Food for Thought: Super Skin-Clearing Eats

{Who new artichokes could actually promote skin health? image source}

On Saint Patrick’s Day morning, instead of waking up to green eggs & ham, I woke up to a full-fledged breakout. Ever since I made the decision to go off of oral contraceptives for my health and my body, I’ve been feeling wonderful – I’ve lost weight, gained energy, and simply feel “lighter” and more healthy in general. However, when making my personal, well-thought-out decision, I was also aware of one possible side effect; that is my skin flaring up due to a change in hormones. Unfortunately, I think the inevitable is happening.

“Really, I’m dealing with acne in my mid-20s! Why?! WHY?!!” I moaned and groaned to my boyfriend, my sister, and quite frankly anyone who would listen. Having struggled with severe acne as a teenager, I thought those days were far behind me, but when I looked in the mirror the other day, those difficult years came flashing back at me.

Fortunately, I know much more about my health now (what works for me, what doesn’t work for me) and am also learning more and more everyday about natural solutions and home remedies. This has promoted me to go almost completely organic with my skin care routine, change the way I shop for beauty products, and make better choices when it comes to my diet. However, even with my extra care to detail, I was still plagued with a skin flare-up and I’m almost 100% positive hormones are to blame.

So what now? Crawl in a hole and pout? While that was kind of my thought process the other day, I decided to be a big girl and face the situation like an adult. I forced myself to go to work being my perky self, even though I have to admit my confidence level was not very high.

Fortunately, working at a spa does have its perks, one being full access to a plethora of knowledgeable estheticians  who were actually willing to listen to me. I’m happy to say I am scheduling a facial this Thursday to deal with the route of the problem and hopefully reduce some of the blemishes and redness.

But I just had to ask, “What oh what do I do in the meantime. Are there any natural solutions?”

Luckily, my esthetician friend was happy to recommend some natural aids for me. And guess what? They’re all foods I actually know and love! Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.

Here’s the Top  5 Skin-Clearing Foods She Reccommended:

1. Pumpkin – High in antioxidants, pumpkin has been used as a natural beauty source for years. Luckily, I already own a pumpkin enzyme peel called “Youth Accelerator” by Sircuit which works like a charm every time. It’s 100% natural, and made with unbuffered pumpkin to promote luscious, healthy looking skin. Want to add pumpkin into your diet? Add to your morning smoothie, oatmeal or even mix into yogurt for a delicious sweet treat.

2. Yams/Sweet Potatoes – Better stock up on my sweet potatoes! With high levels of Vitamin A and C, yams are known to speed up acne healing, according to this article “Super Foods for Acne” on Livestrong. My favorite ways to get this golden food into my diet is boiling in water, and then mashing up with a dash of cinnamon, and some cumin or cajun seasoning for a zesty flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits. I also love slicing these babies into thin strips to make sweet potato “fries.” Season with salt, pepper, dried parsley, garlic and some red pepper flakes.

3. Soy – I was surprised by this one! While I’m not a huge fan of commercial soy milk due to its additives, I do enjoy snacking on edamame, the soybean in its purest form. A little salt & pepper and you’re golden. Dunk in low-sodium tamari for a delicious finish.

4. Artichokes – Great for skin health and anti-aging, while being a delectable additive to homemade pizza, pasta, and salads!

5. Probiotics – This one is a must. I’m totally going to buy myself some probiotic-packed natural yogurt this evening at Whole Foods. While acne can be caused by “bad” bacteria, probiotics help add some of the “good” bacteria back in, reducing inflammation and helping to clear up skin issues. Many people take probiotic supplements, but you can also find them packed into your favorite yogurts; just read the label to make sure!

Other than these five tips, I’m also paying extra attention to hydration, taking my daily Fish Oil supplement I got from Xtend-Life, sipping herbal tea throughout the day, making sure to get my Zzz’s, and trying to simply relax & give myself a little bit of a break.

What are your favorite natural skin remedies, particularly for hormonal breakouts? Any suggestions will be HIGHLY appreciated!


