Foods to EAT to Prevent Acne and Foods NOT to Eat

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

You might be surprised to find that some of the foods you eat actually cause acne breakouts. You might also be surprised to discover that chocolate isn’t one of them! But did you know that there are foods you can eat that also help prevent breakouts? If you eliminate the foods that tend to trigger acne outbreaks, then add foods that help prevent them, you should have naturally glowing skin from the inside out in a matter of weeks! No pills, no creams, no expensive visits to the dermatologist; just beautifully, clear, glowing skin.

If that sounds good to you, then keep reading and find out how your acne is related to what you eat.


1. Sugar

You might have already figured out that sugar causes breakouts. Studies prove that your suspicion is right. Now this doesn’t mean eating a candy bar this afternoon will lead to a couple of zits tomorrow morning- how much sugar you consume every day is what matters. You should cut out the sugar for your overall health, but if you indulge in a soda every afternoon for lunch, try changing that for water and see if your acne breakouts disappear.


2. Milk

Although scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is, a study done in 2010 showed a link between cow’s milk and acne. Cow’s milk spikes blood sugar levels, which increases insulin levels, which encourages the production of the oil on your skin. Most cow’s milk also contains hormones which can trigger the overgrowth of skin cells, which can block pores. One study done in 2005 showed that subjects who drank a great deal of milk as a teenager had more acne breakouts than those who drank little or no milk when they were teenagers. lso


3. Fast Food

This one is kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Greasy, fatty foods breed greasy, fatty skin. The trans-fats from these kinds of foods create a massive inflammation response in the body. Some studies have linked fast food to childhood asthma, mostly because of how it increases inflammation levels in the body. Inflammation leads to zits, friends, so if you want to keep eating that fast food for lunch, you better plan on not getting a date for Saturday night.


4. Processed Foods

By processed foods we are talking about things that break down quickly in the body and raise blood sugar levels, such as white bread, white rice, breakfast cereals, potato chips, cake, and pretzels, to name a few. When you choose whole, natural foods that have low glycemic index levels such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains, you will find that your skin clears up very quickly on its own.


SEE ALSO: 14 Steps to Cut Out Processed Foods and Begin Eating Real Food Again

5. Junk Foods

For many of the same reasons stated above, junk foods such as French fries, onion rings, candy bars, potato chips, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, and bacon cheeseburgers will contribute to the formation of acne on your skin. Read more how to stop junk food cravings.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Generally speaking, just eliminating the above foods can be enough to clear your skin up naturally. However, if you find that you still get a fair amount of pimples, even if you eat right, try eating more of the foods below. These foods can give you the edge when it comes to stopping acne.


1. Green Tea

Besides being great for your health, green tea can also fight acne. Scientists in South Korea discovered that by applying a cream that contains the same powerful antioxidants that are in green tea (EGCG) to the ears of rabbits, they could reduce the size of the oil glands, which for those with acne are generally enlarged. Another study using human subjects found that this same antioxidant improved acne during an 8 week random clinical trial. Try drinking green tea during the day, and then take those used tea bags and apply them directly to the parts of your face where you tend to get breakouts. Read also how green tea helps reduce the risk of one type of cancer.


2. Oysters

There have been several studies that show that zinc might lessen the effects of acne. Avoid supplements if you can, as getting too much zinc via supplements (more than 100mg each day) can result in serious side effects. You can get plenty of natural zinc in roasted pumpkin seeds, liver, toasted wheat germ and, best of all, yummy oysters.


3. Probiotics

Probiotics reduce inflammation in your digestive system, which leads to a lack of inflammation in your face. In one study done in 2011, it was shown that the micro flora in your intestine affects the inflammation levels throughout the body. It is already well known that pre- and probiotics reduce both oxidative stress and inflammation, which are thought to reduce acne outbreaks. Try eating more sauerkraut, miso soup, pickles, yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha tea.


4. Fruit and Vegetable Juices

This is a terrific way to get more healthy vitamins and reduce acne at the same time. Many vegetables contain beta-carotene, which naturally reduce the oils in your skin and are a natural anti-inflammatory. Dark, leafy green veggies also remove toxins from the blood, which tend to encourage the bacteria that cause acne.


5. Flaxseed Oil or Fish

Americans consume far too many omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation. Eating more omega-3 will balance it out and reduce inflammation. To get more omega-3’s, eat walnuts, fatty fish such as sardines, and flaxseed or flaxseed oil.


Ferdowsian Hr, Levin S, “Does diet really affect acne?” Skin Therapy Lett, 2010 Mar;15(3):1-2,5.

Adebamowo CA, et al., “High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne,” J Am Acad Dermatol, 2005 Feb;52(2):207-14.

Myung Im, et al., “Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Suppresses IGF-I-Induced Lipogenesis and Cytokine Expression in SZ95 Sebocytes,” Journal of Investigative Dermatology December 2012; 132:2700-2708.

Yoon JY, et al., “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes,” J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Feb;133(2):429-40.


One Comment

  1. Carol McLean

    Jan 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Sugar doesn’t cause pimples. If it did, little kids would be giant zits. Pimples are caused by testosterone (male sex hormone) and have little to do with diet. That’s why teens get pimples. The testosterone is just kicking in a boy’s teen years. It is proof that his body is maturing. In women, because of the fluctuation of estrogen and testosterone during her monthly cycle a woman is more susceptible to pimples when the estrogen in lower. (Women have both male and female hormones – just more of the female). Women who have acne want to talk to their doctor about checking their estrogen levels and maybe stabilizing their estrogen (with
    birth control pills).