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Clear Winners

From toothpaste to tretoin, we’ve tried it all. Here, the country’s top dermatologists weigh in on what really works to get flawless skin.

While facialists have bashed dairy for decades, clinical studies have only recently established a link between milk consumption and acne. “Milk contains testosterone precursors, which cause increased sebum production,” says New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco, “What’s fascinating is that one study found that of all milk, skim milk has the strongest correlation with acne. We’re not sure why but some hypothesize that skim milk has less estrogen than whole milk.”

Another recent study suggests that following a low glycemic index diet—that means one with less refined sugars, carbohydrates, and sugar-containing foods—may result in fewer acne outbreaks. “As the gylemic index goes up, it affects insulin production and all the hormones,” Fusco says. “They are all in a delicate balance—your female hormones are in balance with your thyroid hormones, which are in balance with your insulin. When you have more in one area, it’s like a domino effect on the others.”

 

HOME IMPROVEMENT: DOCTORS WEIGH IN ON POPULAR OFF-LABEL OPTIONS

Advil: “An [oral] ibuprofen can help with red, inflamed pimples but not whiteheads or blackheads,” Fusco says.

Benadryl: According to Fusco, “Benadryl can be beneficial only for one subset of acne: acne rosacea.”

 

Source: Elle. December, 2011.

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