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Does Salt Cause Acne? | Iodine Breakouts

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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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  • Have you discovered that you are over-consuming iodine?
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icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Does Salt Cause Acne?

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Does Dairy Cause Acne?

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You may have heard that dairy products or milk cause acne, well they don’t cause it but they can make it worse! Keep  reading today’s blog  post to find out why dairy may be adding to your skin issues.

It’s important first know  dairy doesn’t cause acne, but if you are acne-prone then it can make it worse!

The first reason is due to hormones. Dairy cows are pregnant for the majority of their lives therefor they are constantly producing high levels of hormones which in turn find their way into the dairy we consume. These hormones can stimulate our oil glands to produce more oil which will mix with an overabundance of dead skin cells which results in a clog inside the pore. With enough time this clog will turn into a pimple.

Now it may sound like the best solution would be to only consume organic dairy products or ones labeled as “Hormone-Free”, but organic and hormone-free only ensures that you are not getting artificial hormones from the milk or cheese. However you are still getting the cows natural hormones as they are present in the milk and then all of the products the milk gets turned into like cheese or ice cream. So always remember that there is no such thing as hormone-free dairy.

The second reason why dairy products affect acne is that they tend to contain high levels of iodine. Iodine is a trace mineral that our bodies do need for good health, however if you over-consume it then some of the excess amount that our bodies have no use for can be excreted through the pores. As it’s being pushed out it can be very irritating to acne prone skin and can create worse breakouts. The reason why dairy contains high levels of iodine is that dairy farmers give their cows an iodized salt lick or they fortify their feed with iodine as this helps them ward off infections.

So to recap, dairy doesn’t cause acne but if you are already acne-prone then dairy can make your acne severity worse through hormones and excess iodine.

At Luminosity Acne Skincare we recommend that our clients consume dairy in moderation. It’s ok to have it here and there but be aware that if you go overboard on the dairy then you’ll end up with worse breakouts. If you do find yourself consuming large amounts of dairy on a daily basis consider switching to a more acne-friendly alternative such as almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk. I don’t recommend soy milk though because soy has its own problems when it comes to dairy.

Another thing important thing to mention when talking about dairy and acne is protein powders. The most common protein powders available are whey or casein based which are derived from dairy. A better alternative would be a plant based protein powder like brown rice. In fact there are so many plant-based protein powders coming out so you shouldn’t have any trouble sourcing one, however make sure to avoid soy-based protein powders.

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Leave A Comment!

  • Have you noticed a link between dairy and your acne’s severity?
  • Have an idea for a blog post topic? Leave a comment below!

icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Does Dairy Cause Acne?

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