What is actually proven to improve acne?
While more research is needed to determine if going dairy-free can clear your skin, there’s no harm in taking a closer look at the impact your diet may have. The AAD recommends keeping a food diary and noting when certain foods or drinks seem to trigger a flare-up or make existing pimples worse. Then, they recommend trying to cut out those foods or drinks to see if that helps.
If you think dairy products in particular are aggravating your skin, start by eliminating those with a high glycemic index, such as ice cream, milkshakes and sugary yogurts. But make sure you’re still getting important nutrients, like protein and calcium, from other parts of your diet. “For many people, dairy products are a primary source of protein and calcium in particular. So we have to be very careful about saying dairy causes acne, because dairy can also prevent osteoporosis and all kinds of things that are a bit more directly correlated,” Dr. Zaenglein said.
Keep in mind that if you see skin changes as a result of removing certain foods from your diet, it won’t happen overnight. Based on what she saw in her own clinic, Dr Kassouf said: “You need to commit to at least three months and maybe closer to six to really see a positive benefit.”
Still, keeping your skin acne-free may take more than a diet change, said Dr. Hilary Baldwin, dermatologist and medical director of the Acne Treatment & Research Center in Brooklyn, NY “I’ve never had a patient come see myself and say, ‘I gave up dairy and it made all the difference in the world.’
People with mild acne may benefit from some over-the-counter products containing the topical retinoid adapalene or the antimicrobial compound benzoyl peroxide, Dr. Baldwin said. But beware of using too many harsh products, which could include astringents, toners, and exfoliants, as well as products that contain alcohol. These can irritate or dry out your skin or make your acne worse, she said.
In reality, according to the AALacne-friendly skin care is actually quite simple: wash your face twice a day (using gentle cleansers, avoiding harsh rubbing, and rinsing with warm water), avoid touching your face , shampoo your hair when it gets greasy and don’t forget to remove your makeup before going to bed.
However, people with moderate to severe acne may need prescription treatments, Dr. Baldwin said, including topical or oral antibiotics, prescription retinoids, creams that reduce oil production or inflammation or oral contraceptives. A dermatologist may also recommend lesser-known treatments, such as blood pressure medications. spironolactonewhich can reduce oil production and acne.
Nutrition is just one of many factors that can play a role in acne, Dr. Baldwin said. Your genetics, hormones, sleep quality, and environment can also influence acne. And ultimately, she added, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.