Acne In Adults & Teens

September 11, 2021

80% of Americans have acne at some point in their lives. It is the most common skin condition in the U.S. with 50 to 60 million Americans having a problem with acne. Is having acne a serious health problem? Perhaps not, but it can lead to a serious health problem and can be a source of stress for those who struggle with it. As dietitians, we want to look at the foods that can cause acne for many people, tips to help promote healthy skin, and key supplements to support you from the inside out.

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LEAH: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I am Leah Kleinschrodt. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And with me in studio today is Teresa Wagner, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Now we both work part-time at Nutritional Weight and Wellness doing a variety of things. So every couple of Saturdays, we come on here and host Dishing Up Nutrition. But we also spend the majority of our time doing one-on-one nutritional counseling with clients. And we also teach a variety of classes for different businesses or community groups. We both have kids at home. We juggle the home/work life balance, and we're also very passionate about eating real food. So before we get into our topic this morning, Teresa and I have kind of a list of questions, a series of questions we want to ask you radio and podcast listeners just relating to what health issues or health problems are concerning you most at this time.

So maybe think about it this way. You know, if you could sit down with a panel of us dietitians or have unlimited access to us dietitians, what questions would you want to ask us? Or what would be the most pertinent things that you would want to know for your health? So think about some of those questions and we would love for you to let us know what you're thinking. So you can let us know one of two ways. You can either email us at the following email address. So you can email us at with weight and wellness all spelled out, or give us a call at (651) 699-3438.

So as we become more aware of your concerns and what you want to know, this is what we're going to use to put together future Dishing Up Nutrition shows, future podcasts, classes, and even really some of our nutritionist training sessions as well. We want to make sure we are on top of the research and on top of, kind of have our thumb on the pulse of what our clients want to know. So we want to help give you the resource or the resources to support your healing efforts.

TERESA: Yes. And you know, Leah, whenever I have a client or even a friend say, you know, “That would be a great idea for your show”, I always pass it along. So it, we really do, you know, take those requests into consideration.

LEAH: Yeah, absolutely.

TERESA: So, so one idea that might be interesting is perhaps you might be wondering in how you can support the immune system of your children. Are your kids back in school, like mine are? They’re in person after 18 months. And you want to do everything possible to support your kid's immune system? For example, on that show we could explain why eating protein supports immune function and why processed carbs and sugars lower immunity. We can also suggest kid-friendly immune supporting supplements. So we could plan an immune boosting show for kids if that's something you would like.

LEAH: Or still on the kid topic, is your teenager struggling with anxiety or depression, and you want nutritional recommendations to help reduce some of those, those negative mental health thoughts? So we work with teens every single day, and food really does matter to kind of help lift those moods and calm that anxiety down. So this could be another possible Dishing Up Nutrition topic.

TERESA: Or maybe you've gained some weight over the past year and a half, and you want some ideas and some support to get back on track. We understand that eating real food can be challenging. That sort of switch can be very difficult for people. And we understand that eating a real food diet takes support. And we know that eating a real food diet is so beneficial, not only for your waistline, but for every aspect of your health.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. Or has your arthritis started to flare up and, or you're experiencing more pain and inflammation all over your body? Maybe you're saying, oh, I'm having some painful back spasms lately, or I can barely get my arm up over my shoulder because my shoulder pain is so intense. We've said many times on the show before that things like breads and cereals and pastas and more of those processed types of foods are very inflammatory, while meat, vegetables, natural fats are anti-inflammatory; so pain and inflammation. Would you like a show on the food connection to pain?

TERESA: Or maybe you're worried about getting kidney stones again. You had them once and from what I've heard, you do not want to get them again. That is not an experience that people enjoy. Well, maybe a topic on the prevention of kidney stones and how eating sugar and harmful fats and even dehydration puts you at risk for getting another round of kidney stones. Perhaps this is a topic you would like to hear about on Dishing Up Nutrition.

