Nutrition and Acne

Acne and its causes can be a very complicated issue to sort out.  It’s not unusual for people to have acne issues all their lives without knowing the actual causes of their breakouts. This is because everyone is different, hormonally, genetically and environmentally.  What causes one person to break out may not affect someone in the same way.  But it’s generally agreed on, that food and other things you consume do have an impact on acne.  Here’s a list of a few foods and drinks that can make acne worse and some that can potentially make it better.



According to the American Academy of Dermatology milk maybe linked to acne and breakouts. It’s believed that the hormones found in inorganic milk are the culprits behind the breakouts. A better way to get your dairy fix would be to drink almond milk, soy milk or other types of dairy alternatives.



Foods with high amounts of sugar in them can absolutely lead to acne.  This is because sugar is pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is a key ingredient of acne breakouts.  Not only has sugar been proven to impair your immune system, but according to the health services at Columbia University, consuming 100 grams of sugar makes your white blood cells 40% less effective for up to 5 hours after ingesting it.



Drinking alcohol can change your hormone levels, which is big factor that influences acne.  Not only that, but habitual drinking can suppress your immune system which is a critical tool in the fight to keep acne causing bacteria at bay.  Compromising your immune system makes it much easier for bacteria to grow and thrive in the pores of your skin which can lead to acne.


Now that we have the bad news out of the way let’s take a look at some foods that can actually reduce and help prevent acne


Fruits and veggies


Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, goji berries and other dark colored berries are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are a immune system booster and can help to decrease the likelihood of breaking out. But why stop there, many vegetables such a kale, spinach and cucumber are also high in antioxidants and incorporating them into your diet will not only make you healthier in the long run but your skin will also be clearer.

Brown rice


Brown rice is a good source for not only vitamin B, but also protein, magnesium and many other antioxidants. Vitamin B is helpful in regulating hormone levels, and assists in forming red blood cells, both of which are important to good skin health.



Garlic should also be part of an anti-acne diet. Garlic is a superfood that has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a chemical by the name of “Allicin” that has the ability to kill many different types of bacteria, and viruses that your immune system might be fighting, and as we’ve pointed out, a healthy immune system significantly increases your chances of having clear skin.

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4 thoughts on “Nutrition and Acne

  1. Dorie says:

    This article does not surprise me in any way. I have noticed the correlation between diet and my skin since I was a teen. We ate white rice almost every single day, or had some other starchy food in its place. Whenever I indulge in some sweets I notice the effects pretty quickly. How doctors could have ever thought that there was no relationship between diet and bodily responses is beyond me!

  2. Shawna says:

    I’m 24 and suffer from mild to moderate hormonal acne and I am convinced that my breakouts are closely tied to my diet. Food -> hormones -> acne. It is so great to see this acknowledged by the media. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that “there is no link between diet and acne”

  3. pixie says:

    One of my friends found out she is truly sensitive to gluten, and it was responsible for her cystic acne, along with various stomach issues.

  4. gymrat says:

    Regular exercise and dieting, especially drinking water on a regular basis will charge your body, give you more energy and it will allow your organs (including your skin to be healthy and clear.

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