Acne Diet: 8 Acne-causing Foods you Should Avoid

Acne is a common skin disease that affects millions of individuals around the globe. While many factors, such as genetics, hormones, and stress, can contribute to the development of acne, acne-causing foods is another important factor that can impact the skin.

Certain foods, in particular, have been identified as possible acne causes.

Inflammation is one of the most common ways that food can affect the skin. Inflammation is a normal immune system reaction to damage or infection, but when it is protracted or overwhelming, it can cause a variety of health problems, including acne.

Acne and Foods to Avoid

Acne-causing Foods

Acne can be emotionally draining at any age. So, whenever there is absolutely anything we can do to avoid it, we pay attention.

We all know that the surroundings and genetics play a part, but diet also plays a significant role in our epidermis. This is fantastic news because it means we can prevent at least some outbreaks from occurring.

We spoke with skincare experts to find out exactly which foods we should avoid to keep our skin clear. These are general guidelines; if you have a serious skin condition, consult your doctor.

Before we start with the list, it is important to note that food is not directly responsible for acne. The foods listed below may cause a reaction only if you have acne-prone and excessively oily skin, poor gut health, and a lack of a proper cleaning routine.

Top Acne-causing Foods

It should be noted that the connection between diet and acne is complicated and varies from person to person.

Consuming acidic foods (such as citrus fruits or vinegar) may worsen acne in some individuals, while others may not observe any impact. Here are some foods to avoid if your skin is prone to acne:

1. Dairy products

According to several studies, consuming dairy products, particularly milk, can increase the risk of acne.

This could be because milk contains hormones and growth factors that stimulate oil production in the skin, resulting in clogged pores and acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Dairy products – Acne-causing Foods

2. High-glycemic-index foods

Sugary or refined carbohydrate-rich foods, such as white bread, pasta, and sweets, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

This, in turn, causes insulin to be released, a hormone that can increase sebum production and irritation in the face.

Acne-causing Foods
Carbohydrates – Acne-causing Foods

3. Fried and Greasy foods

Saturated and trans-fat-rich foods, such as fried foods, quick food, and manufactured treats, can all add to acne. These foods can cause inflammation and clogged pores, which can aggravate acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Fries – Acne-causing Foods

4. Chocolates

While evidence on the link between chocolate and acne is conflicting, some studies have suggested that chocolate, particularly milk chocolate, maybe a trigger for some people.

This could be due to the presence of sugar, dairy, and potentially acne-causing compounds known as methylxanthines in chocolate.

Acne-causing Foods
Chocolates – Acne-causing Foods

5. Spicy foods

Spicy foods can cause sweating, which can irritate the skin and result in clogged pores. Furthermore, some spices may have inflammatory properties that aggravate acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Spices – Acne-causing Foods

6. Processed foods

Processed foods, such as crisps, crackers, and packed munchies, frequently contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives, which can cause inflammation and the formation of acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Processed foods – Acne-causing Foods

7. Caffeine

Caffeine can cause the release of stress chemicals, which can contribute to inflammation and the formation of acne. Caffeine can also dehydrate the skin, exacerbating acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Caffeine – Acne-causing Foods

8. Sugar

Sugars, which we ingest as refined white sugar in our houses and other forms such as drinks, tetra pack juices, honey, and so on, are high in refined carbs.

These are quickly taken into circulation and raise blood sugar levels. The rise in insulin levels also forces extra sugar into your cells, causing acne.

Acne-causing Foods
Sugar – Acne-causing Foods


Q: What causes acne to get worse?

A: Acne breakouts can occur for a variety of causes, including hormonal shifts or hormonal instability, a poor diet high in deep-fried and junk food, the release of cortisol hormones due to stress, excessive sebum production, and much more.

Q: What’s the most prevalent rationale for acne?

A: Acne develops when tiny holes in the skin called hair follicles become clogged. Sebaceous glands are small glands located near the surface of the epidermis. Hair follicles, which are tiny holes in your skin from which individual hairs develop, are linked to the glands.

Q: Can acidic foods cause acne?

A: There is currently no convincing scientific evidence that acidic foods cause acne. Acne is mainly caused by an excess of sebum (oil) in the skin, which can block pores and result in the formation of bumps and other blemishes.

Having said that, some research suggests that a person’s diet may play a role in acne development. Consuming a lot of dairy products or foods with a high glycemic index (like sugary or prepared foods) may exacerbate acne in some people.

Q: What is the glycemic index and what does it have to do with acne?

A: The glycemic index measures the pace at which carbohydrates in meals are converted into glucose in the body.

High-glycemic-index foods, such as refined carbohydrates and sugar, cause a fast rise in blood sugar levels and can raise insulin levels, which can contribute to inflammation and an increase in sebum production. This may lead to acne formation.

Q: Is there any proof that certain substances trigger acne?

A: There is some evidence that certain foods may contribute to acne development in some people. However, the relationship between nutrition and acne is complicated and poorly known.

Q: Should I stop all acne-causing meals to avoid breakouts?

A: It is not essential to fully avoid all foods thought to add to acne. Instead, it may be beneficial to limit your intake of these foods and concentrate on consuming a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients.

Furthermore, keep in mind that everyone’s skin is distinct, and what works for one individual may not work for another.


There is increasing proof that certain foods may play a part in the development of acne, but more study is needed to determine the precise nature of the relationship.

High-sugar or high-glycemic diets appear to be most closely associated with worse acne and breakouts.

Milk and dairy products may also play a part for some individuals, and it may be worth experimenting with them to see if your acne improves.

Although a change in diet will not fix your acne, eating a nutritious, whole-food diet low in sugar may help decrease the frequency and severity of your breakouts.

While these foods have been identified as possible acne triggers, it is important to remember that everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Aside from genetics, hormones, and lifestyle habits, many other factors can contribute to the development of acne.

As a result, it is critical to seek the advice of a healthcare professional or dermatologist to identify the underlying causes of acne and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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