My skin hates yogurt. I used to eat yogurt every day for breakfast. I thought Greek yogurt was the perfect food. High in protein and I could add a dab of honey to the plain variety and it tasted like dessert. But my skin didn’t like it. It took me years to figure it out. My skin wasn’t horrible, but I always had a few rosacea bumps and my nose was a little too pink. When I figured it out and changed my breakfast routine, my skin cleared up (with the continued daily medicated creams and gentle products).
Every day people ask whether their skin condition is caused by something they are eating. Everyone (myself included) wants to cut out one food and their skin will magically clear up. It isn’t that easy. I wish it was. Skin conditions (such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis) are usually not caused by specific foods but they can be triggered or exacerbated by foods. The challenge is figuring out which foods are triggers for you.
My rosacea is not caused by eating specific foods. My rosacea (and yours) is a complex condition caused by genetics, hormones, environment, stress AND nutrition, leading to skin that can be sensitive, reactive, and breakout prone.
Nutrition can play an integral role in helping keep your skin healthy and vibrant. In general, healthy diets (whatever that means for you) will result in better skin. But there is not one answer for everyone. A vegan diet may be helpful for one person and cause breakouts or worsening of psoriasis for another. It takes time and an awareness of your skin and body to develop a nutritional regimen that works for your skin. While I never did this myself, sometimes it can be helpful to keep a food diary to determine what foods your skin responds to- positively or negatively.
Some foods that I have found increase inflammation and lead to breakouts for me:
- Red wine (I switched to white and it was all good)
- Yogurt (this was a bummer)
- Too much peanut butter (I can have a little but not too much)
- Asian food at restaurants- I have not figured out what ingredient it is-. This one is hard living in Seattle with so many great restaurants
- Too many nuts
This is a list I have compiled over almost 20 years of having acne-rosacea prone skin. I know there are probably additional trigger foods (coffee or chocolate would kill me) and my body is constantly changing. I don’t always avoid these foods. If friends are going out for Thai food- I join them. But knowing I might have a bad skin day is empowering- if I know that my skin is going to be reactive and bumpy the next day and I can be (mentally) prepared.
Hopefully this post will help you optimize your nutrition so that every day is a great skin day.
This post was originally published on Dr. Moore’s blog: SeattleSkinMD.com.