LEAH: Or this is one that I kind of come across a lot, especially with new clients. You know, they get some lab work done. Maybe it's at their annual physical, but they get their blood test results in and they have some surprising numbers. So maybe that A1C, kind of like that overall blood sugar number is now in the prediabetic range, or maybe the cholesterol numbers have gone up since the last time, or maybe some of your liver enzymes are off showing that we're maybe starting down that path of fatty liver disease. So did you know that the stack of pancakes you have every Saturday morning with your grandkids, while perhaps a special experience, is actually a high sugar meal that's actually perpetuating that risk for all of those things; for high blood sugar and high cholesterol and potentially fatty liver disease.

TERESA: And another question we hear a lot, especially in some of our classes is, “What can I do it about my hot flashes? I have hot flashes almost every night and I can't sleep.” Well, have you noticed that if you eat a bagel for breakfast, you have more hot flashes? A bagel, you know, that innocent looking bagel, when it's digested is broken down into 14 teaspoons of sugar and sugar leads to a hot flash. Whether you are in menopause, and even if you're not in menopause, for those who are interested in that topic, we actually have a show coming up about menopause next week with, with Mel and Carolyn.

LEAH: Yeah. Awesome. And another health question we, we hear often: “How do I get more energy or just get rid of some of this fatigue? I'm always so tired. I always have no energy.” And oftentimes fatigue is coming from, it can come from a variety of places, but skipping meals is one, especially when people are also trying to lose weight at the same time. They don't know that in order to lose weight and have more energy, you actually need to eat more food, but we need to make sure that those foods are the right kinds of foods that they have the nutrients that our body still needs to run properly. So is this a topic that you would like to hear more about?

TERESA: Well, if you are struggling with any of these health problems we just mentioned, or if you have one or more health issues that we did not mention, we would like you; yes, you to let us know by either emailing us at or calling us at 651-699-3438. We want to get to know you better so that we can put together shows that will help you and others who may be experiencing similar health issues as you. So if you've ever said or wondered, “Why haven't we covered this topic?” Shoot us an email.

Acne solutions through food


LEAH: This is your opportunity. Yeah. So now onto today's topic. So today's topic, if you, or your teen or your young adult or something, you know, has acne you'll want to stay tuned. So I can relate to this one very personally. I had acne starting as a teenager and into my young adult years. So I want to share just a little bit about my story before we go to that first break and how ultimately, you know, I got ahold of my acne and you know, it wasn't through a medication or an acne cream, because goodness knows I tried a whole boatload of those. It actually really came down to changing my nutrition, changing my diet. So, so I'll just start in saying that my, I started getting pimples, you know, shortly after puberty around age 12 or so, mostly on my face and then over time I also started getting it on my chest and on my back.

And I remember having those phases where actually it would go to more of that deep cystic acne. And I, like I said, I tried a lot of different things. I tried all the over the counter topical creams. I did do rounds of antibiotics and I did do birth control pills also. And while even the birth control pills, they helped to minimize some of those monthly fluctuations, they never got rid of the acne completely. And so the first step that I had to do in terms of getting my acne under control was actually taking control of my blood sugar. And actually before I launch into a couple more steps that I wanted to do that I had to do to help fix my skin, I think we do need to take a break. So we're going to leave you with a cliffhanger and come back on the other side.

TERESA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. If you or a family member is struggling with acne, stay tuned because we are making the connection, the food connection to acne. Maybe it's that cereal and milk you've been eating for breakfast every morning or the can of soda with over 10 teaspoons of sugar that you're having with your lunch. Could it be that large pumpkin spice frappuccino that's so popular this time of year? That frappuccino has nearly 17 teaspoons of sugar. Stay tuned to learn more about the sugar connection to acne.


