Genetic and hormonal factors contribute to oily skin, which explains why some people have oily skin and others don’t. The battle to make your skin less oily never seems to end. You use homemade masks and products that help prevent oil production, but they never seem to do the job efficiently.
Before you freak out, please understand that you need some oil on the skin to help protect it from losing water. The sebum, which your skin secretes, consists of fatty acids, sugars, ceramides, and other compounds that provide antioxidant protection. It only becomes an issue when the skin produces too much sebum, which can clog pores and worsen acne.
Is There A Connection Between Oily Skin And Your Diet?
The short answer is: yes. The longer explanation is that any issue with the skin is typically attributed to an internal imbalance. Based off that statement, the food you eat can create imbalances in the body that affect sebum production, for example. Continuing to eat foods that cause the skin to produce more oils only worsens the condition of your skin. Alternatively, eating healthier foods can create more internal balance, which in turn improves the appearance and health of your skin.
If you experience oily skin, consider eliminating the following foods from your diet, especially if you are prone to breakouts.
Because of the extensive processing that refined grains go through, they are devoid of nutrients and fiber, which were present prior to processing. Pasta, cereal, rice noodles, breads, and more have high glycemic indexes, so you flood the body with glucose by eating those foods. Insulin increases androgen hormone production, leading to more sebum production, which creates more oil on the skin.
Dairy Projects (sometimes):
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, high glycemic foods can increase sebum production. The amino acids in milk also promote the release of insulin and IGF-1, which can worsen acne. A meta-analysis of dairy intake for 80,000 people (aged 7 to 30) found that drinking one glass of milk or more per day increased the likelihood of acne development. It’s also important to note that each person processes dairy differently. People who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy may be more prone to acne or oily skin than those without allergies or sensitivities.
Unhealthy Vegetable Oils:
Most Westerners consume a disproportionate amount of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of the 4:1 ratio that it should be, it’s more like 10:1. While omega-6 fatty acids have their benefits in small doses, excess consumption can lead to pro-inflammatory responses, including inflammation-related acne. Most vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils contain omega-6s, so start replacing those vegetable oils with olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or walnut oil, all of which are rich in omega-3s.
It’s time to lay off the sauce if you want your skin to be less oily. Alcohol pulls moisture from the skin, dehydrating it in the process. To compensate for the lost moisture, the skin produces more oil. Additionally, alcohol increases sweat production, which can clog pores and contribute to bacterial build-up. An occasional glass of wine won’t kill you, but drinking alcohol regularly will cause oily skin.
If you want to address oily skin or acne, it’s going to take more than a few topical treatments. Take a look at the bigger picture, which may include examining your diet, gut health, and more. As stated in this article, certain foods contribute to more oil production and inflammation. Focus on complex carbohydrates, probiotics, healthy fats, fiber, and other nutritionally dense foods if you want healthier skin.