Suffering from Acne? These Foods May Be to Blame

Acne is known for being a complex condition, involving many different factors and possible causes. What causes one person’s acne may be different for someone else, and the treatment that works to eliminate your pimples may not work for your friend.

Having said that, like many modern health issues, acne often comes back to lifestyle choices and diet. So, if you’ve tried every cream, face wash, and treatment in the book, it might be time to turn your attention to what you’re eating.

These seven foods in particular are known for triggering skin problems and acne.


Not that we really need another reason to give up the stuff, but sugar is a huge cause of acne, both because it’s highly inflammatory and because it messes with your hormones. There’s a link between sugar and androgens—male hormones, namely testosterone—high levels of which can cause acne.

If you want clearer skin, sugar is the first thing you should consider eliminating!

Refined carbs

While you’re at it, you might consider cutting all refined and processed carbs, like flours, processed cereals, pasta, and white rice. These foods, which have a high glycemic index, can worsen acne, while foods with a low glycemic index have been shown to reduce it.

You may also want to consider pairing any high glycemic fruits, like melon or bananas, with protein and fat. For example, a handful of almonds or a hard boiled egg.


Dairy, like sugar, is highly correlated with acne. This is because dairy comes from pregnant animals, which means it’s absolutely teeming with hormones. As acne is partially a hormonal disorder, the last thing we want to do is add more hormones to the mix.

Try eliminating dairy for a while, and stick to almond, coconut, rice, or hemp alternatives. If you notice a difference in your skin, you may wish to keep away from the dairy long-term.


Most of us know by now that wheat and gluten are highly inflammatory, and that the inflammation it causes internally can manifest on our skin in the form of, you guessed it, acne. Wheat products are also often highly processed and high on the glycemic index, which as we noted before can aggravate acne.


Soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which can mimic natural estrogen and disrupt our hormones. Especially if you break out around the mouth and jawline, you should consider eliminating soy from your diet. Soy is contained in some form in the majority of the processed foods we consume, so make sure to be vigilant about checking labels.


young woman squeeze her acne in front of the mirrorPeanuts contain a substance which mimics androgens in the body, so consuming them can make acne worse. Try eliminating peanut butter for a while, and stick to raw nuts like almonds, cashews, or walnuts, which don’t affect androgen levels.

All of the above-listed foods can be problematic in ways other than just causing acne, so you might consider cutting down on each of them. To really learn which ones trigger your acne, you need to eliminate each of them one by one for at least four weeks.

Observe any changes in your skin over that period, and then introduce the food back into your diet to see if it was the problem. Unless, of course, the food is entirely unhealthy (such as sugar) – in which case, ditch it!

Good luck!

-The Alternative Daily


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