The milk fac­tor

Glamour (South Africa) - - Beauty -

cheesy pizza, salty fries – we blamed our teenage acne on lots of de­li­cious greasi­ness, but the one food that’s likely sab­o­tag­ing our skin in ado­les­cence and be­yond is sur­pris­ing. “A se­ries of stud­ies show skim milk is most con­sis­tently as­so­ci­ated with acne,” says Dr James. Many spec­u­late that it’s be­cause of skim milk’s sugar-to-pro­tein ra­tio. So go back to putting real cream in your cof­fee, but skip the creamer.

“A diet low in sugar and pro­cessed foods seems to be best for your skin,” says Dr Ze­ich­ner. (One the­ory why there’s no acne in trop­i­cal is­lands like Ki­tava, Pa­pua New Guinea: there’s also no junk food.) “High glycemic in­dex foods raise your glu­cose lev­els, pro­mot­ing break­outs. It’s be­cause it causes a spike in the pro­duc­tion of a growth fac­tor – in­sulin-like growth fac­tor 1 (IGF–1),” he says. And now that you’re on a health kick: eat­ing fruits, veg­eta­bles and fish more than three times a week is as­so­ci­ated with fewer break­outs, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey in a der­ma­tol­ogy jour­nal.

“High-an­tiox­i­dant di­ets tend to be bet­ter for your skin; we think it’s be­cause they’re anti-in­flam­ma­tory,” ex­plains Dr Doris Day, a clin­i­cal as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of der­ma­tol­ogy.

“If you started tak­ing the pill in your teens or 20s, well, you may not even re­alise it’s help­ing keep your skin clear un­til you go off it and break out.” – Dr Jill M We­in­stein

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