whole grains, legumes, vegetable oil (e.g. canola oil), and fruit juice come to mind — and only by learning about all these foods can you finally get rid of your acne for good.

That’s my mission. Helping you get rid of your acne for good. No, it’s not easy. Yes, it takes work. No, it will not happen overnight. Yes, it will be difficult.

But as has often been said, everything worth having is worth working hard for.

I have a real sense of accomplishment now that I’ve cured my acne. It took a lot of hard work, learning, and effort, but it paid off in spades. I’m now looking the best I ever have.

It’s time for you to do the same!

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