If you suffer from frequent acne outbreaks, you’ve probably tried dozens of expensive creams, lotions, and potions to bring your pimples under control. However, one of the best and easiest defenses is a healthy diet.
Eating plenty of the right foods will give your skin the strength it needs to resist acne and other common skin problems. Here are seven vital nutrients you need to include plenty of in your diet.
1) Vitamin A
Vitamin A comes in two main forms. Carotenoids are found in vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens, while retinoids are found in meat and dairy products. Both types of the vitamin are helpful for acne, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to boost the immune system.
However, don’t be tempted to take vitamin A supplements to increase your levels. Too much vitamin A can actually increase your skin’s sensitivity and provoke acne outbreaks. A healthy diet is by far the best way of getting your vitamin A without overdoing it.
2) Vitamin B5
Also known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 works to decrease the over-production of oils in your skin. It also reduces pimple infections thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions. Vitamin B5 is mainly found in meat and dairy, especially in liver and egg yolks. However, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and dark greens are also good sources if you prefer to avoid animal products.
3) Vitamin B6
B6 is another form of vitamin B, and it combats acne by regulating hormone imbalances. It’s also an essential nutrient for feeding the enzymes which control skin cell renewal. This promotes healthy skin free of flakes and bacteria, both of which aid a clear complexion.
Vitamin B6 is found in pork, poultry, and shellfish, along with wholegrain cereals, beans, and nuts.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals in the body. It plays a vital role in cell repair and healing, and this makes it essential for healthy skin. It also reduces bacteria levels and controls natural oils.
The very best source of zinc is raw oysters, but if these aren’t to your taste, red meats, whole grains, and fortified breakfast foods are all rich sources.
Selenium is an antioxidant that boosts the skin-protecting effects of other minerals and nutrients, particularly zinc. It’s a powerful way of fighting acne-causing infections under the skin, as it mobilizes white blood cells to neutralize bacteria. You can find selenium in oily fish, Brazil nuts, and dark red meats.
6) Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a key nutrient for overall skin health and strength, and plays a valuable supporting role to all other acne treatments. A balanced diet combined with exposure to sunlight provides enough vitamin D for most people.
However, if you feel any symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, or slow wound healing alongside your acne outbreaks, it may be a sensible idea to ask your doctor for a deficiency test.
7) Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts the production of collagen and elasticin, both of which strengthen your skin against the threat of acne. A more supple skin will also heal from an outbreak more quickly, and with much less chance of scarring.
Vitamin C is found in most fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, peppers, and dark green vegetables such as broccoli. To maximize your intake, eat plenty of raw food, as vitamin C is easily damaged by cooking.
Most people get a little acne occasionally, and it’s not necessarily related to your age or lifestyle. In severe cases, medical treatment can help. But before resorting to drugs or expensive creams, make sure your diet isn’t lacking in these essential nutrients.