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September 2 2014

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Eat Your Way To Better Skin

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This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail celia_ellenberg@condenast.com.

I’ve always heard that chocolate and cheese can cause breakouts. Is that true—and more importantly, are there any foods that are considered anti-acneic or antiaging?

I believe there is definitely a connection between acne and dairy. Dairy causes spikes in certain pimple-producing hormones (the various forms of testosterone or androgens) and insulin. Another lesser-known problem is difficulty digesting [the protein] casein from cow’s milk. When casein is not properly digested, it gets into your blood and the immune system reacts, causing inflammation, which can then lead to acne. Someone prone to acne should try to follow an anti-inflammatory diet and stay away from dairy, sugar, and processed foods in particular, but also gluten and factory-farmed meats. Eat whole foods—fruits, vegetables, especially leafy green ones, and anti-inflammatory fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. They can have almond, rice, coconut, and hemp milk instead of cow’s milk. They should also take a probiotic, which helps reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne. Sometimes a zinc supplement (30 mg of zinc citrate a day) can help, too.

A lot of the same holds true for aging. Sugar and processed foods are the most aging foods. So a similarly anti-inflammatory diet will have great antiaging effects for the skin and also help reduce aches, pains, and fatigue; your energy will improve and you will look and feel younger.

In the nearly 30 years since Dr. Frank Lipman landed in New York from his native South Africa, he has established himself as a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine. He founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, has two wellness-minded books under his belt (Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again and Total Renewal: Seven Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health)—not to mention countless acolytes: High-profilers like Donna Karan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Maggie Gyllenhaal all keep him on speed dial. His latest venture, out this month, is Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, a collection of supplements and nutritional cleansing products.

Photo: Thomas Northcut / Photodisc / Getty Images

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  1. skornblum says:

    You say almond, rice, coconut and hemp milk are good… is soy milk okay too?

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