Experts still debate whether a diet plays a significant role in the increase of acne. However, some pieces of evidence totally support this argument. There are some studies that suggest to consume specific types of food to prevent or reduce acne breakouts. 

Acne is the most common skin condition that has no particular golden cure that may work to all skin types. It typically starts when a person reached puberty, and may be prevalent during the ages of 12-24. It mainly caused by oily skin and several types of lesions like pimples. Though may be different in appearance as there are different types of acne, some people could get frustrated and depressed by just having them on their body. 

We may still be learning about that “great cure” to any type of acne or pimple, a 2016 survey, published under the National Center for Biotechnology Information, showed that 71 participants claimed that fatty and greasy foods cause acne. Some believed that chocolate, dairy, and soda drinks were responsible for the breakout. However, Dr. Vicky Belo said in an interview that chocolate, especially dark ones, do not cause acne, but dairy and milk do. 

The Effect of the Diet to the Skin 

When a person has hit puberty stage, his/her body produces more IGF-1, a hormone called insulin-like growth factor. The increase of this certain hormone boosts the production of sebum that primarily causes acne. 

Certain foods can also increase IGF-1 levels, therefore avoiding these particular types of food could improve and prevent acne breakout. 

Types of Food to Avoid: 

Dairy Products

  • milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • ice cream

Foods with High Glycemic Index (GI) and High Glycemic Load (GL)


GI – this determines how fast and high a type of food can raise levels of blood sugar
GL – allows a person to compare types of food with different GIs and portion sizes. 

By calculating these two, you can determine the types of food that are more processed. The more processed the food, the higher its GIs and GLs. 

  • breads, especially white bread and bagels
  • sweetened breakfast cereals: corn flakes, puffed rice and bran flakes
  • instant oatmeal and grits
  • enriched pastas: rice based pasta
  • short grain with rice
  • snack foods: pretzels, rice cakes, and popcorn
  • some fruits and vegetables: melons, pineapples, pumpkins, and potatoes

The American Academy of Dermatology, however, suggests that avoiding high-GI foods may help more with your acne than avoiding dairy products. 

Another study also proved that sweetened foods could cause more acne than fatty and greasy foods. It’s not the fat and oil in food that cause oily skin, but the overactive sebaceous glands. 

Types of Food That May Reduce Acne: 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – more studies support that a diet rich in this healthy fat may reduce inflammation and improve acne appearance. 

  • fish: mackerel, salmon, and sardines
  • pastured eggs 
  • soybeans and soy products: tofu
  • spinach and kale
  • navy beans
  • grass-fed beef
  • nuts: walnuts and almonds
  • flaxseeds
  • mustard seeds
  • wild rice 

Antioxidants and Dietary Fiber – meanwhile, further studies suggest that foods rich in these two compounds may also fight acne. 

  • pecans
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • artichokes
  • kale
  • pears
  • apples
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • broccoli 

Therefore, determining and planning your daily diet may help the condition of your skin. However, even by having a healthy diet, yet you keep your vices and unhealthy lifestyle, this will not do good. You can get rid of acne by regularly cleaning and protecting your skin from direct sunlight, using facial products that suit your skin type, and avoiding picking, scratching, and touching your pimples.


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