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. The State Fair is over. The summer trips to the cabin are winding down and the kids are back in school. So now it is finally time for you. Maybe you've noticed that your clothes are feeling just a little snug, but you don't really want to step on the scale at your doctor's appointment and see why they are. We have a nutrition friendly solution called eat real food. Starting the week of September 20th we have some in-person classes that will be available at all six of our Nutritional Weight and Wellness locations, and also two virtual Zoom classes for those of you that either can't make it to those in-person classes or you live outside some of the greater twin cities areas. So go to our website, and check out your options. And if you have more questions about how these classes work or what potentially are some other options for you, we're just a phone call away at (651) 699-3438.

Nutrition for Weight Loss Program

Blood sugar, intestinal health and hormonal balance for clear skin


All right. So before we went to break, I was just sharing a little bit about my personal background story with acne. And I mentioned that for me, it had started early on around age 12, and I kind of tried all the things and including the antibiotics and the birth control pills and some of those prescription types of medications. And really what I found to be the most effective and the most long lasting solution was changing the types of foods that I was eating; changing my nutrition around. And it really, for me, it was a process of trying to figure out what made the biggest impact for me. So I mentioned like for me, there were a couple of steps involved. First and foremost, I really had to try to get my sugar under control and, and even out my blood sugars throughout the day.

Secondly, I had to work on my gut health. So not only had I had antibiotics for acne, I knew that actually, that I had had antibiotics earlier in life; not a ton, but probably enough to throw some imbalances in my gut microbiome in there. And so I needed to do some work in healing, healing, my gut, and reestablishing a good balance with the little gut bugs that are in there.

And then third and foremost, or thirdly, I should say, I had to do a little hormone balancing. And for me that meant I had to help my body and specifically my liver get rid of some of these excess estrogens that I had just accumulated over time, probably from being on the birth control pill, from eating a diet that was very highly processed and high, high sugar types of foods and things like that, especially in my teen years and in my early twenties. And really I found that that last step was kind of the, the, the key to unlocking clear skin. But I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that had I not laid some of those foundational steps of getting my blood sugar under control and getting my gut under, under better control that, you know would I have the same effects as when I was working on some of that estrogen metabolism stuff? Probably not.

TERESA: Right. So it all works together.

LEAH: Yeah, exactly. For me I had to peel back some of those onion layers, one at a time; find out where kind of what layer made the biggest impact for me. And I have no doubt that each layer just kind of built on, on the other one.

TERESA: Yeah. And sometimes it's hard to have the patience to do those things, where it is a step-by-step process. Some things you can do at the same time. Of course, you can balance out your blood sugar and work on intestinal healing at the same time.

LEAH: Yep.

TERESA: But sometimes you have to wait for the intestinal healing to get under your control and then work on some of that hormone balance if we haven't quite got where we need to be. So, so it's, it's a time, it's a time game sometimes. Yeah. Yes. And Leah is not alone with having acne because 80% of Americans have acne at some point in their lives. It is the most common skin condition in the U.S. with 50 to 60 million Americans having a problem with acne.

Acne is a risk factor for developing depression


LEAH: So some people might say like, you know, is acne really a serious health problem? You know, did it, does it cause anybody to go into the hospital or, you know, does it, how much does it really impact people's lives? You know, maybe it's not something as serious as what we're dealing with pandemic wise, but it can lead to serious health problems kind of in other areas.

There's research out there saying that people suffering with a serious case of acne were found to be at a higher risk for developing depression. So this was a study that was reported in the British Journal of Dermatology. And they found that the probability that people with acne would develop depression was almost 19% or about one out of every five people, while only 12% of those people who didn't have acne develop depression. So we do see an uptake just in that rate of depression or low moods when you have acne. So we can, we can start to infer that acne is a risk factor, risk factor for developing depression.

TERESA: Yes. And we were talking before the show, just how, how deeply personal and how it's so related to self-esteem because your face is what you show the world and it can just be, you know, it can just be devastating for people. Acne can be. And so maybe the condition itself isn't so serious as far as medically serious, but how it affects you psychologically is.

