Food That Causes Acne And How To Prevent It

greasy foods||||||||||||

Whether you want to believe it or not, your diet can play a fairly large role in causing or preventing acne. With this in mind, it may be time to check out your diet, here's our best advice.

Read more Men's Grooming features and check out our Store.



Diet And Acne

Myths about acne and its causes are almost as prevalent as the condition itself. Since there is no known cure-all for acne, for a while there has been a healthy debate as to whether diet has anything to do with acne. Finally, After years of going back and forth, we can see that there is a distinct relationship between one's diet and acne breakouts.

In technical terms, acne is a disease that affects the skin’s oil glands. Think of your pores as pathways to the oil glands that lie under one's skin. Essentially, if there's something clogging one's pores and preventing oil from cycling out naturally, they have acne. This complex process can be affected greatly by simple changes in diet. If you're careful about what you eat you can make great progress in preventing acne breakouts.


man looking in the mirror at clear healthy skin




Foods That Can Cause Acne

Dairy Milk

I'm sure you've heard many testimonials from vegans who claim that their acne was cured once they cut out dairy products from their diets. It turns out there's some scientific support for milk being a food that causes acne. Studies have shown that milk spikes one's blood sugar. This causes inflammation, and ultimately, breakouts.

Consuming dairy milk also raises insulin levels. This encourages the production of the skin's natural oils, which can eventually clog pores and result in acne.

Dairy milk also has whole host of hormones that can mess with your skin chemistry by causing increased oil production and other pore-clogging issues. All of this eventually leads to acne breakouts.

In order to work against these issues, try cutting back on dairy milk. There are plenty of substitutes out there like almond milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, among others.


milk good for skin and acne breakouts





I'm sure you're tired of hearing about the evils of gluten, but there is some truth to it causing acne. This is because gluten causes systemic inflammation, which can manifest itself on your face in the form of acne. Gluten over time can also deplete antioxidants, which can also cause acne.

Bread is also a food with a high glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index are foods that break down quickly in the body. This process sets off a raise of insulin in the body and consequently a raise in blood sugar. They also trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation. All of this ends up causing acne.

Bread is hard to cut from one's diet, but if you suffer from acne it may be worth it. There are also plenty of gluten-free options available these days, so you'll have a close substitute.


PHOTO CREDIT: Naturligt Liv





Chocolate is a vice for many. In fact, science has shown that it instantly makes you happier. But, have you ever wondered, 'Can chocolate give you spots?' Turns out, chocolate is indeed a type of food that causes acne.

The main problem with chocolate is the sugar. Many have long wondered, does sugar cause spots? Sugar causes a spike in blood sugar, which we have established is a large contributing factor to acne. Chocolate may be just what you need after a breakup, but that sugar rush can wreak havoc on your skin.

Our advice is to steer clear of sugary milk and white chocolate. If you can't resist indulging in a bit of chocolate, opt for the very dark kind. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants and be much lower in sugar than milk chocolate.


chocolate good for your skin and acne breakouts




Ice Cream

Ice cream has a double dose of the properties in food that causes acne: dairy and sugar. This delicious frozen treat unfortunately is basically one of the worst foods that cause acne in adults. Dairy products provoke acne because they contain a substance that mimics insulin, which clogs pores.

The temporary surge in insulin after eating ice cream causes a temporary surge in the production of skin cells in pores. The more sugary foods you eat, the more insulin your body has to make, the more your pores are stimulated in ways that leave them clogged.

Luckily, frozen yogurt is a close substitute that is better for your skin. The process of making yogurt breaks down the insulin-like substance that exists in dairy. The body also digests yogurt more slowly, which means less insulin is released into your bloodstream. This means your pores will be less likely to clog.


ice cream not good for skin and acne
PHOTO CREDIT: Broma Bakery





Soda has to be among the worst food that causes acne. But how does it cause acne? Putting it simply, fructose is sugar — and soda is packed with both. These sugars cause a huge insulin spike, and then a subsequent crash. It is clear to see that insulin is a major agent in food that causes acne, so no wonder soda will end up clogging your pores.

Our advice is to skip the soda and replace it with water or a less sugary drink instead. Your skin will thank you.


cut down on fizzy drinks healthy skin benefits
PHOTO CREDIT: Perut Gendut




Foods Good For Acne

In terms of foods good for acne, your best bet is to reach for fruit and veg that are good for your skin. Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, and sweet potatoes. These foods are rich in a substance called beta carotene. Once ingested, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A and consequently augments the benefits of selenium - which helps in controlling acne.

Omega 3 fatty acids also work wonders on skin affected by acne. These help reducing inflammation in the skin, which ultimately help keep acne under control. A few servings of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines a week, or a tablespoon or so of flax seed or walnuts in a salad or smoothie can be key in healing acne.

Spinach and other dark green and leafy vegetables good for the skin are also good skin clearing foods. These are high in vitamin E, which have major skin-healing power. They can also help fade acne scars once the active breakouts have passed.


man looking at healthy clear skin
PHOTO CREDIT: Health Tips Magz




Food That Causes Acne and How to Prevent It

  • The root of food causing acne lies in it causing a spike of insulin in the body. This leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
  • The top foods to avoid in preventing acne are those high in sugar, high glycemic index foods, and dairy.
  • Foods that can help clear up acne include colourful fruit and veg and foods high in omega 3 fatty acids like fish and nuts.


PHOTO CREDIT: Young Living Essential Oils


On That Note

Given the link between diet and acne, it is important to cut out certain foods to help clear up breakouts. Foods high in sugar and carbs are your skin's worst enemy, so lay off the oily skin diet to see improvement in your acne. Try replacing these foods with healthier and colourful fruit and veg as well as other nutritious foods and you'll definitely see clearer skin.


The Manual

  • Style
  • Life
  • Collective
  • Grooming
  • News
            Summer Wedding Guide

            Summer Wedding Guide

            Feature image credit: He Spoke Style Deciding what to wear to a wedding can be tricky but don't fear as we have pulled together a few looks that'll...

            read more
            Summer Style Guide

            Summer Style Guide

            Are you in need of a little style inspiration? We have handpicked our favourite summer pieces to have you looking your very best on every occasion.

            read more