Papua New Guinea possesses something skincare and beauty lovers, and possibly any breathing being, might want: A place where acne is nonexistent. It’s an island called Kitava.
Kitava is a small, tropical island surrounded by clear waters, fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. The Kitavan diet is known for its incredible health benefits. It’s also one of the first things to pop up if you were to google "Kitava."
Staffan Lindbergh, a medical doctor and associate professor of family medicine, was one of the first to document the diet of the Kitavan people. The diet is one of the last that has been directly adopted from its indigenous people. Lindeberg observed the island for a little under 2.5 years and noticed that no one had breakouts during the 843 day period. The study included 300 individuals that were between the ages 15-25, since these are the years that acne is most present. I know what you’re thinking: It had to be genetics, right? Well actually, the researchers found out that genetics didn’t have much of anything to do when it came to the Kitavan's clear skin.
Instead, it might be time to dump everything in the fridge and opt for a Kitavan diet. I mean, what’s the harm in having clear skin? However, if you do decide to adopt the diet, be sure to consult with a medical professional on how to go about the change. Here's what you need to know about the diet in the meantime:
Yams and sweet potatoes have great levels of vitamin C, which helps with healing, growth and the repair of tissues within the body. Alex Caspero, MA, RD, who is the head nutritionist for Hum Nutrition, told Byrdie Beauty that tubers, which are rich in fiber, help feed the bacteria in your gut.
"Gut health might be the unsung hero of banishing acne, as healthy gut flora reduce inflammation, which can present as acne, psoriasis, rosacea and other skin issues," said Caspero. Start the oven, we’re making a veggie roast!
Tubers aren’t the only MVPs in the Kitavan diet, though. Coconuts are used a lot on the island as well, for drinking and eating or as an oil for cooking. Coconuts have anti-inflammatory properties as well as antibacterial, anti-fungal properties which are amazing for fighting acne. Coconuts also contain MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which promote healthy gut bacteria which also help fight acne.
To add to this amazing diet and the beautiful people of Kitava: They stay away from alcohol, coffee (how, Sway?), dairy and refined grains. Probably not coincidentally, all of those foods and drinks have a negative effect on the body, which can cause breakouts. However, taking things slowly is the key if you’re thinking of taking up the Kativan diet.
"Try reducing intake of sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, and items that contain added sugar," Casper said. "With so many dairy-free options on the market, it's easy to reduce intake of dairy. Besides their intake of fish, the Kitavans eat a predominantly plant-based diet, which is consistently shown as the best diet for reduced chronic disease states and longevity. Clear skin is just an added bonus."