LEAH: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sugar increases acne breakouts


TERESA: Since Leah and I are both dietitians, we want to look at the foods that can trigger acne flares for many people. And the number one food that we find that causes acne breakouts is sugar. When we eat too much sugar and processed high carbohydrate foods, it creates inflammation in the body. And when the body is inflamed by our diet, the inflammation can show itself in a variety of ways. It can show itself as aches and pains, as headaches, as low moods, or as acne. Acne is inflammation of the skin. So as dietitians, we want to look at the foods that turn into or break down, digest into sugar in our body causing that inflammation. Sugar-laden foods are everywhere. They are in the grocery store aisles. They're in vending machines, gas station convenience stores, movie theaters, coffee shops, bowling alleys. I mean, even now it's fall at the apple orchard. You can't just get an apple. It has to be an apple covered in sugary caramel sauce.

LEAH: Yeah. Or the apple pies or the ciders and lots of other things you can get there.

TERESA Right. And you know, we could probably just keep going on and on and on because sugar is literally everywhere. So if you are a teen or a young adult struggling with acne, be a detective in your own eating habits. What food and drinks are you eating that can contain a lot of sugar?

LEAH: Yeah. So to just kind of reiterate, Teresa, so what you said is like, when we eat those foods that are high in either added sugars or those, those types of foods that break down into a lot of sugars in the body, we're creating this blood sugar surge internally, which causes an insulin surge in our body when, when our body really gets these big surges in blood sugar and insulin, which is a major hormone, those surges can show up as that inflammatory response on our skin. Yep.

What are some foods to watch out for that are high sugar? 


And so, so what are some examples, or what are some things, maybe some examples of things we need to watch out for in a high sugar diet? So could it be that bowl of Kellogg's Raisin Bran that you eat for breakfast every morning because you think it's super healthy, you know, but the question is, is it really? So if you eat two cups of, you know, for example, that kind of cereal, it's, it's a breakfast that has enough carbohydrates to break down into 23 teaspoons of sugar, and then even more if you pour some skim milk over it. So, and that's just one example. We're going to come back on the other side of break with a lot more examples of what to watch out for.

TERESA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have a teen who struggles with acne, you are certainly aware of the acne connection to depression and anxiety. Acne is not something to just brush under the carpet and ignore. It's a serious health condition that good nutrition can control. I recommend making an appointment with a Nutritional Weight and Wellness dietitian or nutritionist for your teen so that they can get on the path to clear, healthy pimple-free skin. We do many Zoom appointments, so you can get in help without even having to come into the office and be in-person. The acne did not occur overnight. And for most people, the change is slower than they would like. But the end result is worth it because the acne has gone in just a few months. To get started, set up an appointment by calling 651-699-3438 or go online at

Nutrition Counseling


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. It is September. So we made it through the hottest part of summer. We're sliding into fall. And we've got a deal for you coming up this month here. So over 14 million Americans age 50 and older suffer from osteopenia, or kind of like that thinning of the bones. This means that 40% of older adults have low bone density. To keep strong, healthy bones, it's important to eat adequate protein, natural fats, and a variety of vegetables, plus supplement with a quality calcium, vitamin D and K2 product.

Key Osteo Plus is a superb bone building product that produces results. And it is on sale this month. So the month of September at a 15% discount. Many of our clients buy several months worth of Key Osteo Plus all at once to save a little money. And just to be sure they always have it on hand to keep their bones strong and healthy. So if you have osteopenia or maybe you have osteoporosis, or you're interested in avoiding these diagnoses and you just need a good bone building product, call us at (651) 699-3438, and we will help to answer your questions.

All right. So before we went to break, we were just starting to kind of pick apart where we might find high sugar meals or foods, more processed carbohydrates that turn into a lot of sugar in the body. So we started with kind of analyzing breakfast, looking at, you know, some of those popular cereals that, you know, even two cups of cereal, which once you pour out two cups, it's really not a whole lot. I remember when I ate cereal, I filled it to a certain line in the bowl. Didn't matter if that was three fourths of a cup, or if that ended up being three cups, like you just you'd pour it to the bowl line basically.

