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Reduce your acne by avoiding these food types

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Acne can be caused by a variety of things including diet, stress and hormonal imbalances which makes it very difficult to get to the root cause as to why any individual person has it. 

The best way to find out what is causing acne is through a process of elimination and changing certain lifestyle factors. 

Below we outline common foods that trigger acne. 

Dairy products 

Studies have shown links between consuming dairy products and acne breakouts. The reasons are that dairy products can increase insulin levels and androgens (male sex hormone) which can stimulate increased oil production.  


As much as we might like chocolate, ice cream or sugary drinks they cause havoc in our bodies. Consuming sugar causes our insulin levels to spike leading to cellular inflammation within the body. The imbalance this causes within the body can trigger acne breakouts. If that wasn’t bad enough it also breaks down our collagen and elastin reducing the firmness of our skin. 

White carbohydrates 

White carbohydrates like bread and pasta get broken down into sugars once consumed. Like eating sugars, this will cause an insulin spike which can lead to an acne breakout. 

Greasy fast food 

Greasy fast food can create inflammation within the body which can trigger acne. Fast food can also contain a lot of sugar which will also increase insulin levels. 


Alcoholic drinks can cause systemic inflammation which can trigger acne breakouts. Alcohol is also often mixed with sugary drinks which is giving the body two substances which can lead to acne. Alcohol also dehydrates the body impacting how well our cells and body can function. 

Think about how much of each of the foods above you consume on a weekly basis. If there is one you feel you eat a lot of try cutting it out for a few weeks. Cutting the food type out might impact how you feel as well as improve your skin. Make a not of how you feel whether it be lethargic, uneasy stomach or anything else and then use that to compare how you feel a few weeks later.

Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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