What Foods Cause Acne?

It is a teenager’s worst nightmare. The first day of school is approaching or there is a big dance coming up and when they wake up in the morning and look in the mirror they see that they have a pimple starting to form.

It can send some teenagers into a state of panic trying to do something about it. They might make the mistake of trying to pop the pimple to get rid of it, but this only makes it worse. It is much better to try to take steps to prevent the pimple from ever appearing than it is to try to clear it up after it forms, and one of the ways to do this is through diet. Many teenagers would benefit from learning what foods cause acne and how they can improve their diet to help prevent breakouts.

Myths of Food and Acne

What Foods Cause Acne

Teenagers will hear from their parents that if they eat certain foods, they will be more prone to acne breakouts. Fried foods are thought to help cause the skin to create more oil.  Soda is said to have an impact because of the sugar content. Most teenagers will hear that their addiction to chocolate is the reason they are facing breakouts. These are things that adults and kids are convinced are behind all of the acne breakouts in the world, but the research that has been done is not conclusive. Because of this research it is impossible to come up with a definitive list of foods that cause acne for people to avoid.

Impact of Different Foods

There are certain foods that researchers have focused on when trying to figure out if there is a connection between food and acne. One example follows the question: Does dairy cause acne? The thought is that the hormones that are present in dairy products can throw off the natural hormone balance in the human body and cause an outbreak. The simple answer is “Yes” milk, or most dairy products, can cause acne. It contains the growth hormone IGF-1 which increases inflammation and acne breakouts. Dairy also spikes insulin, increases sebum production, and clogs pores, all of which can result in more frequent outbreaks. Unfortunately, dairy products are an integral part of the modern diet, and eliminating them from your diet can be a daunting task. Instead, consider moderation and try to consume products without added hormones.

Fatty and fried foods are another set of items that are on the list of foods to avoid. These foods are full of fat, and not the good fat, which is thought to combine with the natural oils that are already in the skin and can lead to oily skin and therefore more breakouts. What many people do not realize is that there are many different types of fats.  Saturated fats and unsaturated fats impact the body in different ways. A healthy diet will need to include some fats.  The key is to make sure you get plenty of the healthy fats (unsaturated fats) and limit the amount of unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats). While there is no evidence that this will help prevent acne breakouts, it will help improve an individual’s overall health and that goes a long way.

Foods That Can Help


While some people might focus on foods that can cause acne, it might be better to find the foods that can help prevent acne. Foods that prevent acne might be better to eat than avoiding acne causing foods.  A good diet will include foods that contain sulphur. Such items as eggs, cabbage, and dried beans are important to hair health and that in turn can help with acne breakouts.  Zinc is another important mineral to include in the diet. Zinc is essential for the immune system and for skin health and can be found in foods such as oysters, wheat germ and other seafood. While oil in the skin is the cause of acne breakouts, foods that contain essential fatty acids need to be included in a healthy diet. Nuts and seeds are the perfect way to get these oils in your diet. Vitamin A and Vitamin E are considered to be very good for skin health. If you cannot get an adequate amount of these vitamins in food they can be found in many supplements. Fish oil is also a good supplier of essential vitamins and omega oils.

What About Chocolate?

Chocolate has long has a reputation for causing acne. Researchers have spent a lot of time trying to figure out does chocolate cause acne without coming up with a definitive answer. The thought process is that the oils in the chocolate cause your skin to become more oily and the sugar in the chocolate spike insulin levels, increasing inflammation. This combination, in theory, could lead to more breakouts. It is possible that eating too much chocolate can cause acne and researchers will continue to try to find the connection, but it has not been shown yet. Chocolate can help people avoid some stress by providing them with a comfort food when they need it the most, but it should only be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Conclusion – Follow a Healthy Diet

Instead of looking for foods to avoid, it is better to think about what you should be eating. The key to good health has always included eating a healthy diet. It is okay to eat many different types of foods as long as it is done in moderation. If you are able to eat foods that contain the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body craves for in the right amount you will be able to avoid acne breakouts. A healthy diet will lead to a healthy body which will help your immune system and your ability to cope with all of the stress in your life.  It is time to stop worry about what foods cause acne and start to consider what foods will help keep the body healthy. This might not be a lesson that teenagers want to learn and it can be difficult to follow, but it is the best choice.

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