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Who hasn't heard about the Paleo Diet (aka the Caveman Diet)? While the jury is still out regarding its purported health benefits, proponents claim that the Paleo Diet may contribute to better health, including that of your skin. Can this diet minimize the risk of acne?

There has never been any dispute that acne, a common skin condition that many of us struggle with over the years, can be caused by hormones, bacteria and/or medication. But, what dermatologists and other health professionals cannot unanimously agree on is whether the food we eat can so categorically affect our skin.

A 1969 study by a few dermatologists concluded that consuming chocolate did not worsen acne, leading to the long-held belief that diet and acne are not directly linked.  Thirty-three years later, James Cordain, an anthropologist, published a paper in which he studied 1200 subjects in Papua, New Guinea and 115 subjects in Paraguay, none of whom consumed processed food.  Instead, they lived off the land.  What Cordain found was that not a single case of acne existed amongst the study groups, leading him to conclude that their clean diet was the answer.

Is there a Paleo connection? Loren Cordain's name may not be familiar to most of us but unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you will have heard of his subsequent work in the field of nutrition and founding of the Paleo Diet movement.   Commonly referred to as the "caveman diet", following the Paleo way of eating consists mainly of consuming fruit, vegetables and meat while avoiding grains, legumes, dairy products, processed foods and refined sugars.  It may not be big news to us that diet can affect our skin but in the dermatological world, more research and controlled trials are needed before a final verdict can be announced. There is, however, the old adage of "we are what we eat" so it makes sense that our diet can greatly affect the condition of our skin.

Dealing with acne is highly complicated, and what works for one person may not work for the next.  Eating a clean diet can also be challenging with so many easily-accessible temptations.  The answer may just be a combination of watching what you eat and taking good care of your skin by gentle cleansing, moisturizing and applying effective topical treatments such as [Link Removed] .

And if changing your diet doesn't improve the acne, it may be worth it simply for the overall health benefits of eating less processed food.

What do you think? Worth a try?

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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