Can smoothies cause acne?
You might be reading this thinking, “what?!” Could smoothies cause acne and breakouts?
I’m afraid yes, for some of you.
I’m always talking about how your diet is connected to your skin. Healthy diet will help get you healthy skin.
If you’re not eating a healthy diet most of the time, and you’re still eating known “acne triggering foods” like dairy products or sugar – you don’t need to worry about the smoothies. For most people, just getting off of dairy products and junk food is enough to completely clear up their skin.
But, if you’ve already cut out ALL dairy and sugar, and you’re eating a super healthy diet for quite a while now and your skin is not clearing up, I would recommend taking a break from smoothies for at least one month to see how your skin responds.
But aren’t smoothies healthy?
The first question that always comes up is, “What do you mean, I thought smoothies are healthy? That’s why I’ve been drinking them!”
Yes, smoothies are healthy.
Depending on what you put into them they can be packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein and healthy fats.
But for someone with acne or chronic breakouts, sometimes drinking something that’s made with so many ingredients or so high in carbs/sugar, could be messing up your skin.
There’s no doubt that smoothies are nutritious, but they’re not always the best food for everyone.
How can smoothies cause acne or breakouts?
The two main issues why smoothies could cause your breakouts and acne, is that the mixture of so many ingredients are very difficult to digest, and depending how much fruit, dried fruit, superfoods, and juices you put into your smoothie, it can be VERY high in sugar (even too much natural sugars can give you breakouts).
Too many ingredients makes anything extremely difficult to digest
Take a look at the ingredients people put into their smoothies:
- green powders
- superfood powders
- protein powders
- dried fruit
- maple syrup
- nut milks
- soy milk
- nut butters
- coconut water
- coconut meat
- coconut oil
- freshly pressed juice
That’s a lot of ingredients to choose from!
And, most people want to pack in as many ingredients into their smoothie possible, so they get a wide array of nutrition in their drink.
But the problem with putting so many ingredients into a smoothie, it makes it very difficult to digest, especially when you’re mixing things like fruit with protein powder, nut butter/nut milks, and various superfood powders. You’d never put a meal together of fruit, protein powder, and coconut oil, but we mix all that up in a drink and wonder why it’s giving us problems.
If the food you’re eating is too difficult to digest, and causing bloating, gas, and heaviness in your stomach – it will start affecting your skin. That’s why if a smoothie has too many ingredients and is upsetting your stomach, the energy you’re body wants to use to heal your skin is diverted to dealing with the difficult-to-digest smoothie you’re drinking every day. As nutritious as that smoothie is, it could be standing in your way to clear skin.
Many of my coaching clients who hire me to look through their diets to take out the acne causing foods are always surprised when I tell them to take a break from the smoothies. At first some are even quite reluctant to follow my advice. But when they do, they see a difference in their skin in just a few days. Many notice their skin is a lot less red and inflamed, and pimples heal so much faster and don’t come back. Just from skipping the daily smoothie!
So, if this sounds familiar to you, and your smoothies don’t feel so great in your stomach, stop eating them. And instead, make real food out of the ingredients you’d put in those smoothies, like eating a small bowl of fruit, or making a green salad with nuts and seeds sprinkled on it. You’re not cutting the ingredients out of your diet, you’re just making real meals out of them that you eat and chew instead of throwing 10 ingredients into a blender and drinking it down. This will be a whole lot easier to digest and you’re continuing to feed your body the nutrition it needs (just in a more “skin friendly” way).
Too much sugar and carbs does mess with your hormones
I do also want to mention that another problem with smoothies is the amounts of carbs and sugars in it.
It’s not only fruit that is high in carbohydrates, but a lot of superfood powders, dried fruit, nut milks, coconut water, oats, and other ingredients thrown into smoothies that are high in sugar and starches.
And yes, these are all natural sugars, which come with a full array of nutrients and fiber that processed sugar just doesn’t have – but sugar is sugar, and even too much natural sugar isn’t good for you (especially if you have hormone-related acne).
The thing with smoothies is you can put a lot of food into one smoothie and drink it down, not realizing just how much you are consuming. Some smoothies can have up to 1000 calories and just as much sugar as a Coke! And the things is, you’re drinking it and swallowing it very quickly, big difference to eating solid food, chewing it, and connecting to your body’s cues when you’ve had enough.
I used to love drinking smoothies so much because they taste so good. But, after a while I noticed that whenever I drank them I’d feel dizzy and tired afterwards. I realized there was too much sugar, my body just couldn’t tolerate it.
Should you avoid all types smoothies?
There’s a lot of different types of smoothies:
- Fruit smoothies
- Green smoothies
- Superfood smoothies
- Breakfast smoothies
- Smoothie bowls
If you suspect smoothies are causing your acne, I would avoid all of them for one month to see how your skin responds. If after a month you see your skin is improving, then you know the smoothies are causing the problem. If after a month there’s no difference in your skin, then you can start eating them again.
And just remember, this advice is for someone who’s already eating a super healthy diet and has taken dairy, sugar and processed food out of their diet and their skin isn’t getting better. If you’re still eating dairy products, junk food or processed food, don’t even worry about the smoothies, just work on improving your overall diet, especially avoiding dairy and sugar.
Want more tips for clear skin?
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