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5 Types of Food That Cause Acne

December 22, 2020 by VitalSkin Dermatology

healthy food to reduce acne

You always hear rumors about certain foods “causing” acne. The truth is that many of the foods that cause acne actually pass under the radar, so to speak. What’s more, these foods are at the heart of the Western diet. Many of us consume them on a regular basis, unaware of the fact that we may be aggravating our acne in the process. The following five foods are some of the biggest culprits, according to ongoing research. These foods can increase your body’s inflammatory response, skin growth and more, making you acne that much more difficult to eliminate.

1) Refined Carbohydrates

Many of us already know that eating refined sugars and grains isn’t the healthiest option, but what many don’t realize is that refined products can increase acne, as well. It all comes down to the insulin levels in your body. As “simple” carbs, refined grains and sugars spike your insulin levels quickly, creating conditions that exacerbate acne. As insulin levels increase, so do androgen hormones and a substance known as IGF-1. This combination makes skin cells grow at a faster rate and increases sebum production, as well. If you’ve already been avoiding simple carbs for your weight and health, pat yourself on the back because you’ve been doing your skin a favor, too.

2) Milk & Dairy Products

This one surprises many people! Research is ongoing but initial studies show some evidence that milk and other dairy products can aggravate acne. This may be related to insulin or amino acids in cow’s milk that trigger the liver to create more IGF-1. While the word is not final on this one, you may want to reduce your consumption of dairy if you have severe acne. Skim milk is thought to be more triggering, so switching to 1% or 2% may do the trick.

3) Omega-6 Fats

Omega-6 fats have also been shown to increase inflammation in the body and increase symptoms of acne. What are Omega-6 fats and where do you find them in your diet? Primarily, you’ll find them in soy oils and corn oils. What’s more, you may not be consuming enough Omega-3 fats, which creates an imbalance in the body and exacerbates the situation. If you experience acne on a regular basis, try to reduce consumption of Omega-6 products and turn to Omega-3 foods, such as fish and some nuts, to create a better and healthier balance of fats in your system.

4) Whey Protein Powder

Everyone’s favorite supplement may also be a villain in the acne wars. Whey protein powder, which many use to increase protein intake or as an alternative to meat, has been associated with increased occurrences of acne in some studies. The data is still limited and research is ongoing as to exactly how whey protein may cause acne.

5) Fast Food

Yes, fast food is “fast” and easy, but it may also be aggravating your acne. Fast food is comprised almost entirely of processed and refined carbs, as well as unhealthy fats. This combination creates ideal conditions for acne in your body. Avoiding fast food and turning to healthier options can significantly reduce occurrences of acne and its symptoms.

Acne is a stressful condition and the fact that some of our favorite foods can exacerbate it makes it more so. While the transition may be difficult, making a few dietary changes can greatly improve your acne symptoms. Want to learn more about acne and what you can do to address your acne? Schedule a consultation with a dermatologist today to find a way to healthier and clearer skin.

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