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Acne Diets
Acne Foods To Avoid & To Eat

Acne diets is about knowing the kind of foods that recent medical evidence has confirmed as having a link to making acne worse and avoiding such. We bring you list of foods that can cause acne and make it worse.

acne face and chest

Acne diets do exist. Recent medical evidence shows that eating certain kind of food could make your acne worse. This is in stark contrast to what dermatologist believed before 2007. Indulge in any of the following food that makes acne breakout and worsen your spots. Avoid them and see improvements in your spots.

In August 2011, the dermatology journal, Cutis, in an article titled The Association Of Acne Vulgaris With Diet, had this to say in part: "Evidence exists highlighting the association of acne and high glycemic loads, certain dairy products, and refined sugar product ingestion".

In similar vein, the journal, Acta Dermato-Venereologica, published on the 8th of June 2012, pages 228-31 reported reviews and evidence showing a very strong relationship between acne and diet as well as the benefit of low glycaemic diets in overcoming acne.

There is growing body of evidence that acne is unknown in people who do not consume diary products and refined foods high in sugar.

Individuals over the years have often reported and observed relationship between their diets and acne.

May people for example, have noticed that eating food very rich in fat, like peanuts, or greasy foods and fries, makes their spots to breakout.

Such association was evident from as far back as 1887 when it was first published.

However after a single study carried out in 1969 failed to show documented relationship between diets and acne, the medical community dogmatically held on to the view that there is no relationship between food and acne. We now know that this is not correct.

Foods That Make Acne Worse

The following are foods that have been reported to make acne worse. There are scientific evidence to back some of these, but others have been reported from observational evidence. They include:

  • Milk
  • Groundnut or Peanuts
  • Peanut oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Pork fat
  • Kelp
  • Iodized salt
  • Seaweeds
  • Soy protein
  • Carbohydrate with very high sugar content
  • Refined foods

This list of acne diets or foods that can cause acne and make acne worse is by no means exhaustive. Is there anything you've noticed makes your acne worse? You can add it to the list here by using the form at the bottom of this page.

Why Certain Food Makes Acne Worse

It is not everyone who eat any of the above food items that will develop acne. Acne is a condition that is caused mainly by the overproduction of the hormone androgen, or due to increased sensitivity to it, leading to the excessive secretion of sebum, an oily material from the skin. If this secretion accumulates and the pore where it would normally come out is blocked by dead skin, acne or pimples results.

Anything that increases the production of androgens, or increases the sensitivity to androgens, will cause acne in those who are predisposed.

Foods high in fine sugar and dairy products have been shown to increase the blood sugar level. This leads to the release of high levels of insulin.-like growth Factor, IGF-1. This chemical has been shown to cause androgen production, leading to breakouts.

It is not allergy to food that causes acne.

The Real Acne Diet - Foods That Help Acne

You are what you eat. Yes. This is also true in the fight against acne. Certain foods have been shown to help clear acne. If you increase your intake of these kind of food, and avoid those that cause acne, you will be on your way to getting rid of your acne. Such acne food or foods that help clear acne include:

  • Foods Rich In Anti-Oxidants
    Such foods include items like Carrot and Carrot Juice Freshly peeled orange Fresh ripe Soursop Food rich in Selenium and Vitamin E
  • Fish Oil Rich Foods & Supplements
    It is believed that food and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in clearing acne. This is especially so if you have inflammatory acne red painful spots. Include more salmon, trout fish and mackerel in your diet. Walnut and flaxseeds are also reported to be high in omega-3 fatty acids that help with acne.
  • Foods Rich In Zinc
    Studies looking at best acne diets have reported foods rich in high amount of zinc, as well as zinc supplements helped in clearing away acne just as effectively as antibiotics. Many different foods contain zinc. Such foods include oyster, pumpkin seeds, beans, and nuts. Some have advised taking 30mg of zinc daily for 3 to 4 months, and then reducing the dose to 25mg once daily to clear acne naturally. Care must be taken however, not to consume too much zinc. This is easy to do if a person eats a lot of fortified foods and also takes a zinc supplement. Doing so impedes the body's ability to properly absorb copper which also is needed to keep the immune system operating correctly. Too much zinc can also impair the formation of blood cells.


  1. Handbook Of Diet, Nutrition And The Skin Pages 415 - 421. By V. Preedy - 2011

  2. Diet in acne: Further Evidence For the Role of Nutrient Signalling in Acne Pathogenesis - A Commentary. Acta Dermato-Venereologica. 08 June 2012, vol./is. 92/3(228-31), 1651-2057

  3. Diet and acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Volume 63, Issue 1, July 2010, Pages 124–141

  4. The Association of Acne Vulgaris with Diet. Cutis 2011 Aug;88(2):84-91.

Have query or comments on acne diets or related info? Why not share your thoughts with us here? Use the box below.

Acne Diets: Have Your Say

What foods tend to worsen your acne? What has your experience been with eating one type or types of food and your acne? We would really love to hear from you. Please post your thoughts here.

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