Congesting And Heating Foods That Block And Irritate Your Skin

Congesting And Heating Foods That Block And Irritate Your Skin

By Hannah

Congesting Foods That Block & Irritate The Skin

The sebaceous glands of your skin produce an oil that is secreted on to your skin’s surface to act as protection. The quality of this oil is determined by the food we eat, which in turn provides the raw material for the sebaceous gland to product the oil.

When the oil (sebum) in your skin is flowing healthily it plays an important role in protecting your skin and keeping it strong, supple and smooth. However, if your skin has a tendency to congest, congesting foods in your diet will cause the sebum to thicken, blocking your pores and resulting in breakouts.

Some foods contain fats that are thick and sticky, and this can cause problems for some people who are more genetically sensitive to blockages and breakouts. These foods result in an oil that is also thick, sticky and more likely to block our pores. These same foods often contain free fatty acids that irritate and inflame your skin when secreted onto its surface. It is important to be aware of these foods if you would like to have healthy, smooth, beautiful skin.

Read below for the foods that commonly congest and block your skin, and find out some alternatives:


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Nutritional yeast (also known as Brewer’s Yeast) gives food a savoury taste similar to cheese. Hummus or avocado.


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Nutritional yeast (also known as Brewer’s Yeast) gives food a savoury taste similar to cheese. Hummus or avocado.

Chocolate (including dark)

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Use cacao powder and make chocolate or treats from the Bestow Recipe Books. Just don’t have too much coconut oil!


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Rice, oat, nut or seed milks (unsweetened), coconut cream (small amounts) and coconut yoghurt (dairy free).

Ice cream

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Gelato blended from frozen fruits.

Meat Fat (especially mince and sausages)

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Trim off visible fat before cooking. Enjoy grilled or baked lean meat dishes, organic chicken, turkey or fresh fish. Other protein sources include beans, lentils, tempeh and eggs.


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Make your own oven-baked sweet potato or kale chips using olive oil.

Fried Food

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Replace with healthy stir-fries, grilled, steamed or baked foods.

Powder-Based Drinks (like milo)

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Enjoy warm milk with cacao, cinnamon, turmeric or spice mix.

Protein Bars/Powders

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Eggs, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, canned tuna, beans and Brewer’s Yeast. Add 1/4 cup of tinned white beans to your smoothie to boost protein levels.

Store-Bought Mayonnaise

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Try Bestow salad dressings, pesto and hummus.

Peanuts and Cashews (and their Nut Butters)

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Raw, unsalted nuts such as almonds or brazil nuts. Tahini or Almond Butter.

Note: non-dairy alternatives to cheese, chocolate, ice-cream etc. are often just as congesting. Avoid these foods altogether and focus on unprocessed, whole-foods instead.

Heating Foods That Heat & Irritate The Skin

Some food and drinks have a heating effect on the skin. These foods make skin conditions (such as eczema and rosacea) worse by increasing any redness and inflammation present. It causes the skin to appear reddened and sensitised. These foods are called ‘vasodilators’ and they heat your skin by increasing the blood flow through your fine capillary system. If you suffer from rosacea or flushed cheeks or nose, you will be particularly sensitive to heating foods.

Read below for the foods that commonly heat and flush your skin, and find out some alternatives:


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Coffee decaffeinated by water method, herbal teas (without orange peel) and dandelion or turmeric lattes.


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Kombucha, lemon lime & bitters, soda water spritzers or sparkling water.


Skin-Friendly Alternative: Medjool dates, figs or treats from the Bestow Recipe Books

Peanuts and Cashews

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Raw, unsalted nuts such as almonds or brazil nuts.

Nut Butters (containing peanuts or cashews)

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Tahini or almond butter

Spicy foods, Chilli and Paprika

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Fresh herbs and less ‘spicy’ spicys such as ginger, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, caraway, coriander and mustard seeds.

Oranges or Strawberries

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Any other fruit in season!

Oranges Juice

Skin-Friendly Alternative: Apple juice, dark grape juice and lemon juice diluted in water.

Other factors that heat your skin:
  • Emotional stress
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Very hot or cold foods
  • Sun exposure
  • Sitting by the fire or heater
  • Air conditioning
  • Hot rooms
  • Hot showers or baths
  • Spa pools
  • Saunas
  • Steam rooms
  • Cooking over a hot stove

High-Sugar Diets

High sugar diets can cause inflammation in the skin and body, particularly refined sugars. Refined sugars can also disrupt hormonal balance, specifically insulin and androgens. An increase in insulin production can contribute towards an increase in sebum (skin oils) production. If this oil isn’t of high quality, it can then go on to contributing to clogged pores and formation of acne. Androgens have a similar effect, and will also increase inflammation in the skin. Hihg sugar intake can also leave to glycation, where sugar molecules attach to proteins in the body. This can affect the structure and function of these proteins, potentially contributing to skin aging and inflammation. Then on top of all of this, sugar consumption influences the gut microbiome. An imbalance in gut bacteria will indirectly affect skin health, including acne. Not everyone who consumes sugar will experience acne as a result; but if you are an acne sufferer, go easy on the sugar!

Try Bestow Beauty Oil for Smooth and Soothed Skin

Bestow Beauty Oil is designed to bestow health and radiance to skin by ensuring it is moisturised from the inside and the skin’s oil glands produce a healing, anti-inflammatory oil that protects the skin but doesn’t block the pores. Your normal moisturiser only penetrates so far, whereas the EFA’s in Bestow moisturise the deepest layers of your skin.

It keeps your skin supple and smooth, by helping to prevent blockages and ‘breakouts’, while ensuring the skin’s sebum is healing and anti-inflammatory (this makes it great for acne, rosacea & eczema sufferers).

1 Tbsp daily, mixed into food is all it takes!

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Congesting And Heating Foods That Block And Irritate Your Skin