By Addie Davison

Developing blemishes can impede your achievement of clean and clear skin.  Allergies and frequent skin irritations can lead to red, swollen skin and acne. While skin blemishes are harmless, it can cause people who are chronically affected to lose their self-esteem.

If you’ve been battling with acne, know that you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, as much as 50 million Americans are affected by acne every year.

What’s causing your blemishes?

Blemishes and acne are primarily caused by skin infections that result from pores clogged with dirt and excess oil following an over production of natural oils by oil glands in the skin.  Oily skin can be triggered by several factors that include hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, and emotional and work-related stress.

Certain medical conditions and prescribed medications may also lead to acne.  Some reports also point out that too much sugar and dairy in your diet can also be causing your skin to become irritated and inflamed but, these findings are still being debated.

Blemishes are one issue and another are the marks that they leave on your skin.  Common solutions to acne marks include exfoliation, laser light treatments, and the use of skin lightener.

How to eat your way to clearer skin

In a study by Bodo Melnik which was published in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in 2015, three food categories — carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, and saturated fats — and the relationship of these to developing acne have been observed.

The study concluded that diets which involve a higher intake of these food groups can lead to an imbalance in the body, ultimately causing acne. The study recommended what it termed a “paleolithic diet”, high in vegetables and fish to keep nutrient-signaling in perfect synergy.  That leaves you with a blemish-free skin.

Below is a list of foods you should eat that can lead you to a clearer, fairer skin:

1. Fruit and veggie juice.

These food groups are high in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants that support your skin in treating blemishes and scars while also protecting your skin from further damage.

2. Avocados

Rich in Omega-9, a fatty acid that keeps skin well-moisiturized, also soothes skin irritation.

3. Oily fish. 

Incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and lake trout anti-inflammatory.

4. Walnuts and almonds. 

Snack up on these Omega-3 fatty acids too!  Turn break time to skin time by munching on these treats.

5. Foods rich in Vitamin C.

These foods have natural anti-inflammatory properties that calm irritated skin.

6. Herbs and spices.

Basil, rosemary, parsley, turmeric and garlic —they’re not only good for your skin, they prolong your life too.

7. Green tea.

Set aside that can of soda and pick up a cup of green tea instead.  Each cup gives your body loads of polyphenols and catechins that up your immunity, soothe inflamed skin and decrease oil production.

8. Yoghurt

Enhance good bacteria with this healthy dessert.  Eat a cup or topically apply a tablespoon or two on your skin to enhance good bacteria and discourage the growth of bad bacteria which infest your skin.