Algae and Acne - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic

Algae and Acne

Do you know algae can trigger acne? If you have acne-prone skin, you know that you have to be extremely cautious about the skincare products you use as certain ingredients and formulas can exacerbate your breakouts. But, most acne sufferers don’t realize that they have to be cautious about the food they eat, too!

Just like your skincare products, certain foods contain ingredients that can trigger acne and cause your skin to breakout. One food & ingredient that is particularly triggering for acne is, algae.

Do you want clear skin?

Who knew that algae would be so bad for our skin?!

Why is Algae Triggering?

All types of algae can be incredibly triggering for breakouts because they contain high levels of iodine.  Iodine is an essential mineral that we all need in our bodies. Iodine excreted through our follicles causes breakouts and is highly irritating for our pores. 

The recommended daily value for adults is 150mcg and for pregnant women it’s 220mcg but most of us, especially in the United States, get more than enough through our daily diets because so many foods and beverages in the US are fortified with iodine.

Kelp, along with all sea veggies, is a rich source of iodine. Iodine is important for healthy thyroid function. When too much of a potent source of iodine is eaten, such as kelp, acne can flare-up big time.

Algae Triggers Acne Breakouts

Algae can trigger breakouts whether it’s eaten or applied topically because iodine can irritate your pores whether it’s coming from the inside out or the outside in.

Seaweed (algae) are a common trigger for acne breakouts, especially around the mouth. The cause is most probably the high Iodine content in seaweed. Iodine is an essential mineral that we all need in small amounts for normal thyroid function.

That said, the excess of Iodine that gets to the sebaceous glands is believed to irritate and clog the skin oil glands, which can trigger more acne breakouts. When too much kelp or other Iodine rich foods are consumed, acne can flare-up big time.

Soy & Sushi Are Bad For Acne

If you are a sushi-lover, don’t cry. There is no reason to be disappointed yet. According to Jolene Hart, not all types of Sushi are acne-causing culprits. But there are some types that you should avoid including the California rolls.

Those have white rice which has a high glycemic index, crab meat and soy sauce which are on our do not consume lists. These are huge contributors to cellular inflammation and can promote acne and aggravate breakouts. The nori sheets that contain iodine can pose a threat, as it is capable of triggering acne too.

If you cannot part ways with Sushi, the best alternative is to go for salmon sashimi with brown rice.

Products that contain soy and soy sauce affect your endocrine, digestive, and natural detox systems.

Soy sauce is a big acne-aggravating culprit. This is heartbreaking to hear for a die hard sushi gal like me.

PS: If you’re a sushi lover, don’t worry – you can replace soy sauce with coconut aminos, which can be found at any health food store. Also note: Nori sheets used in sushi rolls contain iodine, which aggravate acne as well.

The Many Names of Algae in Skincare

There are so many different species of algae including seaweed, kelp, and spirulina.  But most species of algae that are used in skincare products are easy to miss because they are less commonly known.

Beware of algae ingredients in your skincare. Some ingredients that are extracted from algae or byproducts of algae can be easy to miss. 

These ingredients are all species of algae derived from our list of pore-clogging ingredients:

  • Ahnfeltia Concinna
  • Alaria Esculenta
  • Algae Extract
  • Algin
  • Ascophyllum Nodosum
  • Black kelp
  • Bladderwack
  • Blue Algae
  • Blue Green Algae
  • Brown Algae
  • Carrageenan (okay in food)
  • Carrageenan Moss
  • Chlorella
  • Chondrus Crispus
  • Corallina Officinalis
  • Crithmum Maritimum
  • Dilsea Carnosa
  • Dulse
  • Ecklonia
  • Enteromorpha Compressa
  • Fucus Vesiculosus
  • Haslea Ostrearia
  • Himanthalia Elongata
  • Hydrolyzed Rhodophycea
  • Hypnea Musciformis
  • Irish Moss
  • Kelp
  • DigitataLaminaria
  • Longicruris Laminaria
  • Laminaria Saccharina/Saccharina Latissima
  • Lithothamnion Calcareum
  • Lola Implexa
  • Marine Algae
  • Mastocarpus Stellatus
  • Norwegian Kelp
  • Padina Pavonica
  • Palmaria Palmata
  • Plankton
  • Porphyra
  • Porphyridium Cruentum
  • Red Algae
  • Rockweed
  • Sargassum
  • Seaweed
  • Sea Whip
  • Spirulina
  • Ulva Lactuca
  • Undaria
  • Wakame

Now that you have read through this list, you might want to dig out all your beauty products and scrutinize the ingredients list! The first step to getting rid of pimples is to prevent it in our diet’s & our skincare products. So don’t forget to spot these irritants during your next beauty haul too!

Final Thoughts

The biggest nutritional culprits for triggering acne breakouts are iodides (and foods that contain them) and foods that are high in androgens. If you’re into health food like me, chances are you like to eat foods that can enhance the skin, but what you may not know is that many health foods that are good for you are actually foods that cause acne as well.

I know, I know; can we ever truly eat the right thing without someone finding something wrong with it? I completely understand how dreadfully exhausting it can be to try to eat the right thing.

And – if you are prone to acne, it’s especially important to monitor your diet so you can easily pinpoint the types of foods that are aggravating your skin.

Wondering about which foods or ingredients clog your pores? — Schedule an acne consultation, and we will get you on the path to your clear skin journey!

Cheers to clear!


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