Did you know that if you’re acne prone iodized salt can make your breakouts worse? In today’s blog post I’ll cover the connection that iodine has with acne so make sure to keep reading!
Certain Foods Impact Acne
At Luminosity Acne Skincare, it’s very important for us to educate our clients on certain foods that can negatively impact acne so that we can ensure our clients clear up as quick as possible. Before I move forward I just want to mention that you should not make any changes to your diet without consulting your doctor first. This post is strictly for informational purposes only and not a substitute for medical advice.
Iodine & Acne
One of these acne-aggravating foods is actually a mineral known as iodine or iodide and in addition to food, it may also be found in certain medications.
So iodine is a mineral that we do need because our bodies need it to function properly. However if you’re acne-prone and you take in an over-abundance of iodine then some of the excess amount that your body has no use for can be excreted through the pores. As it excretes it can irritate the already sensitized follicle and create more inflammation which leads to worse breakouts.
According to Dr. James Fulton iodine can create acne-like eruptions for even those that are not acne-prone if they ingest very large amounts of iodine. So if this has the potential to effect those without acne then it will certainly effect those of us who naturally breakout.
How Much Iodine Do We Need?
The RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance for iodine is 150 mcg per day. That’s micrograms, not milligrams, so it isn’t very much at all. In fact most of us get plenty of iodine without even knowing it and it can be very easy to go overboard which again isn’t a good idea if you are acne prone. I do want to mention though that there are some medical conditions or disorders that require you to take in an excess amount of iodine to maintain your health so as I mentioned earlier do not make any dietary changes without consulting your doctor first.
Is Salt The Same Thing As Iodine?
Now when it comes to iodine most people immediately think of salt. But not all salt is iodized meaning not all salt is bad for acne. Try to stay away from using iodized salt or table salt. These salts undergo a process where all the minerals are stripped away and then excess iodine is added back in which is also known as being fortified. This practice began because decades ago people in certain regions that didn’t have access to iodine rich seafood began having iodine deficiency issues so we started fortifying salt with iodine. Although this is no longer an issue in today’s times, the processing of salt still continues.
A good substitute for iodized salt or table salt would be an unrefined salt. Unrefined salts can still contain iodine but they will be the lower amount that is naturally found in the salt instead of the heavy amount added in most table salts. Many clients ask if sea salt is ok to use. I tell them to check the label and see if it says it’s been iodized because I have seen iodized sea salt on the store shelf.
Eating Out & Acne
When eating out it’s important to know that most restaurants or fast food chains use iodized salt because it’s much cheaper than unrefined salt. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever eat out, but I recommend sticking more to grilled options than fried because fried foods tend to be salted much heavier than grilled foods. So if you want a chicken sandwich, choose the grilled one rather than the fried one.
Processed Food & Acne
Iodized salt also finds itself into processed deli meat and canned vegetables so when grocery shopping for these items look for labels that say “low sodium” or “sodium-free.”
Seafood & Acne
Seafood also contains iodine but its amount varies by the type of seafood you consume. At Luminosity Acne Skincare we caution our clients to mainly be aware of seaweed or kelp as those contain the highest amount of iodine and will be the most problematic for acne-prone individuals. The main sources of these that we consume would be in seaweed paper snacks and sushi.
Now don’t panic about the sushi! I personally love sushi and still eat it but I don’t have it weekly because the seaweed can flare me up if I overindulge. I’ve mentioned this in my other acne foods videos and blog posts, but at our office we don’t tell our clients they can’t have any acne-aggravating foods, we just ask them to consume them in moderation because unfortunately over-doing it will result in more acne. So enjoy your sushi but don’t make it a weekly thing.
Sodas & Acne
A hidden source of iodine that may be surprising to most is dark sodas. Most dark sodas get their rich, dark brown color from a red dye that contains iodine. And remember that iodine isn’t salt itself…it’s simply a mineral that is most commonly found in salt but can also be found in many other foods, including this red dye. If you consume dark sodas on a regular basis then try switching to sodas that aren’t dark. Now of course I am not advocating soda drinking but I understand not everyone will want to give up their sodas so instead just switch to a more acne-friendly one.
Supplements & Acne
And finally a last source of excess iodine could be in your supplements or vitamins, more specifically your multi-vitamin. It’s easy to check for iodine. Just flip the label over and look for iodine or potassium iodine. If the supplement contains it then opt for a multi-vitamin without it. Some multi-vitamins or superfood supplements can also contain kelp. Make sure to avoid those as well. To play it safe I would look through the ingredients list on every single supplement or vitamin you take to be safe.
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Watch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Does Salt Cause Acne?