Acne is a skin condition that most people have encountered. While it’s most common among teenagers, it can often affect adults as well. Scientifically speaking, acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Most people live under the misconception that acne is only a problem for people with oily skin. Furthermore, people only consider pimples to be acne. However, acne includes a wide range of skin conditions including pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, and it can affect people with any skin type. While there are effective treatment options available, there’s a lot that you can do yourself for acne control and to minimise the severity of it.
A good skincare regimen is essential for acne control, says dermatologist Dr Aastha Gupta
Dr Aastha Gupta, a consulting dermatologist at leading hospitals in India, recommends focussing on ways to reduce the excessive oil on the skin. She further adds that the role of skincare should focus primarily on keeping the hair and skin clean while ensuring the skin is adequately moisturised.
Dr Gupta says a good cleanser should be used to remove dirt, oil, and sweat from the skin as they are known to worsen acne and breakouts. Our cosmetic industry is filled with various products which is why it can become tricky to pick the product that suits your skin best. Dr Gupta suggests that an ideal cleanser should be one that is soap-free, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free, so that it doesn’t cause any form of skin irritation.
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When it comes to dos and don’ts for acne control, Dr Gupta recommends the following:
- Wash your face at least twice a day
- Use lukewarm water instead of hot water to avoid making your skin dry
- Avoid excessive scrubbing and external exfoliation
- Keep your hair away from the face as natural oil and dandruff from your scalp can worsen your acne
Diet restrictions for acne control by nutritionist Simrun Chopra
We also got in touch with certified nutritionist Simrun Chopra for some diet tips to control acne.
Simrun says our skin regenerates nearly every 28 days which gives us the opportunity to work towards bettering it. When it comes to a healthy diet plan for acne control, Simrun recommends cutting down on the following:
- Sugar-laden foods: With the festive season upon us, being cognizant of this is imperative. She recommends limiting total added sugar intake to a few teaspoons a day while remembering that sugar is any form of added sweetener including honey and jaggery.
- Deep-fried or fatty foods: Foods that have an excess amount of fat are shown to increase acne. Limiting these to once a week or replacing them with less oily, baked or air fried versions must be considered.
- Dairy: For many who are lactose-intolerant, excessive dairy consumption can cause breakouts. If this is a reality for you, try removing dairy from your diet for a week and see if this has a positive effect on your skin. However, one must note that this does not include fermented dairy products like curd or yoghurt that have a positive effect on our gut health.
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Eat fresh for a happy skin
If cutting out your favourite foods from your diet is bumming you out, check out the top four things that you can add to your diet to get better skin:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Our skin needs all the vitamins and minerals it can get. Aim to eat the rainbow — a range of colourful vegetables including dark leafy greens and purple vegetables at least thrice a week.
- Pulses: You can include these in your curries, dal, raita or even in your rotis. Ensure you get at least two portions of vegetables a day and two portions of whole foods. Pick seasonal and local to get the most benefit from nature.
- Water: Hydration is key to our skin and overall wellbeing. Drink at least three litres of water a day. Ideally, drink a glass each upon waking up and before bedtime. Adequate hydration helps keep the skin soft and supple, and it works at the molecular level.
- Spices: Try Simrun Chopra’s morning elixir which harnesses the anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of traditional spices. Ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric, mixed with pepper, are all extremely helpful in reducing inflammation.
Skin ailments are often the most common problems for most people. While they can be severe for some, there are plenty of ways to manage them at home with lifestyle changes.
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