The Latest Word on Conquering Acne
Like all the stages in the life of your complexion, acne is more than a collection of symptoms. The blemishes and oily shine you see in the mirror start below the surface with complex changes in the deeper layers of the skin and the body's internal organs. While using the right topical products can help control these symptoms, putting the wrong foods inside your body can aggravate their root causes. As new research reported in the New York Times makes plain, bad food choices can be as disastrous for your face as they are for your waistline. The High Price of High-Carb Diets The studies cited in the article link the risks of refined carbohydrates like white flour and corn syrup to their immediate and long-term effects on hormone levels. When we indulge in starchy or sugary treats, insulin surges into our bloodstream. This excess insulin, in turn, stimulates our oil glands and the buildup of surface skin cells, clogging pores and trapping bacteria. The weight gain that can result from a serious junk food habit also raises levels of androgen, a prime culprit in the type of acne associated with periods of hormonal change. Unfortunately, the cost of those empty calories seldom stops with a few extra pounds and an occasional pimple. The reason both problems tend to spiral out of control is the stress hormone cortisol. Raging Hormones and Out-of-Control Complexions Scientists quoted in the Times article believe that the stress of being overweight and having acne may trigger overproduction of cortisol. Heavy daily doses of this hormone take a major toll on the body. In addition to increasing appetite, sugar cravings, and the buildup of belly fat, elevated cortisol levels can cause a variety of skin problems. A chronic cortisol imbalance not only raises the risk of acne, but also interferes with skin's ability to heal and renew itself. That sets up your complexion for double trouble: acne breakouts and wrinkles. Hormonal acne is a frequent and frustrating problem for many women nearing menopause. While there's no overnight cure for distressing condition, there's a lot you can do calm the hormonal storms that fuel acne. I'll share some acne-fighting tips in my next post.