TERESA: Yes, absolutely.

LEAH: So, so breakfast can be one area that we can get into a little bit of trouble with some of those high sugar foods. We can also get into trouble with some of our snacks. So think about like the medium sized banana nut muffin that you eat because you know, the banana nut; it's got bananas and it's got nuts in it. So it's a healthy mid morning snack. But sorry to say that that muffin, it's not a whole lot better than the cereal, again, depending on the size or kind of what's in that muffin, it may be even upwards of 22 teaspoons of sugar that it's breaking down into in your body. Or what about those Oreos? You have a glass of milk and maybe, maybe that's your mid afternoon snack, or maybe that's the bedtime snack. Just three Oreo cookies have enough carbohydrates to break down into six teaspoons of sugar. And that's only three cookies. And the unfortunate thing is things like Oreo cookies and some of these foods, they're designed to make sure that you can't stop at just one or just three or just eight even. So it's easy to maybe polish off the entire sleeve of those Oreo cookies.

And if you listen to Dishing Up Nutrition, you know, that a 32 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew that maybe you drink every single day contains sugar, but did you know how much sugar? So it contains 29 teaspoons of sugar. And those are those liquid sugars. That's basically like putting an IV in your arm and just shooting sugar into your bloodstream. It hits your blood sugar so quickly and so hard.

TERESA: And that blood sugar surge that you were talking about.

LEAH: Yep, absolutely. And did you know how much sugar is in the large Royal Rocky Road Blizzard treat that you love so much? I hope you're sitting down maybe for this one because it contains a whopping 50 teaspoons of sugar.

TERESA: And just for, to conceptualize that a little bit, there are 48 teaspoons in a cup of sugar. So if you think about your measuring cup, that's a cup. That's 48 teaspoons of sugar. That blizzard has more sugar than that measuring cup. So think about pouring a cup of sugar in that container and just eating it.

LEAH: And eating it by the spoonful. Absolutely, not many people would do that. Right? But it's easy when it's, when it's in like an ice cream treat like that. Yup. And what about the 16 ounce pumpkin spice latte coffee? Yes. We had to bring in the pumpkin spice stuff into the show that you drink every fall. So it has about 52 grams of carbohydrates, which breaks down into 13 teaspoons of sugar.

TERESA: Yeah. And if you think about that too, just thinking about yourself at your house with your 20 ounce cup of coffee, and then having your sugar bowl and teaspoon, and going back to the sugar bowl 13 times. You just probably wouldn't do that. But it's very easy to do when it's, you know, the coffee shop coffee, cause you're not seeing it that way.

LEAH: Yeah, absolutely.

What is the connection between sugar and acne breakouts?


TERESA: So what is the connection between sugar and acne breakouts? Well, we've started to talk about that. And one thing that I have noticed as far as when people stop having those blood sugar surges, is that their acne goes away when they stop doing that to their body; when they stop eating so much sugar. That acne often clears up. We know besides creating inflammation, sugar is food for bacteria. Acne occurs when the opening of a hair follicle becomes clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. When the clogged pore becomes infected with a bacteria, the sugar you have eaten will feed that bacteria and a pimple will form. The more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to have breakouts.

LEAH: Yep. So, and it's not just the sugar you pour on your cereal, but like we've kind of talked about with throughout the show now is that it's just all those carbohydrates. It's the sugar load in total that breaks down to a lot of glucose or sugar in the body that can be the troublemaker. And so we will see this a lot in, you know, teenagers, but also adults as well. They, they live on say like a bread diet or they just, they live on many slices of bread throughout the day. Maybe two slices of toast in the morning that has maybe some honey on it, or two slices of bread is about 12 teaspoons of sugar. And that doesn't even include the sugar from some of the toppings that you might put on there. And then maybe they're making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich later on in the afternoon for lunch. So that could be even another 12, 14, 16 teaspoons of sugar. So again, bread can be one of those slippery slopes for people. And just like we've illustrated, there can be so many other, you know, sometimes hidden, sometimes not so hidden types of types of traps throughout our day. And it's just sugar, sugar, sugar, and more sugar feeding those acne breakouts.

