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No matter what you do, your skin isn’t clearing up.
Despite a killer skincare routine, sticking to a natural, anti-inflammatory diet, and avoiding stress, you’re still breaking out.
Acne is a complex issue, with a multitude of factors influencing the biochemical processes which lead to an overproduction of pore-clogging sebum, and leave you staring at the crater-scape in the mirror.
The right skincare routine, a healthy diet, exercise, and stress avoidance can all contribute to keeping your hormones balanced, inflammatory processes at bay, and your skin clear.
However, there are other, lesser-known factors that can lead to acne. Here are three of the worst according to acneresearch.org – and tips on how to battle them.
1 – Air Pollution
Particulates in the air contribute to inflammatory processes, which in turn can cause or worsen acne.
Especially in urban areas, air pollution can lead to inflammatory oxidative stress, abnormal blood coagulation, and autonomic dysfunction. In otherwise healthy, young humans.
Fortunately, the solution to this issue is a relatively simple one. And no, it’s not moving to the countryside for the sake of clear skin.
These days, air quality monitors and, more importantly, air filters, are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Getting an air filter for your home and your workspace is likely to not only improve your skin. It can also boost your concentration and productivity, and helps battle some allergies.
2 – Allergies and Intolerances
Acne can be caused, in part, by allergies. And not the serial-sneezing, rash-inducing, get-my-epi-pen-I’m-in-anaphylactic-shock kind of allergies.
In fact, there is a broad range of low-key allergies and food intolerances – far beyond lactose and gluten – with adverse effects on individual bodies. Many of them are so rare that they are not well-studied, and thus not well-known.
All of them, however, involve inflammatory processes in your body – and can thus cause acne.
To find out if this is the case for you, getting an allergy test is the first step. But since these tests are designed only for a limited range of allergies, it’s always a good idea to test out the effect of individual foods yourself.
One way to do this is to follow an elimination diet and then reintroduce different food groups to your diet step-by-step. If you suddenly break out again, you’re one step closer to pinpointing the source of your acne.
3 – Deficiencies
Finally, no matter how healthy you eat, it’s still possible that your body is deficient in specific essential nutrients, which can result in acne. This is more likely to happen when you’re following very restrictive diets, such as Paleo, or vegan. It’s also a known side effect of certain medications.
The best way to go about remedying this is to get a blood test and check if you’re actually low on any essential nutrients. If you are, specific supplements or foods particularly rich in them may radically improve your skin health.
Testing it Out
Every human metabolism has its individual quirks. What does wonders for one person’s acne may do absolutely nothing for someone else’s.
The key is to find out what works in your case, and to not expect instant miracles.
Some causes of acne – such as vitamin and other deficiencies – are relatively easy to pinpoint with a blood test. Others are more difficult to spot.
The best approach is a stepwise one. Focus on one thing at a time, see how your skin responds. That way you can find the most effective path to beating acne, adapted to your unique body needs.
This content is sponsored by Zunaira Ali.