Superfoods sometimes get a bit of a bad rep for being a total waste of money. I however, I disagree and am totally pro-superfoods! I believe that selected superfoods can make an excellent addition to your acne healing regime and can help to heal scars, reduce redness and even help your body to manage stress hormones better. These acne fighting superfoods are mild in taste which makes them easy to blend with most smoothies and juice, mixed into snacks or even sprinkled over granola and salad.
Learn how to build you perfectly balanced, acne-friendly smoothie here.
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #1 Camu Camu
Camu Camu contains more vitamin C than any other known food on the planet. In just 1 tsp of Camu Camu powder you can get up to 750mg of vitamin C – that’s 1,250% of the RDA compared to the 6.5mg (3.6% RDA of vitamin C) in 1 tsp of lemon juice!
Vitamin C is highly effective at clearing up acne and fading scars due to its ability to speed up healing time, reduce redness and promote collagen production. Vitamin C also has a clever way of mopping up excess stress-hormones which means if your struggling to control your acne due to high stress levels, then vitamin C could be your key to clearer skin.
Read more about vitamin C and acne here.
— Collagen Boosting Smoothie —
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #2 Ceylon Cinnamon
As well as providing a hint of natural sweetness to your smoothies, cinnamon can also help control blood sugar levels, a vital step for anyone struggling with acne. It’s very common for acne sufferers to also suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin is a key hormone that helps move glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into cells throughout the body where it can be used for energy. Insulin resistance occurs when the body is subjected to high insulin levels for a prolonged period of time due to poor diet, excess weight or lack of exercise. This prolonged exposure to high insulin levels results in our body becoming resistant to the effects of insulin, so our pancreas secretes extra insulin in an attempt to transport the glucose into the cells and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, too much insulin can trigger a release of androgen hormones, which means that our skin will produce excess sebum, which can then lead to clogged pores and acne inflammation.
Although you may think your sex hormones (testosterone/oestrogen/progesterone) are the key hormones when it comes to healing acne naturally, it’s actually insulin you need to focus on first. Insulin is one of the major hormones within our endocrine system and without balancing your insulin metabolism and fixing insulin resistance, you’ll never be able to successfully heal your skin.
Studies have shown that Ceylon cinnamon (no more than 1tsp daily) can be excellent at helping to manage blood sugar and insulin levels which in turn can help to regulate hormones and reduce acne.
Read more about sugar and acne here.
— Cinnamon Apple Smoothie —
2 cups dairy-free milk
1 tblsp flaxseed
1 medium apple
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 medjool date
1 tsp vanilla extract
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #3 Chlorella
Chlorella is algae native to Taiwan and Japan, it’s is said to be one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in the world and boasts a rich variety of pytonutrients, including amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Chlorella is a master detoxifier thanks to it’s high levels of antioxidants. Chlorella can help to reduce oxidative stress caused by pollution, stress and a poor diet – all of which can contribute to dull, uneven skin tone.
Just 1 tsp of chlorella contains:
- 2.9g of protein
- 36% RDA Iron
- 23% RDA Zinc
- 12% RDA Vitamin B2
It’s also important to add that chlorella contains 51% RDA of Vitamin A. Unfortunately though, it’s in the form of carotenoids, not retinol, which means even the healthiest of adults can only convert around 3% of these carotenoids into bioavailable retinol/vitamin A! The best way to boost this is to consume your chlorella with some kind of fat (ghee, avocado or coconut oil), this simple hack can help your body covert up to 39% of carotenoids in chlorella into bioavailable vitamin A!
Read more about vitamin A here.
— Supergreen Smoothie —
2 cups coconut water
1 green apple
handful of spinach
handful alfalfa sprout
1cm slice of pineapple
chunk of ginger
juice 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp Chlorella
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #4 Plant Based Protein
Protein is often the most commonly overlooked element of a smoothie, but may be one of the most important additions you could make for your skin! Adding protein in the form of Hemp or Pea to your morning smoothie will help you stay full till lunchtime and it will also help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. In terms of beauty benefits, protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks for collagen and elastin. Both are key to a healthy complexion as collagen helps build skin strength and elastin helps your skin regain plumpness after it’s been damaged by acne.
Watch out for whey
I always recommend a plant-based protein over a whey based protein powder or milk/yogurt as the whey in milk/yogurt/protein powder raises the amount of insulin in your blood and can irritate the lining of your gut. As mentioned earlier in this post, an increase in insulin can spell bad news for acne sufferers.
— Iced ‘Mocha’ Protein Smoothie —
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #5 Maca
Maca root powder is a powerful adaptogen, which means it helps balance, support and strengthen your whole body by helping your body to ‘adapt’ to stressful situations and increase your resistance to physical, environmental, emotional and mental stress that may otherwise cause hormone disruption and imbalance. For example, if your body isn’t producing enough of a certain hormone, adaptogens can help stimulate your endocrine system into producing the correct amount your body needs and vice versa, if you’re over-producing a specific hormone, adaptogens can help bring your body back into balance.
Maca can be an excellent superfood to take if you’re suffering from acne due to a hormone deficiency. For example, if you’ve recently coming off the pill or if you are pre-menopausal/menopausal then you could be dealing with imbalanced or low levels of oestrogen and progesterone. However, if your acne is due to excess hormones such as testosterone or DHT along with symptoms such as excess oiliness and body hair then you will be better of using another acne fighting adaptogen such as Reishi.
If you struggle with the following symptoms then Maca could really help bring you body back into balance:
- Low/no sex drive
- Brain fog/difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings/ anxiety and/or depression
- PMS symptoms
Adaptogens can be pretty potent so I always recommend starting with 1/2 a teaspoon and working your way up to 2 teaspoons a day over the course of 2 weeks.
— Coco Maca Smoothie —
2 cups dairy-free milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tblsp cacao powder
2 tsp maca powder
1 medjool date
Acne Fighting Superfoods: #6 Reishi
Reishi is another potent adaptogen and is great for those who struggle with oily skin, excess body hair, irregular periods and other symptoms that are often associated with high levels of testosterone or DHT.
Reishi is one of the top herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s high in antioxidants which make it excellent for balancing the immune system, stress hormones and detoxing the liver. It’s is also considered a powerful anti-androgen and has been shown to help lower excess testosterone levels and DHT (a more potent form of testosterone that can cause acne in women).
— Peaches & Cream Smoothie —
Remember, none of these superfoods will cure acne alone. To fully heal yourself from acne you must look into changing more than just one aspect of your lifestyle. As well as supplementing correctly and responsibly, the other key cornerstones to healing your acne naturally include exercising regularly, switching to natural beauty products and cutting out foods that can aggravate acne.
Peace, Love & Clear Skin