What to eat to stay acne free


TERESA: Today in the U.S. acne plagues, excuse me, up to 95% of teens and about half of adults under the age of 40. What I found interesting is that researchers and Dr. Loren Cordain, the author of The Paleo Diet, reported that in more primitive populations where they eat, you know, all natural foods, they are virtually pimple free. Dr. Cordain found after studying 1500 people, including 300 teens in New Guinea, that when they ate what they hunted, gathered, or grew themselves such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, lean meats, they were totally pimple free. They didn't eat any refined or processed foods, you know, frankly they weren't available for them to eat, but upon conducting additional studies, Dr. Cordain also found that when these people changed their diet and starting eating like Americans eat, they develop acne among other things.

So he concluded that acne is not about genetics, but rather about diet. Dr. Cordain went on to say that higher blood sugar levels have been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, for heart disease, obesity, cholesterol problems, depression, and also acne like we're talking about today. And these are all inflammatory conditions.

LEAH: Yep. Yep. There's, there's that main underlying foundation there, right? Those types of foods cause a lot of inflammation. So what does your diet have to do with acne? Looking at Dr. Loren Cordain's research, we would have to conclude and believe that it really does have a lot to do with acne. So if you or your teen or your young adult eats a typical kind of high sugar American diet, you run the risk of having acne or having these surges with acne. That means if your diet includes things like soda or bagels, cereals, crackers, French fries, chips, pasta, pizza, baked goods, or candy, you, you really take the chance of developing a flow full, full blown case of acne.

TERESA: So if you're serious about clearing up your acne, your first step is to reduce the sugary foods and foods that turn into sugar. That means switching from cereal and skim milk to eggs, bacon, and sweet potatoes for breakfast. It might be a totally new way of eating, but you could cut down your sugar consumption in that meal alone by 10 teaspoons. It is important to realize that sugar is inflammatory and it can lead to acne breakouts.

LEAH: Yeah. I remember again, thinking back to those times when I did struggle a lot more with acne, especially more, you know, some of that more severe cystic acne, the types of breakfasts that I was eating. Because you just gave us a great breakfast example there Teresa. Like my typical breakfast would be non-fat fruit flavored yogurt and throw in some dried fruit in there and have a banana on the side. So like we were kind of talking about before the show, not necessarily poor foods or like they were still real whole foods, but there was no fat in that meal. There was very little protein and really the majority of it was carbohydrates. So every morning I was starting with that blood sugar and insulin surge and just setting up that inflammation right away in the morning. And at that time too, I struggled with lots of sugar cravings and lots of other things going on too. So I just know there was a lot of that inflammation going on and just that blood sugar rollercoaster that we've talked about so many times on the show.

So now I really make that conscious effort to do a breakfast more like what you suggested, Teresa. Like eggs are pretty much a staple in our breakfast. We have chickens. So it's easy to kind of get those eggs every single day. So we get some of those eggs in there and make sure that there's some kind of vegetable in that meal. You know, maybe, maybe a piece of fruit on the side and everything is kind of cooked up in some butter or some coconut oil and stuff like that. So changing your diet does not happen overnight. Again, I, this was in my early twenties. My breakfast looked completely different than it did later in my twenties or in my early thirties, even.

So it was really a process. It was really a kind of about step-by-step making some of these changes. And it does take some time and it takes a great desire and willingness to have clear skin. And not everyone comes to us necessarily focused on the acne piece and they have other things, but sometimes that skin improvement is a nice side benefit at the same time.

I find the most successful clients are the people who make nutrition appointments every three to four weeks to stay on track until it just becomes a little more automatic of a habit for them to steer clear of the sugary foods and the drinks. So as a dietitian, I help them make small changes. And with each change or diet improvement, their face just starts to clear up little by little. And then after a few weeks, or maybe sometimes a few months, the acne is so much more under control or sometimes it's even gone by that point. And so we have to slide into our third break. We'll do a little more talking on the other side.

