I’m a dermatologist, I’m based in San Diego, and I specialize in treating acne. In the past couple months, I’ve treated 10,000 patients for acne via a website that I started. And the idea is that we help make it affordable for people to get acne care from an actual specialist. And today I will answer the most common questions about acne. So, let’s start.
“What products do you use to avoid oily skin and breakouts?”
Anything that’s like non-comedogenic (skincare formulated not to block pores) is best for your skin. What are some ingredients that you should avoid that could clog the pores? A lot of people get their pores clogged by something called:
- Myristyl Myristate
- and Isopropyl Palmitate.
And these are fatty esters that are the name of the molecule. And if you look at the back of the bottle and it has those ingredients in there, you can bet that your face is going to get clogged up with just a couple weeks of use. So, a trick from me given that you asked about what to do with oily skin, is if you want to use a moisturizer, use a gel moisturizer. And this is a lot less likely to contain poor clogging ingredients. It goes on smoothly and hopefully will help with your overall appearance and with the oiliness at the same time.
“How can I distinguish what kind of acne is caused by stressed, by my diet, or by my environment?”
One way to figure out the difference is to control one of them you can control. And it’s hard to monitor your environment; it’s hard to control your stress level, although you can do some things. But what you can do is cut out certain things from your diet and just eat a healthy diet for a month and stick to it. If that fixes your skin – then you know there was food causing it.
“What kind of food do you know that can help with acne as you consume it? I’ve tried kale juice and citrus green tea.”
I think most importantly is the food that makes acne worse. And a lot of people talking about the rumors “does chocolate make active acne worse?”, and studies show that it doesn’t matter, which is great because chocolate is delicious. But the foods that I have noticed in all the patients I’ve seen that make acne worse are two things:
- High glycemic index foods. So these are things with a lot of sugars and a lot of starches;
- Dairy products like milk and ice cream.
And so if you can cut those two things out, it’ll make a bigger difference than anything to eat to help your acne. I’ve noticed huge differences with this stuff. And within a month maybe you might be able to see visible differences. And it’s the same case with me; my skin is much better when I’m not drinking milk. And the milk itself has hormones in it, and that’s sort of what drives oiliness for your skin and acne coming. And I imagine that those hormones can also affect how you feel in general. So, I think just cutting down on milk is a healthy thing to do.