Less Sugar, More Honey Honey: How to Clear Your Acne—One Bite at a Time

Our skin thrives off a daily cleansing and hydration routine. But, although good skincare can take you far, embracing a healthy lifestyle can take you even farther (and, have you reaping the benefits that extend beyond clear skin!

A little science behind your zits. Acne is, in part, caused by our skin’s overproduction of sebum—an oily substance we hate to love and love to hate. The right amount of sebum helps keep our skin hydrated and supple. Yet, too much of it, coupled with other contributing factors, can result in acne. If you didn’t already know, zits are actually visibly plugged up sebaceous glands (yuck!).

So what does this have to do with food? Two words: Glycaemic Index. Foods with a high GI disrupt our body’s natural hormone balance. These foods are more rapidly absorbed into our bloodstream, causing our body’s insulin levels to spike in an attempt to stabilize our blood sugar. Hormone fluctuations of this sort trigger sebum production beyond the ideal amount…which brings us back to our pesky, old friend: acne.

At the highest end of the GI spectrum we have none other than simple carbohydrates (which rapidly break down into glucose) and sugar. We already know that sugar-rich sodas and pastries aren’t kind on our waistlines. Now, acne-prevention is just one more pressing reason to kick junk food to the curb.

So, let’s replace our sugar-laden snacks with foods high in fiber and healthy fats. Instead of a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, opt for low GI foods like oatmeal or whole grain toast topped with smashed avocado. For an extra preventative measure, up your honey intake, whether it be in yogurt or drizzled atop banana slices. Honey may be sweet, but it’s a whole product as opposed to the processed and refined sugar found in your favorite candy bar. Now, you can add a touch of sweetness to foods without the adverse effects on your skin. What’s more, honey’s high acidity and anti-inflammatory properties not only reduce redness but even help prevent bacteria growth associated with acne.

However, let’s not forget that a little treat every now and again is more than OK (especially when it comes to our sanity). We’re not robots, after all. As long as you keep your sugar intake in check and eat mindfully, there’s no need to feel deprived on a cleaner, more wholesome diet. 

Xo, Daniela Karpenos