TERESA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Acne affects teens and young adults, but it also affects women in perimenopause and menopause. As dietitians and nutritionists, we also help many women calm down rosacea flare ups. Rosacea is another inflammatory skin condition and we can help you follow an anti-inflammatory diet to clear up your rosacea the natural way. Set up a series of appointments to get your rosacea under control. Call our office at (651) 699-3438. And we will find an appointment time that is convenient for you.

Nutrition Counseling


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. This past year and a half has been challenging for all of us; wearing masks, eating a diet higher in sugar, not drinking enough water and drinking too much alcohol have led to an increased rate of skin problems. Along with acne comes depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Skin health may be the perfect reason to start making some of those nutrition tweaks and trying to start reducing the amount of sugar in your diet and trying to get more of a balance in your diet. Nutrition is so much more than just weight loss. Your nutrition shows up on your face, both good nutrition and bad nutrition. Everyone wants radiant clear skin, and the answer is real food, real nutrition. So call us at (651) 699-3438 and let us help you get pointed in the right direction.

So before break, we were just kind of wrapping up a few more thoughts about kind of how sugar is such a powerful inflammatory factor for a lot of people just in, in what they eat every single day and how that can lead to the development or flares in, in acne. And so now Teresa and I just want to take a couple of minutes at the end of the show and talk about a few key nutrients and some key supplements that help support healthy skin.

TERESA: Yeah. And before we get into that, I just want to encourage our listeners to keep in mind the food first approach. We can't out supplement a diet that's not working for us. For example, we need to stop drinking soda juice, sports drinks, “foofy” coffees, and switch to drinking filtered water, you know, maybe like eight to 10 glasses a day. Even with that simple habit of drinking enough water daily, you will see an improvement in your skin within just a couple of weeks.

Key supplements that support healthy skin


TERESA: Okay. So now to share some key supplements that support healthy skin. When I'm working with clients whose focus is eliminating acne, I encourage those clients to look deeper than their skin. And when I say deeper, I'm talking literally deeper. We need to take the time to assess our intestinal health, and we need to look to support good gut health. So supplements that I recommend for that support is taking maybe two to three Bifido Balance capsules before each meal, and a couple, two capsules of Acidophilus at bedtime. Bifido Balance and Acidophilus are two key probiotics that help with the natural detoxification of our bodies and clearing up of acne by strengthening the integrity of the intestinal lining and balancing out those microbes.

LEAH: Yeah, so that, I mean, that's definitely one part is keeping that intestinal lining really strong and really healthy. And what I'll often tell clients too is what happens in the gut shows up on the skin. And so if there are imbalances in the gut with those, those good gut bugs versus the bad gut bugs; if you have too many of the bad gut bugs or maybe the wrong mix of gut bugs, then that can cause imbalances or the wrong mix of bugs that are on our skin. Because actually we have a ton of microbes and a ton of these little bugs that live in most areas of our body, including our skin. So when we get that bad mix or the wrong mix of the gut bugs or the bugs on our skin, again, that can lead to just more of that inflammation and can lead to the infection of those pores and of those hair follicles. So that's one piece of it is we want to make sure gut health is as in check as we possibly can get it.

Next then we're suggesting adding in some essential fatty acids. And the two main ones that we've talked about many times on the show before, but it bears repeating. We're going to, we want to mention omega-3 fish oil and GLA. So GLA is a healthy omega six fatty acid found in primrose oil.

Our skin needs both of these essential fats to be healthy. So omega 3s take care of more of that inflammatory response and GLA helps to hydrate the skin. So two to three soft gels of each of those things are a great starting point. It can be very beneficial for the skin.

