Acne isn’t just a problem for teenagers. It can continue well into adulthood. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), adult acne is an ever-increasing problem, with about 15% of women complaining of breakouts.
Americans spend billions of dollars a year on over-the-counter skin care products in the form of creams, gels, and masks. However, no amount of expensive products can give you flawless skin if your acne is caused by other factors.
What causes acne?
Acne can be caused by a variety of factors:
Below, we list foods to eat and foods to avoid when it comes to clearing acne.
6 foods that help clear acne
- Fiber: Eating a diet high in fiber can help, since fiber helps to control your blood sugar levels and therefore controls the amount of oil your skin produces. Try including more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
- Fatty fish: Studies show that eating foods with omega-3 fatty acids can improve your acne over time. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower inflammation and reduce the production of a protein involved in the release of insulin growth factors. You can find these fatty acids in fishes like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna.
- Healthy oils: Consider using healthier oils like walnut, soybean, and canola oil. These also contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help keep acne at bay.
- Nuts: Nuts are a good snack option, since they are chock full of antioxidants that people with acne are often lacking, such as vitamin E and selenium. While there is no definitive data that proves the link between nut consumption and clear skin, there is no harm in including these healthy foods in your diet, as long you eat in moderation.
- Zinc: Zinc has been shown to have promising results when it comes to clearing up acne. Rich food sources of zinc include oysters, poultry, nuts, beans, whole grains, and fortified cereals.
- Probiotics: Probiotics help balance gut bacteria, which may have many beneficial effects including an increase in anti-inflammatory fatty acids in the blood.
What foods should you avoid with acne?
- High glycemic foods: Sugar and carb-rich foods like rice and pasta have a high glycemic index, meaning they cause your blood sugar levels to spike and stimulate the release of insulin. Hyperinsulinemia often influences the levels of other hormones involved in sebum production.
- Milk: Milk, especially skim milk, is often pointed to an acne trigger, although scientists are still unsure as to why. One of the potential reasons is because milk contains certain hormones. If acne is a concern for you, consider switching to organic dairy products or plant-based milk.
- Chocolate: Studies have found that breakouts are linked to chocolate consumption, although cocoa is likely not the culprit. If you do have chocolate, go for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, as it contains less sugar and milk.
- Saturated fats: Foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat, cheese, butter, and hydrogenated oils, cause high concentrations of insulin growth factors in your blood. These insulin growth factors stimulate the production of hormones that trigger acne.
Latest Skin News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Academy of Dermatology. Can the Right Diet Get Rid of Acne? https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/diet
Baldwin H, Tan J. Effects of Diet on Acne and Its Response to Treatment [published correction appears in Am J Clin Dermatol. 2020 Dec 26] Am J Clin Dermatol. 2021;22(1):55-65. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32748305/
Top What Foods Help Clear Acne Related Articles
How to Get Clear Skin: 15 Proven Tips for Fighting AcneAcne is the most common skin problem that affects more than 80% of people at some point in their life. If not treated properly, it can lead to scars and dark marks on the skin which might take longer to go away.
Acne (Pimples)Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This inflammation, depending on its location, can take the form of a superficial pustule (contains pus), a pimple, a deeper cyst, congested pores, whiteheads, or blackheads. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the acne.
Acne PictureExactly what causes acne? Acne develops when cells and natural oils begin to block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. See a picture of Acne and learn more about the health topic.
Acne QuizAcne is the most common skin disorder in the world. If you suffer from acne, you are not alone and many treatment options are available. Learn more about pimples, blackheads, and comedones with the Acne Quiz.
How to Get Rid of AcneWhat is the best treatment for acne vulgaris? Can food choices influence acne? How can you get rid of blackheads? Learn why it's a bad idea to pop pimples, how pimples form on the face, arms, chest, back, and legs, and what to do with painful cysts, ice pick scars, and acne mechanica.
Dealing with Adult AcneAdult acne causes include hormones, medications, makeup, and other things. Adult acne is treated with medications, products, face washes, and home remedies. Use a skin care regimen provided by your dermatologist to treat adult acne.
Cystic AcneCystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This form of acne is known to scar. Treatment may incorporate the use of hormonal therapies, oral antibiotics, and prescription medications.
How Do You Treat Cystic Acne?Whether you get occasional whiteheads or persistent pimples, acne can be painful and frustrating. Luckily, most acne breakouts will clear up on their own. Cystic acne is different. Learn what medical treatments can help ease your cystic acne symptoms and speed up your recovery.
How Does Stress Cause Acne?Excessive amounts of sudden and prolonged stress may cause changes in the brain and body chemistry. Stress increases the risk of acne by drying out the skin, ramping up oil production and increasing levels of stress hormones which ages the skin.
How to Get Rid of Pimples Fast: 11 WaysAcne is a common skin condition that affects the hair follicles and oil glands on the surface of the skin. The skin has several tiny hair follicles at the base of which the hair starts growing. These hair follicles are connected with small oil glands called sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance called sebum.
Acne and FoodHow can you get rid of acne breakouts with nutrition? Does this food cause acne? Milk, chocolate, and seaweed are all considered by some to promote acne. Find healthy foods that promote acne treatment. What can diet changes do to improve acne care?
Teen Girls Skin CareWant to know how to get rid of blackheads? Discover tips on clogged pores, sunscreen SPF and how to remove makeup for different skin types like dry skin and oily skin in these health tips for teens.
Skin QuizWhat's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!
What Actually Gets Rid of Acne?We all love surprises, but not all surprises are pleasant. One such surprise being acne or pimple that may appear like an uninvited guest on our face. Often, this may happen right before an important event, such as a function or a presentation. Acne is one of the commonest skin conditions affecting almost everyone at some point in their life.
What Is Best for Acne Treatment?The best treatment depends upon the cause of acne and associated factors, such as your age and severity of acne. The treatment options for acne include Lifestyle management, topical (externally applied) antibiotic medications, topical retinoids, oral medications, light treatments, chemical peels, and topical tea tree oil.
What Is Considered Severe Acne?Severe acne causes breakouts that often extend deep into the skin. In severe acne, a single pimple or cyst can stay on the skin for weeks or months at a time. Grade III acne is considered severe acne.
Why Do We Get Forehead Pimples?Why do we get forehead pimples? Learn the signs of acne on the forehead, how to treat it, and how to prevent future breakouts.