What is the link between diet and acne?

Acne, just like other skin conditions, is a representation of what’s going on inside your body!


It’s important to look at all the factors that contribute to or exacerbate this condition, but for now let’s look at the first and foremost thing to address: diet. Most people know that sugar is a culprit for pimples – we’ve all woken up with one or five after indulging in chocolate a bit too much the day before. But what are the exact mechanisms behind this?


Insulin and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)

There is a major role between these hormones and SREBP-1-mediated sebaceous lipogenesis (technical term for acne formation). Enhanced IGF-1 signalling is directly correlated with diets high in glycaemic load and dairy.

Glycaemic load (GL): a calculation based on amount of carbohydrates in foods and the effect on blood sugar levels. For more info on GL, visit https://healthengine.com.au/info/glycaemic-load-gl

To put it simply,

High glycaemic load and dairy intake

Insulin, IGF-1

Androgens, mTOR

Increased sebum production, inflammation, keratinization



The milk from most dairy cows contain A1 casein, a protein which causes inflammation, disrupts the immune system and causes digestive discomfort in susceptible individuals. The damaging and inflammatory effects have a direct effect of worsening acne.


So is all dairy a problem?

Milk from goats and sheep contains A2 casein instead of A1, meaning it doesn’t have the same inflammatory action. Goats milk and yoghurt is a good option if you’re after an animal-based substitute to cow’s milk – and it has many other benefits such as helping the body absorb more nutrients from food (cow’s milk is the opposite), has prebiotics and is easier to digest. For plant-based milk alternatives, my favourites are home-made hemp milk, almond milk and cashew milk.



mTOR is also worth mentioning – it’s an enzyme that regulates metabolism and is needed for the function of muscles, adipose tissue and the liver. Elevated levels of mTOR will stimulate keratin, sebum production and inflammation, thus contributing to acne.

Other conditions linked to high insulin, IGF-1, and mTOR are PCOS, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer. Treating acne by improving your diet will in turn reduce your risk for these diseases later in life.



This group of hormones have many important functions in both men and women. Increased androgens in women have a role in acne pathophysiology but are also indicated in other hormonal conditions such as PCOS. It’s best to check in with your GP or naturopath if you have any of the following symptoms as well as acne: irregular or absent periods, hirsutism (hair growth on the upper lip or chin), thinning of head on the head, weight gain or difficultly losing weight. We’ll talk more in-depth about excess androgens, PCOS and their treatments in another blog.


What dietary changes can I make?


Veggies, leafy greens, sweet potato, berries, avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs, fatty fish, green tea are your friends. Search up foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, antioxidants, vitamins A, E, C and Bs. Prebiotic and probiotic foods are also super beneficial for the skin.


This doesn’t mean giving up the sweets all together – make yummy raw desserts that contain good fats, protein and fibre. These components slow down the spike in blood sugar, and subsequently insulin, therefore reducing the glycaemic load.


Processed foods, white bread, cow’s milk, saturated fats, refined sugars, alcohol need to be reduced or avoided if you want to see results.

Artificial sweeteners are definitely not the answer, as research shows they still raise insulin levels, cause glucose intolerance, cause dysbiosis in the gut and lead to metabolic syndrome.


For phytonutrients and herbal medicine specific to enhancing and fast-forwarding the healing of acne:


Treating acne isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Making changes in the diet is just the first step in treating the problem!


We have to consider other factors to understand the whole picture, such as hormone levels, inflammation, intestinal permeability, gut function, the microbiome, and nutrient deficiencies.


It’s best to see a naturopath to determine which of these factors are at play and how to address them. Contact us on info@miss-vitality.com to book a consult or for more information.


The Miss Vitality Naturopathic Team

You can get in touch with us at pa@miss-vitality.com 

Or if you would like to take the next step in boosting your health and vitality book a free clarity session now.