TERESA: Right, and GLA is so wonderful for supporting our hormones. So many women notice both an improvement in their skin and positive changes in their menstrual cycles when they start with GLA. And speaking of hormones, one of my favorites, and this is a personal favorite of mine for hormonal acne. So the acne that shows up more on the jaw line and on the chin, is a supplement called Estro I-3-C.

Now, I don't have a history of acne like Leah does, but I did after having kids have issues with hormonal related acne because of imbalances. And it was kind of funny because every month I would get one large painful pimple on my chin; each month that would happen. And it would rotate sides of my chin. So one time it'd be on the left and then the right. And I would always joke around and say it's in sync with my ovaries because as women know, you know, one month you release an egg or at least on most cycles. One month an egg is released from one ovary and the next month it's the other ovary.

LEAH: It’s such a funny pattern to notice.

TERESA: So it was like my, my pimples are in sync with my ovaries. In any case; so I, I started taking the Estro I-3-C and I'm not kidding you within one month that that didn't happen anymore. I wasn't getting those, those pimples anymore on my chin. And, and then I took it for six months and then decided to stop taking it and sure enough, the next month it came back. So I was like, okay, I didn't do it long enough. And then I started taking it again for a couple of months and then I started to taper down. So rather than taking two, I took one and I did that for just a couple of months. And once I finished that, this was several years ago, I haven't had to take it since. So it was just, it was such an amazing thing. So that Estro I-3-C, what it does is it works in your liver to help detoxify some of those estrogens that can cause hormonal acne.

LEAH: Yeah. That's a great testimony. And actually I used the same product when I was working kind of on that third step on my hormone balance as well. And I had a lot of great success with the Estro I-3-C also. It's just, and again, we, we do need to keep our blood sugar stable and we do need a good, healthy working gut because actually we eliminate those excess estrogens or some of those, those hormones through our gut, right? We do need to poop them out. So we need to have a healthy gut, but we also need to help out that liver sometimes. And the Estro I-3-C works really well for a lot of women.

TERESA: And that's what we talk about. It's all connected.

LEAH: Absolutely. So another great supplement for skin health is vitamin D3. This is the time of year, especially here in Minnesota. We really started talking about vitamin D. And so how much do you really need? That depends on a lot of different factors. And actually Teresa, you did a great article on our blog a couple of weeks ago that talked about vitamin D and like how, you know, how might we measure how much we get from the sun and what do we get from our foods? And like, and how much do we really need? So I'll just shout out that article. And so most people especially come the winter time when the sun isn't strong or we're not getting a lot of that vitamin D through the sunlight: 2000 to 5,000 IU daily is a good ballpark.

TERESA: And one more supplement I want to mention is zinc. I find that many people are deficient in the mineral zinc. So adding 30 milligrams of a chelated zinc at bedtime not only helps for preventing acne, but it can be supportive of the immune system. And how this works is that zinc is an antioxidant and it's antibacterial. So it works to kill that bacteria before it creates acne.

LEAH: Yep. So, yay, yay for zinc. And like you said, zinc is just, it's a very powerful immune supporter as well. So it just makes sense during this time. Same with vitamin D. Anything we can do to support our immune system means that we're supporting our gut. And it also means that it's going to support our skin as well. So as we're wrapping up our show here, we do, we know that acne really does have a lot of nutrition connections. It really can be a nutrition problem for a lot of people.

And it usually gets started, and this is just broadly, but then usually get started from eating an excessive amount of sugar; sugar: it's hard to avoid in our Western culture, but if you can really work on avoiding that excess sugar consumption, it's, you know, it's often necessary in order to help avoid or rid yourself of acne. So we can help you find the foods that you are eating that are contributing to your acne, and then we can help you limit or eliminate the sugar from your diet. And it may seem overwhelming. And you may think it's not even possible to do this, but let me assure you, it is possible to make those steps in the right direction. We do it every single day with our clients. And so if you're just dealing with acne, or if you struggled with it for many years, call us at (651) 699-3438. We are ready to help.

TERESA: Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing. Thank you for joining us and have a wonderful day.

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