Food and acne. What causes it?

Food and acne

An acne breakout is one of the worst nightmares for most people. In fact, most sufferers will try almost anything to cure it or prevent acne breakouts. The link between food and acne has always been debated in the past, but new studies show a strong link between Food and acne.

In this article, you will discover a few food items that you might want to avoid if you are worried about acne breakouts.

Refined Sugars And Grains

Refined sugar and grains are pretty much a normal part of most people’s lives. Unfortunately, it may cause acne eruptions according to this study.

Refined sugars and grains may include:

* Rice and it’s derivative products

* White flour products such as pasta, desserts, and noodles

* Sodas

* Sweetened beverages

* Sweeteners such as agave, honey, maple syrup, and sugar

Carbs and sugars are closely linked with insulin. And, insulin causes the androgen hormones to be more active, boosting sebum production and making the skin cells grow more rapidly.

Dairy Products

According to study, there may be a strong link between dairy consumption and severe acne in teenagers. Some studies suggest that teens who regularly consume dairy products experience a four times greater risk of developing severe acne.

While it is still unclear how dairy products may cause acne eruptions, there are several theories. For one, milk is closely linked to increased insulin production. Also, cow’s milk contains specific amino acids, which are closely linked to worsening acne severity.

Fast Food

Your typical fast-food meal is rich in fat, calories, and refined carbs, which are not great if you are worried about acne eruptions. A study of 2,300 Turkish men who regularly consume sausages and hamburgers shows that such a group has a 23% higher risk of developing acne problems.

A study of 5,000 Chinese teens also shows that a high-fat diet increases the risk of developing acne problems by as much as 43%.

However, it’s still unclear how a fast-food diet causes acne. It’s been theorized that altering hormone levels and gene expressions may be the root cause.

Omega-6 Fats

Foods containing large quantities of omega-6 fatty acids are linked to increased acne eruptions and inflammation levels. Soy and corn oil are a few examples of foods that contain a high amount of omega-6 amino acids.

The acne eruptions may be caused because of the imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. When consuming too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 fatty acids, an imbalance may occur. When this happens, this may put the body into an inflammatory overdrive. ( Eventually, this will lead to severe acne eruptions.


Chocolate has been suspected of triggering acne breakouts since the early decades of the 20th century. According to a recent study, acne-prone males who consume 99% dark chocolate daily have an increased risk of developing acne lesions within just two weeks.

There’s also another study where males are given cocoa powder tablets on a daily basis. After a week, an increase of acne lesions has been observed compared to the group with a placebo.

It’s still unclear why there’s a link between chocolates and acne. Perhaps the best explanation is that chocolates increase the immune system’s reactivity to the bacteria that causes acne.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is usually served as a dietary supplement as it’s rich in amino acids. The amino acids help the skin cells to grow faster and divide more rapidly. On the downside, one very possible side-effect of that is acne breakouts.

Another reason why whey protein is linked to acne breakouts is that it stimulates the body to increase insulin production. The whey protein and acne breakout link are more prominent in males compared to females.

Dietary Allergic Reactions

There’s a strong correlation between inflammatory disease and acne. And some experts may even suggest that severe acne breakouts is just a manifestation of an inflammatory disease.

Consuming foods that you are sensitive to may cause your immune system to overreact. And this will, in turn, increase the release of pro-inflammatory molecules into your bloodstream. Ultimately, this series of reactions may aggravate your acne condition.

Keep in mind that not all food allergies are immediate. Some will manifest in the form of delayed hypersensitivity reactions. In other words, it may take time before the acne breakouts happen once you consume allergic-triggering foods.

In Closing

While there may be a correlation between some foods and acne breakouts, it’s always better to have a bigger picture. In other words, you’d want to take into account your overall health condition and lifestyle rather than worrying too much about a single food type.

Having said that, avoiding the foods that may cause a trigger an acne breakout may not be the entire story, but it’s still a step in the right direction. If you want to know more about food and acne or any other topic, here’s another article that may shed more light on the subject.


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