What Foods Cause Acne (Anti-Acne Diet)

List Of Foods That Cause Or Fight Pimples (Anti-Acne Diet)

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Skin is the reflection of your health and state of mind. The food we consume can determine the clarity and youthfulness of our skin. Acne is the result of excess oil production and hormonal imbalance. The simplest way to combat acne is by eating the right food. Certain foods to eat to fight acne whereas certain foods can cause and aggravate acne. Today, we will discuss and guide you on what to avoid or eat prevent and clear acne-prone skin.

Foods That Cause Acne

Here are the list of food items to avoid to subside acne outbreak:

  • Refined Carbohydrates/ High-Glycemic Foods – Food items such as white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, muffins, biscuits, etc. are all classified as refined carbs. They contain high levels of sugar (aka high-glycemic foods) which can spike your insulin levels and trigger inflammation and hormonal imbalance resulting in acne.
  • Cow’s Milk – Consumption of milk can increase male hormones such as testosterone and androgen, which can cause acne to flare. Milk also causes inflammation and spikes blood sugar levels, which can again lead to acne breakouts.
  • Sugar – As explained earlier, sugar is the leading cause of hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can trigger excess sebum production and spike sugar levels in blood, which can lead to pimples and acne. Food items like packaged fruit juices, jams, jellies, chocolates (even Nutella), bakery goods, pastries, soda drinks, candies, etc. must be avoided to combat acne.
  • Junk/Fast Food – Excess intake of salty and oily food has been linked to increase in acne amongst individuals. They cause severe inflammation and increase the sebum production, both of which are the leading causes of acne.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol can fluctuate hormones especially sex hormones. This can cause hormonal imbalance, which will eventually lead to acne.

Also Read: Get Expert Help To Control Acne Outbreak

Superfoods That Help To Clear Acne

Here are the list of food items that helps to fight acne:

  • Avocadoes – Avocadoes come under healthy fats. They are rich in vitamins A, D, and E. Avocadoes are full of vitamin B3 (niacin), which works as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help with acne and acne scarring.
  • Oranges, Lemon, And Kiwis – Fruits that are high in vitamin C are naturally high in antioxidants as well. Oxidation of skin cells can accelerate aging, wrinkles, and acne. Fruits such as oranges, kiwis, lime, lemon, gooseberry, and goji berries reverse the oxidation process, increase collagen production, and combat acne.
  • Watermelon – Watermelon is an extremely hydrating fruit that is rich in water, amino acids, lycopene, and vitamins B6 and C. It reduces inflammation and provides moisture to the skin from inside.
  • Mangoes And Papayas – Fruits like mangoes, papayas, apricots, tomatoes, and pumpkin are an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in repair and maintenance of skin cells. These fruits improve texture, suppleness, and prevent pre-mature aging.
  • Berries – Summer berries like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, etc. contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties. These qualities help prevent acne and help repair the skin. Consuming half a cup of berries satisfies your daily dose of vitamin C.
  • Garlic – Garlic is a super food for acne. It is a strong antioxidant that can help balance hormones. It contains high amount of allicin, which kills harmful viruses and bacteria present in the stomach and intestines.
  • Coconut Oil And Olive Oil – Coconut oil is ultimate super acne food. It is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial in nature. It balances hormones and it is anti-inflammatory. Applied externally, it protects your skin from UV rays and heals acne scars. Olive oil is great as an internal and external remedy for acne. It is packed with vitamin E and monounsaturated fats (healthy fat!).

Also Read: Home Remedies To Prevent Pimples

Other Foods That Can Reduce Acne

  • Probiotics – Healthy bacteria in healthy gut will result in healthy skin. Probiotic foods such as low-fat yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kanji, and fermented vegetables are the best food for your journey to acne-free skin. Acne can be caused by constipation and spread of bad bacteria, this is why probiotics help eliminate these unnecessary elements. Consume a bowl of yogurt or mix sauerkraut in your salad to increase your probiotic intake.
  • Fish, Walnuts, And Flaxseed – The best nutrient for acne are omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats do wonders for skin’s health. They reduce skin inflammation and stress levels. They also possess antioxidant properties that help build the skin cells in a healthy manner. Consuming fatty fish like salmon and cod twice a week will help keep your skin clear and beautiful. Walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds can consumed on a daily basis for an omega-3 boost.
  • Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is a super food that is acne-fighting and rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown a positive result in healing of acne after consuming dark chocolate. Although milk and white chocolate can clog pores and cause inflammation, dark chocolate can reduce stress levels and stop oxidation of cells if consumed twice a week and not more.
  • Dry Fruits – Nuts such as almonds and cashews are high in zinc and vitamin E. Zinc is useful in preventing acne and vitamin E is an antioxidant that cures acne and acne scarring. Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium and all you need is one Brazil nut to satisfy your daily intake of selenium. Selenium helps build elasticity and heal acne from within.
  • Whole Grains, Legumes, And Beans – Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, and rolled oats are non-refined and contain high amounts of vitamin B, magnesium, selenium, and fibre. Legumes and beans are excellent sources of protein. They reduce inflammation and they are high in antioxidants. This helps control acne and provides elasticity to the skin.
  • Water – The best and simplest acne fighting drink is water. Dehydration will dry the skin and cause the body to combat the dryness by producing extra sebum, which will clog the pores and this will result in acne. Also, it is essential to drink 2-3 litres of water daily for a healthy kidney function.
  • Green Tea – Often called the super tea for acne, green tea is loaded with antioxidants and detoxifying elements. Sipping 3-4 cups of green tea throughout the day will help reduce stress levels and eliminate toxins from your body.
  • Juices And Smoothies – Freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juices are best way acquiring your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Keeping the fibre content of vegetables and blending them with fruits will give you a delicious smoothie. Try to keep smoothies dairy-free if you want to keep your skin acne-free. Use seasonal (and organic) fruits and vegetables as commercial preservatives and pesticides will cause acne to flare up.

Also Read: Best Homemade DIY Face Mask For Acne

Anti-Acne Vegetables

Here are list of vegetables that help to cure acne:

  • Bell Peppers And Carrots – Vegetables that are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene like carrots, bell peppers, and beetroots are essential for the formation of selenium. Selenium helps in the skin cell production and growth. It reduces inflammation and helps fight acne.
  • Sweet Potatoes And Yams – Sweet potatoes and yams contain acne-fighting carbs. They are high in fiber and thus help in preventing constipation and riding the body from unwanted toxins. They provide energy and reduce stress levels too.
  • Mushrooms – Mushrooms contain a plethora of vitamin B. The most important vitamin riboflavin is required for repair and maintenance of skin cells and tissues. It also helps with reducing skin blemishes and scarring.
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Dark green leafy vegetables have an abundance of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in manganese, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and E. Manganese helps with transportation and absorption of nutrients in the skin. Vitamins A and E help with promoting healthy and vibrant skin. Try eating a cup of spinach, kale, collards or mustard green every day.
  • Broccoli – Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B. It is known as a skin cleansing food that helps fight free radicals with its antioxidant properties.

Also Read: How To Cure Acne – Treatment, Remedies And Tips

So, what are you waiting for? Make a grocery list and stock up your kitchen cabinets with delicious and nourishing acne fighting food.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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