Worst Foods for Acne

Healthy foods and junk food on a table Worst Foods for Acne

Worst Foods for Acne

Our Skin and Food

We’ve all experienced how foods can make us look and feel different ways. When we eat a big salad, we might see our skin glow a little more evenly the next day. When we eat a lot of pizza, our skin might have an oilier feeling, and there might be a couple of clogged pores. Certain foods are worse for our skin than others, and an unbalanced diet can quickly become the cause of acne at any age.

How Does Food Cause Acne?

Foods interact with our bodies in different ways. Fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods are generally broken down over longer periods of time than foods high in fat and sugar, like dairy, meats, candy, sodas, alcohol, and a variety of processed options. High carbohydrate foods are considered to have high glycemic (sugar) ratings because they lead to above-normal acid production rates in the body. One way we might experience this is acid reflux, a sign your body is producing too much acid in the digestive process. This can cause stress on your body, not only in the esophagus and stomach, but also via signs on your skin.

Carbohydrates like sugar and fats are quickly absorbed by the bloodstream, which can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels and an overproduction of sebum, resulting in oily pores. Too many animal-based foods like meat and dairy might boost our bodies’ hormone production, also stimulating our skin’s oil glands. This can also lead to acne not only in teens, but in adults as well.

Foods That Fight Inflammation

When high-carb foods are broken down quickly, it can lead to the blood sugar increase mentioned above. The spike can lead to inflammation in your body as well due to the stress put on tissues from blood with high sugar content. When pores are clogged from sebum overproduction, this might also lead to inflammation.

A common complication of severe acne can be inflammation, which usually happens when pores filled with buildup become infected with bacteria. Eating foods like beets, cauliflower, spinach, and swiss chard will deliver vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium that build red blood cells, fight oxidation, and help keep blood sugar concentration levels down. Washing your face regularly helps keep pores clean on the surface, preventing buildup to keep skin clean and calm.

Managing Your Diet to Avoid Breakouts

Avoiding getting acne from food can be more difficult than it sounds, since breads, pastas, meat, dairy, sugars, and processed foods are everywhere, and they affect everyone differently. If you want to know how to get rid of acne or how to prevent acne, do your research about vitamins and minerals, avoid eating too much of foods you know cause you a problem, and talk to your dermatologist about your skin type. Doing these will help you remain blemish free while not limiting you too much from enjoying life.

If you already suffer from acne but you’re unsure whether it’s a food causing it, removing usual suspects and seeing if your skin clears up is one way to manage your diet yourself. Cooking from home can help you be sure your meals include the foods that promote a healthy body, and you can leave out the foods that can cause skin problems like acne when consumed in excess. Don’t stress too much, though, about making sure you eat perfectly. Stress itself can lead to acne by producing the hormone cortisol that is thought to trigger excess sebum production.


If you’re worried about your breakouts, you want to develop a better acne skin care routine, or you’re looking for professional acne treatments, schedule an appointment today with one of our dermatologists to learn about the source of the issue and find the most appropriate solution for your skin.

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