by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

The Anti-Acne Diet with Dr Cheryl Kam

If you’ve tried everything to get rid of your acne and it’s persistent, maybe it’s time to take a look at your diet. As they say, you are what you eat; what you’re eating affects how your body functions overall, and your skin is your largest organ, so your diet may be playing a role in the development of acne. Enter the anti-acne diet.

We chat with holistic doctor Dr Cheryl Kam (@drcherylkam), about how our diet affects the skin and some tips to keep in mind for an anti-acne diet.

MYTH or FACT: Diet plays a role in acne; consuming chocolate, dairy, soda drinks, and fried, greasy foods can cause acne. 

Fact. One of the main factors of acne is inflammation, and refined sugars, flours and highly processed foods contribute to inflammation in the body. Cutting out these foods in your diet can help reduce inflammation and the chances of acne.

How does diet affect our skin?

“Your diet affects your skin in the same way it affects your health.”

If you’re in good health, your skin will reflect that and vice versa. Often when I work with my clients, we address their overall health issues and how to optimise their lifestyles. And the plus point of this is they get to see their skin becoming clearer, more supple and glowing.

An easy tip to keep your skin healthy is to drink plenty of water. If you’re dehydrated, your skin will reflect that.

What are some tips to keep in mind for an anti-acne diet? 

A common cause of acne in adult women is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); along with other symptoms such as irregular periods and weight gain, PCOS can also increase sebum and skin cell production, leading to acne.

PCOS — and acne — is very responsive to our diet and lifestyle habits. It’s important to eat healthier if you want your skin to improve; incorporate more fresh and whole foods into your diet, cut down on foods that can cause inflammation like refined sugars and processed foods, and cook more at home! Opt for less processed oils like olive oil and coconut oil, instead of highly processed vegetable oils, which can trigger inflammation as the unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils tend to oxidise when they’re heated.

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