Foods that Cause Acne – What Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers

Can foods cause acne? If so, which are the foods that cause acne, and which foods to avoid acne? Learn more on foods that cause acne, those that can prevent, cure, reduce or help in avoiding acne breakout. You will cover diary foods, oily, refined, sugary, caffeinated, etc that cause and those that help in reducing acne breakout.

Foods that Cause Acne – Which Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers - Acne Breakout
Serious Acne Breakout

If you have acne that never disappears, one of the causes of your acne could be the foods you eat. In this article, some of the basic questions that will be answered include

  • Which foods cause acne or do certain foods cause acne?
  • Which are some of the foods to avoid for acne?
  • Does junk food cause acne or do fried foods cause acne?
  • What are the best diets for acne or which foods cure acne?

Foods that Cause Acne

Acne breakout is not only a nightmare to teenagers but also to anyone who is involved in unhealthy eating habits, besides the other causes.  There are a number of foods, which have been found to trigger or cause acne, which you should be know.

Although initially the connection between foods and acne was considered a myth, it is now real after the 2002 study publication in Archives of Dermatology on refined carbs.

While looking at foods that cause acne, we will first generally look at these foods before mentioning a few specific foods that cause acne.

Refined Carbs and High GI foods

Foods that Cause Acne – Which Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers
Refined foods can be the cause of your acne

Refined carbs are among the foods that cause acne that everyone should avoid. These foods have higher glycemic index (GI) and they include white bread, refined cereals for breakfast, chips, cookies, cake, white rice, and sugary foods. They often spike the insulin level, which will in turn lead to hormonal responses, and acne will be one of the results.

Oily and Fried Foods

Foods that Cause Acne – Which Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers - Oily Foods
Oily Foods could cause acne breakout

Pimples and acne can be caused by various foods that contain super refined and low quality fats. These foods that cause acne havethe same effect as refined carbs as they increase insulin levels that triggers production of hormones. Some of these hormones cause secretion of too much sebum that clogs the pores causing acne breakouts. However, not every research supports the fact that fried foods cause acne.

Instead of relying on fried foods that cause acne, it is good to go for foods that reduce acne such as avocado and nuts which are rich in fats but do not cause acne.

Dairy foods

Generally, avoid dairy products especially too much cheese, milk, whey, skimmed milk and creamy deserts. These foods are believed to cause acne due to their high content of natural sugars and hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, steroids, etc. Instead, go for green leafy vegetable rich in calcium for such as kales, spinach and broccoli.

According to an article that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2005, there was a confirmation that acne can be caused by dairy products. Milk has a lot of hormones since they are produced by cows which have just given birth.

Sugar and Sugary foods

Another group of foods that cause acne is sugar and sugary foods. Too much sugar consumption as well as sugary products such as chocolates and alcohol can lead to increased secretion of sebum by the cells. Too much sebum is one of the main causes of acne since it tends to clog pores on your skin. Instead, they should go for gluten free sugars such as stevia, xylitol, etc as these foods help cure acne.

Caffeine and Caffeinated Drinks

As we have seen, sugar is one of foods that cause acne. This is the same case with caffeine and caffeinated tea. Caffeine will stress your body and cause hormonal imbalance, which will in turn trigger acne.

Specific foods that cause acne breakout – Going to specific foods, that are very popular include chocolate, spicy foods, cheese, peanut butter, sushi, milk, pizza, French fries, potato chips, fast foods, ice cream, carbonated drinks such as sodas, etc.

Recommended foods for Acne Cure, Treatment and Reduction

Having seen the foods that cause acne, the next question that everyone is eager to ask if foods cure acne. The answer is yes. Good foods can help cure acne especially those rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and any other food that has anti-inflammatory properties.

People who have stopped eating the above foods that cause acne can turn to the below foods that prevent acne or cure it. These foods that cure acne have shown changes to some people after six months, according to  Dr. William Danby, a renowned Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Dartmouth.

Green leafy vegetables

Foods that Cause Acne – Which Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers - Foods that prevent acne
Fruits and vegetables can help prevent or cure acne

Some of the recommended foods that prevent acne, which you should eat in plenty, include a lot of fruits and vegetables especially those with vitamins A such as green leafy vegetables (helps reduce production of sebum and pimple growth). These foods that cure acne include spirulina, artichoke, chlorella, the normal green leafy vegetables, etc.

Foods Rich in Zinc and other Minerals

Other foods you should eat include foods plenty of zinc such as mushrooms, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, green peas, calf’s liver,  nuts, etc. These foods that prevent acne will help in lessening skin inflammations, irritation and blotches. All these are known to worsen acne breakouts.

Deficiency of zinc is one of the causes of acne breakouts. For instance, nuts, also contain copper, selenium, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium, which are essential for a healthy skin.

Foods with Omega Fatty Acids

Foods that Cause Acne – Which Foods Cause, Prevent, Cure, Help, and Reduce Acne Breakout on Adults and Teenagers - Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids can help cure acne

Foods that have omega fatty acids have been found to help in reducing, curing or preventing acne breakouts. Some of the foods that include fatty fishes, such as sardine, trout, mackerel and salmon as well as plant omega fatty acids such as flaxseed seeds that have been ground, flax oil, walnuts, soybeans,  chia seeds, etc work as anti-inflammatory.

Body inflammations are one of the reasons why people often have clogged pores and consequently acne breakouts.

Low GI foods

Another group of foods that prevent acne is the low GI foods. These foods are mainly whole grains such as whole grain bread, pure bran cereals, legumes, brown rice, nuts, berries, oranges, pears, grapes, legumes and nuts. These foods, when combined with green leafy vegetables provide enough fiber that help in elimination of waste products from the body.

Other foods include

Garlic – Has allicin, a naturally occurring chemical that helps in killing viruses and bacteria that are harmful as well as helps in fighting inflammations. It can help cure acne

Broccoli – This food for preventing acne helps in for clearing the skin as it is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K and B complex, which are antioxidants. As you might know, antioxidants help in fighting free radicals that have damaging effects thus making your skin luminous.

Alfalfa Sprout – This green grass like plant has a lot of skin clearing nutrients and enzymes that fight inflammations. This makes it an ideal food to prevent acne.

Fennel – Fennel is one of the ideal skin cleansers you should not miss in your diet. This root vegetable will also improve digestion, get out excess toxins from the body and reduce swelling. If you eat fennel, it can help cure acne or at least reduce acne breakouts.


We have seen foods that cause acne and foods that can help prevent, reduce or cure acne. If you keenly checked the two lists of foods, you will notice that most of the foods that prevent acne are considered healthier and have many other benefits to the body.

Suggested Further Reading on Sensitive Skin

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