Acne is every teenager's nightmare, right? It is reported that 85% of people have acne at some point in their life—this makes acne number one skin disorder in the United States and probably in the world. While acne is most common during adolescent ages, it may affect you at any point or any age—even in your 50s and beyond!
While mild to moderate acne cases are not physically dangerous, they can take a huge toll on your psychological state. They are embarrassing! The last thing you would want before a weekend night out is a face full of pimples, right? Don’t worry, we are here to help, and have compiled a list of foods that are a possible cause of your breakout or are a reason why your pimples won’t clear up.
If you are wondering whether there is a link between acne and diet, the answer is yes! Here are five foods that can trigger acne and that you should completely keep off your menu if you are struggling with acne.
A shocker, right? Milk is a staple in the Standard American Diet (SAD). But should it be on the SAD list in the first place? Dairy has been associated with countless health benefits due to presences of proteins, essential fatty acids, saturated fats, and much more—all of which help your body in countless ways. But, if you are struggling with acne problem, you would want to steer clear of drinking milk.
Dairy milk is highly insulinogenic—meaning that when you are on a high milk diet, your body will produce a lot of insulin—which is bad news for your skin. Milk has also been associated with hormonal issues—and as we already know, hormonal imbalance is a major cause of skin acne (1, 2). If you already have pimples issues, absolutely stay away from milk!
This sugary treat is extremely sweet for your tongue, but seriously bad news if you are struggling with acne. Even though the evidence is not clear on chocolates literally causing a breakout, the fact that it is a high sugar food is a cause of alarm (3). Dr. Ava Shaban says, “High sugar/ high-fat diet can increase sebum production and promote inflammatory responses in the body…which can lead to acne.”
According to study recorded in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, in 2014, chocolate actually causes a breakout or increases pimples on your skin mainly because of high sugar concentration. Steer clear, but if you must indulge, go for the darkest ones as opposed to the milk ones—they are lower in sugar and contain more antioxidants. Win-win, right?
Unlike chocolate, the link between cheese and acne is clear; numerous studies have recorded this link (4, 5). In one study called The Clear Skin Diet, for instance, it was recorded that cheese triggers a hormonal insulin outburst which promotes sugar absorption by your skin cells—which causes acne. Even worse, if you already have acne, the cheese will worsen the situation by increasing the number of blemishes and making it hard for you to clear them out. Simply, keep off!
One of the most consumed junk foods out there. If you have acne, this is one type of junk food you would want to completely avoid. Chips are fried in nasty oils, which is a disaster for your skin—as it causes pimple outbreaks. Besides, chips are filled with carbs, lead to systematic inflammation, and produce a quick insulin spike—all of which are calamitous to your skin!
Bread brings about several health problems, but when it comes to acne the main culprit is gluten! Gluten not only increases systematic inflammation, but it can also deplete your body of important antioxidants, which means that you can develop a breakout (6). According to many studies such as one conducted by NCBI, gluten in bread has been associated with numerous skin problems such as psoriasis and dermatitis herpetiformis (7). Therefore, you should not only stay away from bread because you have stubborn acne, but also because you can develop other skin issues as listed in this study.
Other foods that might trigger acne breakout include bagels, spicy foods, some nuts, peanut butter, sushi, pizza, and many more. Indulge in foods high in nutrients and minerals if you want to clear out acne issues once and for all.