What do over 17 million Brits have in common?
Shocking new statistics on acne revealed
Do you feel that you constantly have stubborn breakouts of spots? You are not alone, with over 17 million Brits claiming to suffer from acne at some point in their lives, according to The British Skin Foundation. Also, over 1 in 3 people of those admit that they don’t know what to do to help with the condition, but don’t fret!
We have spoken to our experts for their top tips on how to help beat breakouts naturally…
1. Stop the sweet tooth
“Quit unnecessary dietary sugar for youthful and clear skin. Removing sugar from the diet will have the biggest impact on your skin. Sugar contributes to hormonal imbalances, which can lead to spotty and greasy skin. It’s the hidden sugars in our food we need to watch out for – always check the sugar content in sauces, bread, cereals, soups, yoghurts, dressings and most ‘low fat’ foods,” says Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and weight loss expert at lilysoutternutrition.com.
2. Aid your acne with essential oils
Essential oils should be your best friend. Unlike anti-acne treatments available on the market, oils are packed with vitamins, amino acids and anti oxidants so they won’t dry your skin. Instead, they can smooth fine lines and heal blemishes at the same time. ‘Go for a combination of Tea Tree, Aloe Vera and Myrrh Essential Oils for anti-inflammatory properties and to achieve a more even complexion. Try Soothing Skin Gel by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £14.99),’ says Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
3. Choose orange foods
‘Betacarotene, found mainly in carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash is a precursor to vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for proper skin function and maintenance. Vitamin A is specifically beneficial for treating acne as it protects your skin from free radicals,’ explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist (www.marilynglenville.com), author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
4. Boost your healthy gut bacteria
We all need healthy gut bacteria to support gut function, helping to break down food, absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. ‘The skin is closely connected to the gut and supporting gut function can help to reduce skin outbreaks. There are a number of studies linking the use of probiotics to positive outcomes for eczema, acne, rosacea and anti-aging. To support your skin include fermented foods in your diet, such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso soup. You can also take a supplement, such as Pro-Ven 25 Billion (Boots, £13.95),’ says Cassandra.
5. Detox your liver
‘This is a potent antioxidant in the body, which also “recycles” vitamins C and E that are all important for optimum skin health and hormonal health too. Selenium is crucial for detoxification through the liver, which is the “garbage dump” of the body, so keeping it functioning optimally is crucial to reduce acne. If one organ of elimination is “blocked” toxins will come out elsewhere, often through the skin. You can find Selenium mainly in Brazil nuts, shellfish, whole grains and seeds,’ says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at Superfood UK the online shopping destination for all things health and wellbeing.
6. Zap away zits with Zinc
Snack on pumpkin seeds. ‘These nutritional gems are excellent sources of zinc, one of the most important minerals for maintaining healthy, happy skin. It is thought that as much as 20% of the body’s zinc is stored in the skin, and it has a major role in growth and healing. Deficiency in this mineral is linked with acne; dry skin, dermatitis and poor wound healing,’ says Marilyn.
7. Use the loo regularly
‘Visiting the bathroom for a number 2 regularly is actually really important. Clearing out your bowels is your body’s way of removing toxins. If we don’t go regularly, we can end up reabsorbing old hormones and toxins, which the liver needs to deal with a second time! If you’re not using the loo enough, your body will push the toxins out through the skin causing inflammation and acne! So make sure you’re getting enough fibre,’ says Shona.
8. Omega 3 could be your saviour
Make sure you have oily fish at least three times a week. Lily says, ‘These foods contain healthy fats which make the skin plump and supple. They can also help to balance your hormones, which can help prevent spots.’
‘Fish such as wild salmon, sardines, herring and anchovies are all omega-3 rich. But if you’re not a fan of fish, or are concerned you’re not getting enough omega 3 from your diet, then I would suggest taking a supplement. Go for Natures Plus Ultra Omega 3/6/9 (£17.75, revital.co.uk),’ says Cassandra.