According to a groundbreaking review of the causes of acne by a group of seven dermatologists, much of the success of modern acne drugs like retinoids and isotretinoin may result from their anti-inflammatory properties- not necessarily bacterial eradication.
Besides drugs, several foods also impart anti-inflammatory and acne abating properties to the skin.
For example, a report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the nutrient lutein (which is abundant in tomatoes) significantly reduced the inflammatory response and skin swelling resulting from ultraviolet radiation exposure in mice skin.
Like lutein-rich tomatoes, apples confer anti-inflammatory properties to the skin.
Apples contain a naturally occurring group of chemicals called flavanoids.
Flavanoids possess anti-oxidant qualities that can guard against radical damage in the body.
Moreover, research suggests that apples can minimize gastrointestinal inflammation.
While many foods do carry acne preventing traits, the acne drug salicylic acid actually comes from plants.
You can glean salicylic acid from foods like oranges, strawberries, raisins, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Herbs like cinnamon, curry powder, paprika, oregano and thyme also boast large amounts of salicylic acid.
You can combine these foods in numerous ways to create your own acne preventing dish.
Here are three easy to prepare meals to inspire the anti-inflammatory chef in you.
Acne Curative Curry Chicken 2 skinless chicken breasts 1 tomato Marinade 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 tablespoon crushed garlic 1 tablespoon of curry powder 1 tablespoon of thyme 1 tablespoon of oregano Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cleanse the chicken breasts.
Next, smooth the chicken breasts with the olive oil.
Rub on the crushed garlic.
Finally add the remaining herbs to the chicken and massage them into the chicken breasts.
Place the chicken in a baking pan.
Slice the tomato in half and place it into the baking pan to add moisture to the chicken as it cooks.
Cover the pan and place into the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken has completely cooked.
Let the chicken cool for ten minutes after removing from the oven before serving the dish.
Skin Soothing Salad 1 cup arugula leaves 1 diced cucumber 1 diced tomato 1 tablespoon of raisins Toss salad ingredients together in a bowl Salad Dressing 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice 1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot powder) adjust amount to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary powder Blend dressing ingredients on high for 30-45 seconds with a hand blender.
Drizzle dressing over salad.
Anti-Acne Apple Dessert: 2 Sugar-free oatmeal cookies 1 large apple 1 teaspoon of cinnamon Place the apples on a small plate.
Slice the apple into thin pieces.
Place the apples slices atop the cookies.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples.
In short, let food be your acne medicine.
Medicine got its start in forests where women and man sought natural cures for the ills of the day.
Researchers still comb the Earth to discover drugs for humankind's modern ailments.
You too can take part in this medicinal quest by using food to transform your kitchen into an on-demand acne pharmacy.
Sources: Appendino, Giovanni; Alberto Minassi & Nives Daddario.
Hot cuisine as a source of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Photochemistry Reviews; January 2005, vol 4, no 1, pp 3-10.
González, Salvador et al.
Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin decreases ultraviolet b-induced epidermal hyperproliferation and acute inflammation in hairless mice.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology; August 2003, vol 121, no 2, pp 399-405.
Lee, Erica H.
Dietary Lutein Reduces Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Inflammation and Immunosuppression.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology; February 2004,vol 122, no 2, pp 510-517.
Paterson, John et al.
Is there a role for dietary salicylates in health?Symposium on 'Phytochemicals'.
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society; 2006, vol 65, pp 93-96.
Pawin, Henry et al.
Physiopathology of acne vulgaris: recent data, new understanding of the treatments.
European Journal of Dermatology; January-February 2004, vol 14, no 1,pp 4-12.
Sehm, J et al.
The influence of apple- and red-wine pomace rich diet on mRNA expression of inflammatory and apoptotic markers in different piglet organs.
Animal Science; December 2006, vol 82, no 6, pp 877-887.