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These Foods May Be Causing Your Oily Skin

A dermatologist and nutritionist weigh in.

These Foods May Be Causing Your Oily Skin

The notion that what you eat has an effect on your skin isn’t anything new. Not by a long shot. But knowing exactly what could cause your skin to freak out into an oily, shiny mess by 3:00 PM isn’t so cut-and-dried. Which is why we asked two experts, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe and nutritionist and multi-time New York Times best-selling author, Kimberly Snyder, what foods to avoid and which to eat to get glowing, not greasy, skin.

Foods That Cause a Shiny Face

“If you have oily skin, you should seek to avoid high-glycemic-index foods and refined carbs like pretzels, dried fruit, cold cereal, white bread, and white pasta,” Dr. Bowe explains. “High-glycemic-index foods trigger a cascade of hormonal signals that include elevation of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). This cascade of events triggers inflammation and excessive sebum production in the skin.”

Snyder pointed to dairy. “Dairy contains hormones that can lead to inflammation and toxins that promote oily skin,” suggests Snyder. “Avoid bad fats such as fried or cooked oils, vegetable oils, excessive animal fats, as these foods tax the liver and have skin-damaging effects.”

Instead Go For...

Of course, Dr. Bowe says you should go for the opposite of the high-glycemic foods. “Studies show that when you replace these foods with low-glycemic-index alternatives, it actually decreases the size of the sebaceous glands—thus [producing] less oil and less acne,” she says. Snyder’s recommendation sounds like you should plan on some salads. “Consume foods with beauty fats, such as chia seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, hemp, or flax seeds, which contain omega-3 fatty acids,” says Snyder. “These should be eaten with green-leafy salads to ease digestion. Cucumbers are high in enzyme-charged water, B vitamins, nutrients, and electrolytes to build skin radiance from within. The naturally filtered, enzyme-rich water in cucumbers makes them an excellent hydrator that has a natural cooling effect on the skin.” 

Photo: Bag, Loewe 

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