Science is telling us about what lifestyle factors affect our skin, and no topic has been studied more than acne. We analyzed over 100 peer-reviewed studies to find what lifestyle factors had the most effect, many didn't make the cut in this article with weak or inconclusive effects: Alcohol Consumption, Body Mass Index/Weight, Exercise, Probiotics, Soy, Makeup, Sleep Quality (if not causing stress), Smoking and Sun exposure.
1. 💛 Omega-3 Supplementation 27-50% Reduction in acne count 😃
Dosage & Duration: 1000 mg EPA + 1000 mg DHA, 2 months. Studies: 4.
4 out of 4 studies agree that consuming Omega-3 helps reduce acne drastically, inflammatory (red) acne more so at 50%, and normal non-inflammatory acne 27% on average. Not everyone saw improvement, so try and see for yourself.
2. 🚿 Daily Cleasing 25% Reduction in acne count 🙂
Dosage & Duration: Twice a day, 1-2 months. Studies: 3
Daily cleansing with water based cleansers (not soap!) reduces acne 25%. Twice a day was more effective than one or three times. Low pH cleansers have been shown to be most effective, our cleanser also uses sea salt to help prevent acne.
3. 🥑 Low Glycemic Load Diet 24% Reduction in acne count 🙂
Dosage & Duration: N/A, 2 months. Studies: 9.
8 out of 9 studies agree that a low glycemic load diet reduces acne. This means eating more complex carbs that take longer to digest. Try replacing fast-carbs with healthy fats and slow complex carbs like oats or sweet potato.
4. 🥛 Dairy Consumers have 10-29% more acne🤔
Dosage: 2 or more cups/day. Studies: 4.
Only observational studies have been done looking at dairy consumption and acne, skim milk drinkers have 20% more acne than whole milk drinkers, and 29% more acne than non-dairy drinkers. It could be worth trying cutting out milk, but it's not a guaranteed fix.
5. 😵 Stressed People have 19% more acne 🤔
Dosage & Duration: N/A. Studies 4.
3 out of 4 studies agree that stress is associated with acne outbreaks, students have more acne during exam periods. Lack of sleep can also cause a stress response, so try to get enough hours of beauty sleep, and meditate to deal with stressful events.
6. 🍫 Chocolate Consumers have 18% more acne🤔
Dosage & Duration: 4-6 oz 7-28 days. Studies 3.
Only 1 of 3 studies showed increase in acne where participants ate 6 oz 100% cocoa pr day for 7 days. The increase in sugar itself was not enough to cause more acne. Not everyone breaks out from chocolate, but it some people who are sensitive to it may!
This was a brief summary of the most significant factors affecting acne we made in our more in depth acne lifestyle analysis at theskincarecompany.com/lifestyle where you can find references to all of the claims made in this article.
We left out oral-contraceptives for women, which are very effective against acne, but will get back to those later. We aim to keep updating it and sharing more science backed advice on how to deal with acne systemically, using topical products is not the whole story!