14 Responses to “Food for Thought: Super Skin-Clearing Eats”

  1. Healthy Chicks » Blog Archive » On My Lunch Plate: Nutritious Turkey Artichoke Wrap Says:

    […] of happiness, I’m in a much better mood today regarding my skin dilemma. I think whatever I’m doing has been working so far, including focusing on my dietary […]

  2. Elina (Healthy and Sane) Says:

    I had to get off some meds as well and my skin has been atrocious. I feel like I’m eating well so it’s really frustrating that I have to rely on drugs (which I don’t want to do) to keep my skin clear. And I’m about to turn 30!!

  3. Rachel @Healthy_Chicks Says:

    It sure is frustrating, especially when you know you’re eating well and making the right choices. When I first broke out, someone asked me if it’s because I’m eating a lot of greasy foods, and that just isn’t the case for me haha..

    I’ll keep you posted on what works/ doesn’t work for me although I know everybody’s skin is different! I’m totally in the same boat, and know how annoying it can be.

    I got a facial today so we’ll see how that goes – I do feel much “cleaner” already, and the tea/ tons of hydration/ gentle moisturizer & face cleanser has been helping.

  4. Kelly Says:

    Good luck with this. i’ve dealt with acne for most of my life (well, from teenage years on) so I know exactly what you’re going through. Hopefully you’ll see some results with what you have above but if not, know that sometimes it’s more than diet. I have hormonal acne as well and had originally tried dietary changes to impact it, but nothing worked. In talking to my doctor she made it clear that these things could help the health of my skin overall, but wouldn’t stop breakouts unless they were a sign of a food allergy/intolerance. I needed something to actually address the hormones. I ended up going the prescription route (pill + two topicals). While I think we’d all prefer something 100% natural sometimes it just doesn’t work.

    The other thing I’d recommend is that because of the way skin regenerates, whatever you end up doing you really need to give it a couple of months to see the effects. So have some patience. 🙂

  5. Healthy Chicks » Blog Archive » A Luscious Kind of Afternoon (and My First Experience at Lush Cosmetics) Says:

    […] a sucker for anything that’ll keep my skin looking brighter, clearer and fresher (Re: “Food for Thought: Super Skin Clearing Eats” to hear more about my skin struggles & obsession with natural beauty […]

  6. Mandy Englett Says:

    Hormonal acne is almost impossible to treat. Hormonal fluctuations can really do crazy things to pimples and acne. *:.*”

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  7. Healthy Chicks » Blog Archive » Healthy Skin Food: Energizing Tomato Acovado Salad Says:

    […] you know, I enjoy healthy eating for my mind and body, but I also like loading up on foods that are good for my skin. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the best luck when it comes to naturally, flawless skin, […]

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  9. Brianna Crofton Says:

    hormonal acne is so difficult to treat because hormones cant be so controlled easily. ..

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  10. Kira Keetch Says:

    Acne vulgaris is a common and chronic disorder of the pilosebaceous unit. Standard treatment protocols include topical retinoids, topical and oral antimicrobials, and isotretinoin. Hormonal therapies can be added to the regimen in some patients. This article will review the hormonal pathogenesis of acne, discuss the basics of an endocrine evaluation, and provide an overview of the current hormonal treatment options in women..

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  11. Healthy Chicks» Blog Archive » Make This: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Gluten & Dairy Free} Says:

    […] also come to the conclusion that my love for cheese may have some sort of connection  to my skin issues. So I’ve been trying to cut back as much as I can to experiment. Again, this is just my own […]

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  14. Linda Says:

    When my acne was bad I used Ivory bar soap. My dermatologist told me it was the best. I use Biore’ fanoimg face wash now, and it keeps me from getting as oily. I also use Retin-A at night. Loreal makes really good moistureizers for men, even if you are greasy you need a moistuerizer. Get some face cloths to absorb the oil throughout the day from clean and clear. Also, use benzoyl peroxide on your face at night.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 6:10 pm and is filed under Beauty, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eats, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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