Full disclosure: the pores of your skin can clog when the body produces too much sebum, which is an oil that prevents the skin from drying out.
The result? Inflammation, pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads that make you feel self-conscious every time that you look in the mirror. Not cool.
During puberty, the body increases its production of a hormone called “insulin-like growth factor 1” (IGF-1). Research shows that IGF-1 can stimulate excess production of sebum and make your breakouts even worse.
Certain types of foods also raise IGF-1 levels. Avoid these at all costs to improve the clarity and appearance of your skin, thus helping you to feel happier and more confident in your everyday life.
Types of Foods and Beverages to Avoid
According to a 2016 study, dairy products and foods with a high Glycemic Index (GI) and a high Glycemic Load (GL) are the most likely to boost your IGF-1 levels. These are considered “high-glycemic” carbohydrates, which means that they’re made of simple sugars.
Let’s explore them in more detail.
Some examples of dairy products that can contribute to an increase of sebum in the skin—and, consequently, acne—include:
To put it simply, make a conscious effort to reduce consumption of dairy products—or cut them out of your diet completely—and your skin will love you for it.
Foods with a High GI and a High GL
Generally-speaking, more processed foods have higher GIs and GLs. But what exactly do GI and GL mean? Well, we’re glad that you asked:
- Glycemic Index is an indicator of how fast and high a certain food can raise your blood sugar levels.
- Glycemic Load can help you to compare types of food with different GIs and portion sizes.
You can easily calculate GL using this handy formula: GL = GI x carbohydrates per portion (in grams) / 100.
You can also find online lists that suggest the GIs of several foods.
The following types are known to have high GIs:
- Sweetened breakfast cereals, including corn flakes and bran flakes
- Instant cereals like oatmeal and grits
- Rice-based pasta
- Short grain white rice
- Bread, especially bagels and white bread
- Specific fruit and vegetables, such as melons, pumpkins, pineapples, and potatoes
- Savory snacks like rice cakes, popcorn, and pretzels
- Sugary snacks, such as chocolate, cake, sodas, and cookies
- Fast food, including burgers, french fries, and nuggets
In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), steering clear of foods with high GIs may help your skin more than avoiding dairy products.
That being said, everybody is different and you might find that particular foods aggravate your skin more than others. It’s a trial-and-error process!
Breakouts occur when the pores in your skin become clogged with dead skin and bacteria due to excess sebum.
Insulin-spiking foods can accelerate your body’s production of sebum, thus irritating your skin even further.
Avoid eating these insulin-spiking foods for beautiful skin that’s ultimately happier and healthier.
Of course, when you can’t help but treat yourself to that greasy burger or sweet chocolate cake, you can rely on your meejee facial cleansing massager to clear out dirt, oil, and bacteria from your pores.