Pomegranates have been used as both food and medicine for centuries by cultures such as the ancient Egyptians. The fruit and juice of the pomegranate are well-known for their antioxidant content, which may plays a nutritional role in treating acne. However, there’s no research showing the benefits of pomegranate juice for acne. Also, acne is a stubborn condition that can last well into adulthood and should be treated under the supervision of a dermatologist.
Antioxidants and Acne
Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals damage cells and tissues, which increases inflammation in your body. According to a report from the University of Tennessee Health and Counseling Center, antioxidants help reduce inflammation in your body, and those with acne are often found to have low levels of antioxidants. Inflammation plays a significant role in acne. Although there’s debate about whether inflammation is present before or after acne activity begins -- clogged pores and bacteria feeding on the substances in the pores -- its presence worsens pimples. The more inflammation penetrates into your skin, the worse your acne will be.
Antioxidants in Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice contains several antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, as well as polyphenols. As such, it contains enough anti-inflammatory compounds to make the list of acne-fighting foods. However, it’s worth noting that pomegranate juice may not contain as much vitamin C -- one of the most important antioxidant nutrients -- as pomegranate fruit, especially when the juice is bottled. One cup of bottled pomegranate juice contains just 0.2 milligrams of vitamin C, compared to 28.8 milligrams in one whole pomegranate fruit, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.
Drink 100-percent pomegranate juice instead of commercially prepared juices with added sugar and preservatives. Sugar boosts insulin levels, which in turn increases inflammation in your body. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends that adults drink between 8 and 12 ounces of 100 percent juice daily. Drinking too much juice can cause you to gain weight, which also disrupts insulin levels and can aggravate acne.
Although you can drink pomegranate juice to get antioxidants that may help with acne, eating whole fruits is usually better than drinking juice. It’s best to buy pomegranates in season during October, November and December. You can store pomegranates for two to three weeks at room temperature, or for up to three months in your refrigerator. Don’t limit your acne treatment to drinking pomegranate juice or eating the fruits, however. A dermatologist can recommend effective topical and oral treatment that help to keep acne blemishes at bay.
- The 200 Superfoods That Will Save Your Life; Deborah A. Klein
- The Acne Prescription; Nicholas Perricone, M.D.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pomegranate Juice, Bottled
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pomegranates, Raw
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Limit 100% Fruit Juice
- Our Health Coop: Our Health News -- Free Radicals and Inflammation
- Nutrition ATC: Food Fears May Aggravate Acne
Kay Uzoma has been writing professionally since 1999. Her work has appeared in "Reader’s Digest," "Balance," pharmaceutical and natural health newsletters and on websites such as QualityHealth.com. She is a former editor for a national Canadian magazine and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York University.