Acne Triggers & Fighters Unveiled

Can eating certain foods give you pimples and breakouts? Turns out, our eating habits affect our bodies more than you think. But don’t worry, because you can change all that by cutting out these six acne-causing foods for clearer and healthier skin.

First, a confession: My skin has been a veritable mess for the past three years. I escaped my teens with only a few instances of mild acne, only to be besieged with a cystic invasion along my jawline years later. Most of it was situated in a little aggressive constellation of grossness on my right jawline, so I’d tend to avoid even turning my face so I wouldn’t have to confront it.

But I noticed a marked difference when I dumped dairy. I talked to some dermatologists, aestheticians, and a physician to get their opinions on dairy and acne. It turns out the group is a house divided regarding a correlation between acne and dairy, but they dropped some knowledge about their respective stances, food those with acneic skin should avoid like a plague.

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  1. Bread
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Bread is problematic for many reasons. But when it comes to acne-causing foods, the main culprit here is gluten. Gluten can not only lead to small intestinal damage, but it also increases systemic inflammation.

One of the main triggers of acne is inflammation.

Interestingly, bread may be depleting some of your valuable antioxidant stores, which means you are more likely to develop acne through that mechanism, as well. In addition, many scientific studies have linked psoriasis to gluten sensitivity. Beyond that, there are even some studies which show that gluten sensitivity is linked to dermatitis herpetiformis. This condition is even sometimes called “celiac disease of the skin.” Bread is problematic for a lot of other reasons, as well, so it is best to leave this out of your daily diet. Try our delicious bacon weave fried egg sandwich recipe if you really miss this lunchtime staple.

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  1. Potato Chips
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Potato chips (made with white potatoes) are one of the most popular junk foods in the United States. However, not only are chips fried in nasty oils and lacking in almost all vitamins and minerals, they’re also one of the major acne-causing foods that ruin our skin. The reasoning here is largely the same as our first two points: chips contain far too many carbs, produce a quick insulin spike, and lead to systemic inflammation. On top of that, the industrial seed oils used in making potato chips are very high in omega-6 fats, which is very bad news for your body. Try eating some wild-caught fish (which is high in beneficial omega-3s) instead. This pan-seared tuna steak is delicious, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, and is just one example of the many better dietary choices out there.

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  1. Milk Chocolate
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There’s no older group of acne-causing foods than chocolate.

In fact, recent scientific studies have confirmed this link. But why is chocolate so bad for your skin? Well, you know that quite enjoyable cascade of chemicals and neurotransmitter action that occurs in your brain seconds after a decadent bite? Turns out that it is also causing a flood of acne-causing chemicals to disperse, as well. Mainly though, the problem with chocolate is the sugar. Chocolate may be great right after a breakup, but that quick sugar rush can wreak havoc on your skin. Steer clear, and opt for the very dark kind, if you must indulge. Darker chocolate will have more antioxidants and be much lower in sugar than milk chocolate. Win-win.

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  1. Dairy
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Milk is a staple in the standard American diet (SAD). But should it be? Dairy undoubtedly has a lot of problems. But when it comes to acne, there are two main issues which crop up. The first is that dairy is highly insulinogenic. This means that the body produces quite a bit of insulin when you consume milk. As we’ve already covered, this is bad news for your skin. But the second issue, somewhat unique to milk, is that it is a hormone-dense delivery system. Hormonal issues have been linked with acne problems for many years. If acne is an issue for you, definitely steer clear of dairy.

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  1. Ice Cream
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Ice cream may be one of the worst culprits when it comes to acne-causing foods. In fact, multiple scientific studies have linked ice cream to bad acne breakouts. Why is this? Well, you are not only getting the issues found in milk, but you are also adding in sugar! No wonder ice cream is a direct ticket to breakouts. If you absolutely have to indulge in some kind of frozen dessert, try to go for some frozen berries. These are much better options if you want to maintain clear skin.

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  • Soda
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Soda is hands down the worst acne-causing food or drink in the standard American diet. Besides being loaded with fructose, soda is entirely devoid of any nutrients. As pointed out by many different scientific researchers, soda is almost on par with alcohol when it comes to how damaging it is to your body. But how does it cause acne? Well, quite simply, fructose is sugar — and soda is loaded with both. This sugar causes a huge insulin spike, and then a subsequent crash, which is part of why you’re actually hungrier after consuming a soda. Ditch the dark brown poison, and replace it with water instead. Your skin will thank you.

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Acne Fighter

Timely Facials

My favourite remedy s to get a facial a week before my period. I find that this is the best time to catch pimples in the making. My go-to facial is Clear Blue facial.

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Pulsed Dye Laser

The pulsed dye laser, Vbeam Perfecta is a godsend when it comes to treating acne outbreaks that has gotten a mind of its own. What’s more? It does double duty reducing redness and soothing skin inflammation as well.


When it comes to pimples, prevention and treatment go hand in hand. I find that for me, my skin respond to adapalene based Flawless and a spot treatment such as Clear Bliss.


Sticking to a whole-food, low-sugar diet, is the best approach for limiting acne-causing foods. Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables (which are also beneficial for many other reasons), grass-fed protein, and healthy fats.

Since your skin is the body’s largest organ, treat it right, with a nutrient-dense diet. Of course, you must also not discount the importance of a proper lifestyle, as well. Get plenty of sleep (8-9 hours per night), drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, and exercise regularly. Do not use any harsh chemicals on your skin, and try to limit touching areas prone to acne. Having blemishes is a surefire way to ruin your day, so make sure you avoid the foods listed above to boost your confidence and look flawless!

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