What foods cause acne and darker skin?

For the past several years, we have been told that taking in fatty and oily food – especially chocolates, peanuts, french fries, and burgers – can trigger the onset of acne and could cause our complexion to darken. This belief, however, remains a myth as scientists still have not found any direct link between the food we eat and the prevalence of acne in the face or darkening of our skin.

Acne is caused by the increase in the body’s excretion of sebum, that oil that comes out of our facial pores. When our pores get blocked by dead skin or dirt particles, sebum begins to accumulate, triggering the inflammation of the skin’s first layer. The increase of sebum production, however, it is not in any way a result of the food we eat but rather of the hormonal imbalance that takes place during the adolescent years.

During the adolescent stage, the body increases the production of the hormone testosterone, which triggers the excretion of more sebum than the normal quantity. Hormonal changes usually occur during the teenage years, thus acne, which can manifest in the form of pimples, is prevalent among teenagers, regardless of sex. It is also during these years that we tend to be very picky in our food intake for fear that what we eat might aggravate the conditions of our acne.

Chocolates, burgers, and french fries are big no-nos during this stage of one’s life because folks would often remind teenagers that these types of foods act as triggers for acne to grow all over the face. This belief, however, remains an urban legend until this time.

Several studies have subjected chocolate and french fries lovers to clinical observations. The subjects were given chocolates and french fries for days and their conditions were being observed. Several days later, none of the subjects ever had problems with acne or skin darkening, prompting scientists to conclude that our food intake really has nothing to do with the occurrence of pimples and skin darkening. Moderation, however, is always the best thing to do when taking in oily and fatty foods because too much of anything can be harmful to the body.

While there is no clear connection between food and the health of our skin, experts will agree that choosing the right food coupled with healthy lifestyle can make our skin clear and bright – both manifestations of a healthy skin. Foods, especially fruits and vegetables, that contain essential vitamins like vitamins A, B-Complex, C, and E, aids in keeping the nourishment and total health of the skin. These vitamins can be found in several fruits and vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, papaya, and lettuce.

Remember the old adage that says what we eat is what we become. That still holds true until now. So choosing nutritious foods – including regular intake of fruits and vegetables – and keeping a positive lifestyle may not only help in giving us healthy, clear skin but could also give us a totally healthy body.

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