A nutritious diet has a host of benefits. Consuming healthy foods can decrease your chance of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers. But what about diet and acne? Is there a link between the two? When it comes to preventing and managing acne breakouts, what you eat matters! In this post, we’ll look at what causes acne and how your diet contributes to its development. Keep reading to find out what to eat and what to avoid.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Hormonal Changes: This is why the teenage years are often associated with acne breakouts
  • Clogged Skin Pores: Wearing makeup or other skin and hair products can contribute to acne-causing clogged pores.
  • Overproduction Of Oil The Skin: Stress, genetics, humidity, or pollutants are all factors here.
  • Medications: Certain medications can lead to acne breakouts.
  • Diet: Certain foods can promote inflammation in the body and affect hormones, triggering acne breakouts.

Food To Keep Out Of Your Diet

You might associate a greasy burger and fries with pimples and acne. While a diet consisting of fast food won’t be great for your skin (or your general health), there’s much more to it than that. For a deeper understanding, consider exploring a comprehensive guide to acne treatment, which delves into all contributing factors and offers evidence-based recommendations for maintaining clear skin.

Let’s take a look at some other common food triggers:

Milk and Dairy

Studies consistently show that consuming cow’s milk (particularly skim milk) and other dairy products is directly correlated to acne breakouts. This is likely due to growth hormones and steroids in milk. Other dairy products include cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. Try decreasing your dairy consumption or switching to organic milk and dairy products to help manage acne.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

We all know too much sugar isn’t good for us. High-sugar foods spike blood sugar and raise insulin levels in the body. When eaten in excess, processed sugar can lead to many health issues. The body’s inflammatory response to sugar can increase sebum production, causing your skin to become oilier and more prone to acne. Of course, many sugary foods include typical sweets such as cakes or candy. However, sugar also hides in foods you might not know, such as refined carbohydrates (white bread or pasta), breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and other sugary drinks. These are sometimes known as “high-glycemic” foods. Try to be aware of how much sugar you consume on a typical day. It might be more than you think!

Some Fatty Foods

Not all fats are made the same! Pay attention to the type of fats you consume, especially if you struggle with acne. Fried foods, processed foods, baked goods, and red meats might trigger acne breakouts. These foods contain “bad fats” – trans fats or saturated fats. These fats can stimulate the production of hormones that cause excess oil to be secreted, contributing to acne breakouts. However, keep in mind that not all fatty foods are bad. Fats from food such as avocados, oily fish (such as salmon), nuts, or seeds can be very healthy in appropriate portions. If your fat intake is a concern, take some time to research the difference between “good” and “bad” fats so you can adjust your diet accordingly. Your skin will thank you!

Food to Consume

We’ve covered several foods NOT to eat to help prevent acne breakouts, but are there certain foods you should add to your diet? A diet consisting of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods is the best thing for your health and your skin. Let’s get a little more specific:


Studies have shown that low zinc levels in the diet are often correlated with bouts of acne. Zinc is important for skin development and regulating hormone levels. Since the body does not produce this mineral on its own, we must obtain it through our diet. Some foods high in zinc include nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans), seafood (oysters, shrimp, blue crab, sardines), meat (turkey, beef, pork), and fortified cereals. Incorporating these into your diet can be a key step in overcoming acne scars.


Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals in the body – molecules that can harm cells and increase inflammation. They are commonly found in fresh fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, apples, beets, tomatoes, squash, and more.

Always talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns concerning your diet. Proper nutrition promotes healthy skin, reduces acne breakouts, and improves your health and longevity.

However, some people are more prone to acne than others. It might seem like no personalized acne clearing routine could work, but with professional guidance, you can find effective strategies tailored to your unique needs.you still suffer from frequent, stubborn breakouts, no matter how hard you try.

Take Care Of Your Skin With The Right Diet!

If changing your diet isn’t enough to clear your acne, or if you’ve been left with permanent scarring from a previous breakout, there are many professional treatments available.

The highly skilled professionals at EverYoung Medical Aesthetics are here to help you with your cosmetic goals, including innovative options like blue light therapy. Contact us today to find the right treatment for you, whether you’re exploring cutting-edge techniques to rejuvenate your skin or more traditional methods.