Many people can’t digest the idea of forgoing spicy foods. Enjoying a meal with spices is a real treat. It releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Do you love the hot and fiery sensation of spices? But what if you are prone to acne breakouts on your skin? You might sometimes hear people say “avoid oily and spicy foods”! Here we’ll be debunking the myths about whether spicy food cause acne.
Reasons for your acne breakouts
First things first, acne is most common among teenagers, although it can affect adults too. Often, you visit dermatologists and experiment with a variety of skincare products. Only to hope that these will vanish the huge red bumps on your face. But you need to know why acne develops in the first place.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to it. If your skin produces too much oil, it can easily result in clogged pores and inflammation. Even your menstrual cycle can affect the oil production of your skin. Apart from these, genetics, smoking, pollution, and stress have been attributed to acne development.
Then comes the connection between diet and acne. Recent research shows a positive correlation between acne and high-fat, sugary foods and beverages. For instance, dairy and high sugar can disrupt hormones and lead to acne flare-ups. But, is spicy food bad for your skin? And what are the effects of eating spicy food? Let’s find out.
How does spicy food cause acne?
Well, eating spicy food doesn’t directly cause acne. Interestingly, for some people, spices trigger acne through other side effects. If you have food sensitivities, spices can cause inflammation, resulting in pimples.
You need to know that the food you eat affects your skin. The flaming hotness of pepper is due to a compound called capsaicin. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is one of the inflammatory hormones produced by this process. As a result, you develop inflammation and acne on your skin. Here, we’ll see other ways spicy food causes acne.
- Excess heat and sweat
When you eat a hot cayenne pepper with your meal, you start to sweat profusely. As your body heat increases, it tries to regulate it with sweating. Your pores become more active and produce an excess of oil. This will clog your pores with impurities and lead to the formation of acne.
Similarly, the lycopene acid found in spices can trigger your acne. This affects the pH levels of your skin, causing an imbalance in oil production. Moreover, this changes your body temperature as well. As a result, you sweat more, increasing your risk of acne breakouts.
However, some people do not react to spicy foods. It depends massively on your skin type and other factors.
- Oily and greasy skin
Your sebaceous glands are located underneath your skin. This gland produces sebum and keeps your skin moisturized. However, if you have a hyperactive sebaceous gland, it secretes excess oil. This makes your face greasy and clogs your pores as well. Beyond that, bacteria can thrive in this area, eventually causing blackheads and acne breakouts.
If you consume more spices, your sebaceous gland becomes more active. This can give rise to red cysts on your face, which are usually painful.
- Gut health and skin inflammation
It’s worth noting that there is an interesting gut-skin connection. Let’s be honest, sometimes we enjoy a boiling hot spicy meal and end up with an upset stomach. This causes inflammation in your gut and appears as acne and flushing on your skin. That’s why spices are not an ally for your stomach or your skin.
Moreover, spices can exacerbate your acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. Apart from this, blood sugar levels, oxidative stress, and other problems lead to inflammation as well. All these show up on your skin as flare-ups.
A balanced gut microbiome is crucial for healthy skin. Your emotional state can alter the gut microbiome, leading to inflammation. It is common for people with gut imbalances to have acne.
Your gut affects skin health. For some, the elimination of dairy helps improve their acne. And if you have stomach discomfort, probiotics can help too. You can nourish your skin only when you have proper digestion. Keep a food journal and note changes on your skin when you eat spices.
Does oily food cause acne?
While there is only limited evidence of oily foods causing breakouts, you can limit their intake for better skin. Eating chocolate (cacao) has no connection to acne either. However, considering the high fat and sugar in them, there is a possibility that it can trigger your breakouts.
Also, the major foods to avoid for acne include sugar and dairy. This can spike your insulin and increase inflammation. Besides, eat fewer gluten foods to reduce pimples. Studies show that high-glycaemic foods can make your skin rough and cause pimples.
Prevent acne breakouts from spicy food and build healthy skin from within
Ultimately, does spicy food cause acne? While some experience breakouts from spicy food, others don’t. With that in mind, if your skin is oily after eating spicy food, wash your face immediately. This will help you get rid of the excess oil on your face.
Since spicy food affects your digestive system, your body will not absorb sufficient nutrients. This will, in turn, fail to nourish your skin as well. Instead, incorporate gut-nourishing foods, fruits, and vegetables. Also, establish a solid skincare routine and avoid foods that cause acne.
Being acne free is not just about cutting out spices. You need to heal your gut, and flawless skin won’t be far off!