Good bacteria could be key to fighting acne

 
By Shayna Brouker • Published: June 3rd, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Probiotics, a good kind of bacteria, promise a more balanced digestive system, and now they can even give you a clearer complexion.

A new study from the University of California at Los Angeles turned to a traditional beauty product to seek a new way to fight acne. The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, used pore strips to discover that probiotics could have anti-acne properties in addition to tummy-taming abilities. Scientists analyzed the bacteria and looked for links between different types of bacteria and skin clarity. Probiotics in particular seemed to have a blemish-blocking property. The problem is your arsenal of acne-fighting skin products kill all strains of bacteria, thwarting the effects of probiotics. You can still use salicylic acid to keep pores clean, but take a cue from this study and consider what you can do to eat your way to silky skin.

For example, avoiding dairy can clear up skin since certain hormones in milk can mimic testosterone and disrupt oil glands in the skin. Try non-dairy products derived from almond, coconut or hazelnut milk. Esmithat plenty of calcium-rich greens like kale and collard greens, which pack antioxidants that can also fight acne. Try to keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding too much sugar or foods with a high glycemic index. A sugar rush sends signals to your body to increase insulin to assist cells in absorbing sugar. Past studies have shown that excess sweets can spike acne. Eat small meals often to keep blood sugar levels steady.

Be sure to include healthy fats in your diet, too. Eat foods rich in omega-three fatty acids, like free-roaming, hormone-free eggs and beef fed by grass, not corn. Cut back on corn and safflower oil and go for extra-virgin olive oil instead. Eat clean and your skin will follow!