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Info gathered from:
Iftikhar, U., & Choudhry, N. (2019). Serum levels of androgens in acne & their role in acne severity. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 35(1), 146–150. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.1.131
Liauchonak, I., Qorri, B., Dawoud, F., Riat, Y., & Szewczuk, M. R. (2019). Non-nutritive sweeteners and their implications on the development of metabolic syndrome. Nutrients, 11(3), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030644
Melnik, B. C. (2012). Diet in acne: Further evidence for the role of nutrient signalling in acne pathogenesis. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 92(3), 228–231. https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-1358



Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

Sleeping Beauty – Why Sleep is important!

Want to know why people say get your ‘Beauty Sleep’?


Our skin is able to repair and restore itself at night. It makes new collagen when you sleep which prevents wrinkles and helps promote a glowing complexion. As well as the production of Melatonin which is known for its anti-aging properties.

As Deepak Chopra states, it’s one of the most overlooked keys to vibrant health.

Sleep plays a vital part in your overall health and is just as important as healthy eating and exercise.

Most of us know the impact poor sleep can have in our life. Weight gain, obesity, lack of concentration and productivity, memory loss, increased health risks (diabetes, heart disease, dementia and high blood pressure), reduced libido and can even be linked to mental health conditions like depression. Not to mention the impact on your immune system, leaving you susceptible to acute diseases such as cold or flu.

On the flip side, good quality sleep can reduce stress, improve your immune function, repair your bodies cells and tissues, maximise your performance, and enhance memory function. As well as, reduce sugar cravings and boost your mood

In our modern world, there are many things that can interfere with a good night’s sleep, including the use of technology which can interfere with our body’s biological sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation can result in a weakened immune system and cause chronic inflammation, which is linked to many diseases

And sometimes even if you get those 8 hours a night you may wake up still sleepy and groggy. This can be an indication that you need to review your lifestyle and sleep rhythms and find out if you’re getting the recommended hours of deep sleep each night.

The National Sleep Foundation guidelines recommend between 7-9  hours sleep a night for adults. It’s not just about quantity but also about quality so creating a good sleep routine can help you get quality sleep.

Some healthy sleep tips to help to create a good sleep routine:

  • Eat dinner earlier rather than later and keep it light (no midnight munchies!)
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, try a clean tea
  • Take a warm bath or shower to relax
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Disengage from electronics by a certain time at night or at least half an hour before bed
  • Meditation
  • Exercise (even a simple walk can help)
  • Sleep in comfy sheets (high thread count for softness on the skin) and a good mattress.
  • Maintain a similar sleep routine and go to bed at the same time each day.

Support your sleep and restore your skin, with an Elixir, Marine Collagen with Zinc and Magnesium.


If you would like to take the next step in boosting your health and vitality book a free clarity session now.


Or listen to our Energy webinar free training.


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Photo credit: Thanks to bruce mars on Unsplash

The Indian Wedding


Vitality is a celebration happening underneath our skin. Like all celebration’s it is noticeable from the outside. For each of us within it feels like music, colour and life and love connecting together at once. 

Woman want to feel alive in their skin, body and soul because it truly makes us feel beautiful. When this beauty begins to be affected by age, stress, exhaustion, hormone imbalances we often feel like throwing in the towel or in my case I looked for the answers out there… somewhere outside of me. 

We notice the congested skin and ageing prematurely and feel the pressure of finding solutions to fix the problem. Truth about vitality? It starts within. It starts with awakening these tiny habits, ways of thinking, commitments to yourself daily, what about the rules we have around food and cravings that shift us to nourishment, life and glow. Having lifeless skin is having life nutrients lacking in our body. 

How do we close the door on the way of living that stifles our pathway to glowing skin, that blocks the cascade of reactions within our gut, our blood and our tissues? This opens us to knowing how to nourish and nurture and then the results begin. 

The result is not a place you haven’t been before. Glowing from the inside is your right Ladies. Inside each of you, there is a Vital Woman. Nourishing is the beginning and supporting a matrix of chemical reactions begins with nourishing first…yourself. Like the life of an Idyllic Indian wedding, the colours, the togetherness, the happiness, the music, the love and the vibrant joy. This is available to all of us. 

It’s impossible to be unarmed against Aging when you have Miss Vitality Skin. 

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