He will have told you that there is a tenuous link between diet and acne, but that hygiene is more important and that’s what you should focus on.
In reality the exact opposite is true. Hygiene is a factor in acne, but improving your diet is far more important and can achieve things a simple face wash never can.
In this article we discussed the precise methods through which diet affects your acne. In this article we will discuss why diet is actually far more important than hygiene.
Here are five reasons why diet should be the main focus of your efforts.
Hygiene can never deal with chronic inflammation
On this website you’ll find tons of references to chronic inflammation and that’s because it is an immensely important factor behind acne. Do you get annoyed when your acne becomes extremely painful, when it goes red, or when it swells up like a balloon?
That is all due to chronic inflammation and diet is the only way to deal with the problem. Chronic inflammation is basically when your body produces too many inflammatory chemicals. A significant chunk of this is caused by your body attacking unhealthy substances in the foods you eat or the nutrition you get from them.
Hygiene, meanwhile, can hardly affect your inflammation levels at all. Inflammation is a problem that starts inside the body and thus good hygiene cannot end it.
In fact using the wrong face wash can actually worsen inflammation; unhealthy chemicals can get absorbed through your skin and then trigger an inflammatory attack by the body.
Hygiene cannot negate the impact that unhealthy foods like sugar have on inflammation. It is true that some treatments can improve inflammation on your skin; raw honey and blue light devices are excellent treatments for calming down inflamed spots. However they just treat the symptoms; only a healthy diet can eliminate the general problem of inflammation in your body.
Hygiene doesn’t give you the nutrients you need
There are some nutrients that are absolutely vital for preventing acne. Vitamin A is extremely important as it controls your sebum production and getting enough zinc is needed to keep your immune system under control.
Those nutrients are almost entirely affected by your diet as that’s where you get the vast majority of your nutrients from. You have to eat sweet potatoes and avocado for vitamin A; foods like garlic and onions meanwhile will supply a variety of other compounds.
All that hygiene can do in terms of nutrients is deliver some directly to your face. If you apply a treatment that contains vitamin E, then your face will absorb some of it and thus benefit, but that won’t treat a general deficiency inside your body.
It’s not possible to treat zinc deficiency by placing any type of cream on your face but it is possible to get more by eating tons of oysters and plenty of meat.
Hygiene cannot affect your acne hormones
Acne is first and foremost caused by your hormones. That’s why your first pimples nearly always appear when you’re a teenager and your hormones are going crazy. There’s no way at all that hygiene can affect those hormones and thus its use is severely restricted compared to diet, which can have a good effect.
Insulin, for example, is extremely important because it both increases your sebum (oil) production and enhances the ability of other hormones to do the same. Your diet can directly affect your insulin levels due to your carbohydrate intake; insulin’s job is to deal with those carbohydrates and the more you eat the more insulin you’ll have. This is a very simple relationship and is one of the most straightforward ways in which diet affects your skin.
Meanwhile, hygiene has no ability to affect your insulin levels. If there’s oil gushing off your face, then you might be able to dry it out with a harsh face wash, but you’ll never fix the reasons behind the high oil production. Diet can also have an effect on androgenic hormones such as DHT, as there are numerous foods which can affect its production.
Therefore if you believe that your acne is caused by out of control hormones, hygiene is completely useless for you. All you can do is take a face wash like Benzoyl Peroxide and pray that it dries out your skin.
It might work but it could also give you bad side effects and there’s no need to risk this, particularly when reducing sebum production through diet is extremely easy.
Hygiene just puts a plaster on the problem!
If you’re like most acne patients then you will be looking to cure your acne for good, and that’s something that hygiene cannot do.
Let’s review the causes of acne: the two fundamental causes are blocked pores, and chronic inflammation in your body. The second tier of causes that lead to those big problems include elevated insulin levels, insufficient antioxidants, high consumption of inflammatory substances, nutritional deficiencies, and high consumption of free radicals due to lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes.
Those conditions are what you have to deal with to cure acne and hygiene can only deal with a few. It can deliver more antioxidants to your face where they are needed, but for the rest hygiene merely treats the symptoms.
Drying out your skin is just treating the symptoms of oily skin. Unblocking your pores is clearly treating the symptoms of blocked pores. Calming an inflamed pimple is only treating the symptoms of a wider problem in your body. In your quest to cure acne it is much easier and far more reliable to cure the root causes behind your acne, and hygiene cannot achieve that.
Diet is the root cause of acne
This point follows on directly from the previous: because diet affects most of the root causes of acne, you can easily remove most of your acne by focussing on food alone.
Good hygiene can provide an extra weapon but it is far from necessary. If you try to cure your acne using hygiene alone, you will almost certainly fail because it doesn’t affect the causes behind acne.
That doesn’t mean that you should never use hygiene; it can provide a good way to enhance your acne efforts if you use a good product (like honey or blue light devices).
However, relying on face washes alone is a sure path to failure and hence, you must not do it.
Another problem is that many hygiene products stop working after a certain amount of time. You’ll surely have noticed that a new face wash works in the beginning but then stops having any effect.
The most common example is Benzoyl Peroxide, which works initially by killing bacteria but eventually stops working because it produces so many damaging free radicals.
Bonus – the extra benefits of focussing on diet
The first is that you don’t have to waste as much time each day. With your diet, you have to put in plenty of work initially to find out what works, but once you’ve found the perfect diet you don’t have to think anymore. With hygiene you are constantly having to follow the perfect regimen each day and there are much better things you could be doing.
Hard work is valuable of course, but not just for the sake of it. You’ll save a lot of time and that can be used to your advantage. If you spend thirty minutes each day staring into the mirror and worrying about the acne you see, you will have far higher stress levels than if you use that time to do something you enjoy. Stress is a big cause of acne and if you already suspected that, you were right.
Diet is also far less likely to give you side effects. Using Benzoyl Peroxide for your acne puts you at risk of irritated skin, overly dry skin, and even premature aging according to some sources.
Diet, on the other hand, is not only free from side effects (unless you have bad reactions to foods) but can actually improve your health. The diet commonly prescribed for acne can give all sorts of fantastic health benefits due to being nutritious and very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked to reduced cancer and numerous other benefits. Reducing insulin levels can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes and a host of other problems.
Specific foods which are excellent for acne also have other powers; turmeric can increase cognitive function, while avocado can enhance eyesight.
Hygiene has its uses and it’s certainly a good weapon, but its importance is dwarfed by the foods you eat.
Diet can affect all the causes behind acne whereas hygiene merely treats the symptoms of them. If you are really committed to fighting acne then I do recommend that you use a treatment; however the key point is not to rely on it.
My favourite topical treatment is raw honey as it is famous for its antibacterial properties.
This also has an important implication for your strategy: if you are low on money and you have to pick between healthy foods and a face treatment, then pick the foods every time.
Advanced hygiene is a bonus, healthy eating is a necessity.
Thanks for reading!