So you’re using oil-free moisturizers, mattifying with primers and exfoliating like there’s no tomorrow, and yet you’re skin has a major case of the oil slick?
Sometimes, the problem’s not your skincare. It’s your diet. You could be using all the right skincare products but if you don’t have enough oil-balancing foods in your diet, your skin will just pump up more grease.
You are what you eat, remember? When your gut and hormones are out of balance, your skin will be, too. Cue excess oil, pimples and all that jazz.
So how do you keep your gut and hormones in balance so oil production doesn’t spiral out of control?
Step 1 is to cut back on sugar and processed foods (the usual culprits). Step 2 is to double down on zinc, omega-3 fats, vitamins and proteins that keep your gut - and your skin - in good working order.
Don’t know where to start? The best diet for oily skin contains these 8 foods to keep excess oil and all pimples at bay:
Millennials are onto something here: avocado is the perfect food. For starters, it’s high in fiber, which helps flush out toxins from the body before they inflame your skin and clog your pores. Avocados are also loaded with moisturizing omega-3 fats that keep your skin soft and supple. Plus, it has a healthy dose of vitamin E to fight off wrinkles.
Remember when your mom told you to eat carrots so you could see better? That’s just the icing on the cake. Carrots’ real superpower is vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that fights wrinkles and boosts collagen production. For oily skin, it goes a step further too: vitamin A speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process. Translation: if skin gets rid of dead cells faster, there won’t be any left around to clog your pores.
Did you know that salmon is the third most eaten fish in the US? There’s a reason we love it so much. Salmon is loaded with omega-3, a bunch of fatty acids that strengthens your protective barrier and makes skin soft and supple. That’s not all. Omega-3 have another superpower: they lower inflammation. Guess what acne is? An inflammatory disease. If you’re prone to acne, make salmon a regular part of your diet now and thank me later.
Like avos, almonds are packed with vitamin E, a wrinkle-fighting antioxidant. But this vitamin E has another trick up its sleeve: it prevents acne. Studies show that acne sufferers have lower levels of vitamin E in the skin. By adding it back in, you can slow down acne and keep it off your face. Keep a little pack of almonds in your bag or on your desk so you can snack on it throughout the day. Bye bye, pimples!
If you’ve got oily skin, oysters are perhaps the best food to munch on. The minerals oysters contain help regulate the production of sebum, making your skin stop pumping out so much. All. The. Time. Plus it reduces the inflammation that can lead to the odd pimple… or three. But if one still rears its ugly head, fret not. Zinc, also found in oysters, can kill the bacteria that give you acne, too. If you really can’t stomach the thought of eating oysters, try meat, pumpkin seeds or nuts. They’re full of zinc, too.
Did you know Italians eat lentils on New Year’s Eve to bring them wealth and prosperity? They’re getting something else in the bargain, too: better skin. Like all legumes, lentils are rich in vitamin B5, an essential nutrient that regulates oil production. Less oil = less shine and fewer pimples. Did I mention it helps reduce pore size, too?
Onions have layers and layers of skincare benefits. Literally. This culinary staple is chockfull of selenium, a mineral that reduces chronic inflammation in the skin. No wonder studies show that taking selenium supplements can reduce acne. But why not take it from food instead? You can sprinkle onions almost everywhere. Before I forget, selenium keeps skin elastic, too.
8. Leafy Green Vegetables
Come on, you knew this was coming. Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and cabbage are the superheroes of the food world: they help with pretty much anything. Their main superpower? They reduce the chronic inflammation that inevitably leads to clogged pores and acne. While they’re at it, they also flush out toxins - another cause of pimples - and fight off free radicals before they give you wrinkles. Do your skin a favour and munch on that kale.
Now you know how to eat your way out of oily skin, get ready to say bye bye to the oil slick and pimples.