If you grew up with acne, chances are that your mom told you the pimples would be gone by the time you were an adult. Yet here you are, reading this article, wondering why on earth you’ve been cursed with with acne as a full-grown woman. Sometimes it feels like you’re 13 going on 30, doesn’t it?
“It’s very common for a woman to come to my office for an anti-aging procedure, then tear up, admitting that she’s still struggling with acne,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
According to the Journal of Women’s Health, 26 percent of women in their thirties struggle with acne and breakouts. You are not alone!
So what’s the deal? Why are so many grown women struggling with acne? Hormones, ladies, hormones.
You can tell if the acne breakouts are hormone-induced if the pimples appear on the lower face, along the jawline and even on your neck. Another indicator is if the acne appears before or after your period.
Lucky for you, hormonal acne can be treated! The birth control pill, through use of estrogen and progesterone, keep breakouts at bay. If you’re happy with your current birth control method or don’t feel like popping the pill, try incorporating these six foods into your diet instead.
1. Yogurt: Yogurt contains live, active cultures—including probiotics—that keep a host of skin problems far, far away. Yogurt eases the inflammation in your gut, which in turn eases the breakouts on your face.
Note: Avoid dairy milk. Milk is filled with hormones and inflammatory substances that exacerbate your skin, prompting acne breakouts like you wouldn’t believe! Dairy actually glues your dead skin cells together, clogging your pores, and creating yet more acne.
2. Green juice: Take the inside-out approach to healthy skin by fueling up on a healthy green juice or smoothie. Ingredients like kale and avocado contain healthy fats that are great for your skin.
Try our green smoothie recipe here! It’s yummy, and we promise it doesn’t taste like grass.
3. Alkaline foods: Acidic foods based on meat, sugar, caffeine and processed grains can contribute to inflammation in your gut, prompting acne breakouts. Cut the acidic meals and opt for alkaline foods instead—like fresh vegetables and fruits. To see a full list of alkaline foods, click here.
4. Green tea: This yummy warm drink is filled with antioxidants that can act as a much-needed skin detox. Sip on a cup of this throughout the day for clearer skin!
5. Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fish, walnuts and flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and tame those pesky acne breakouts.
6. Anything but gluten: Diets high in sugar and refined carbs are highly responsible for acne breakouts in women. Non-western cultures that don’t indulge in gluten very often have far less acne than Western cultures—like us! The ingredients in refined carbohydrates and gluten can trigger inflammation in your gut, which prompts acne breakouts almost immediately. Experts recommend indulging in vegetable juices instead when you’re craving bread.
>> Read more: Are We Immune to Acne Treatments?