Harmful Foods That Cause Acne

Updated on January 22nd, 2020
foods that cause acne

Acne usually refers to a skin problem that is observed when hair follicles are plugged with immense oil and accumulation of skin cells. It usually leads to blackheads or pimples, and can eventually cover various body parts. It is observed that people who have a good amount of vitamins and other essential nutrients in their bodies usually have a lower probability of getting acne.

You can avoid foods that trigger acne. There is a strong link between food allergies and acne.


  • There are also many hormonal factors that help contribute to the overall growth of acne.
  • It is observed that acne growth is found in more than 85% of teenagers.

List of Foods That Cause Acne in Adults

One of the primary foods that trigger acne includes bread, pasta, rice, noodles, sugary drinks, etc. Other products include dairy, chocolate, whey protein, fast food, etc. Also, foods that cause pimples tend to contain omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. Fast food is another harmful variety of foods that give you acne; also, it could lead to allergies that cause acne. These are the main foods to avoid acne.

Tests conducted by scientists prove that people having excessive cocoa in their food are more susceptible to acne.

Foods that Cause Acne

Below is a list of foods that tend to increase the chance of acne

1. Dairy

Several studies(1) have found a link between the consumption of dairy products and acne. Milk has also found to increase the insulin levels in the body, further contributing to the severity of acne. Regular consumption of products like milk and cheese, among others, have been found to increase acne levels in teenagers and adults alike. Cow’s milk, in particular, is also known to contain amino acne, which some studies have shown to be a cause of the development of acne.

[Read: Benefits of Tomato for Acne]

2. Refined Carbohydrates such as Pasta, Bread, etc.

Refined carbs and fats contained in foods like pasta, burgers, and so on, have been found to cause acne. It has been suspected that they alter gene expression and hormone levels in a manner that leads to the development of acne. As a result, it has often advised that a high-fat diet rich in refined carbs be avoided to reduce the development of more acne.

3. Fast Food

Fast Food
Image: Shutterstock

Fast food, often found in diets of western countries, has often been found to lead to the development of acne. These foods are high in fat and refined carbohydrates that change hormone levels and contribute to the growth of acne.

4. Dry Fruits

While fruits are said to be effective in providing the body with nutrients that can fight acne, the dried variety is much less so. They contain refined carbohydrates that lead to a rise in the insulin levels, further causing acne. This, in turn, increases oil production that clogs the pores on the face, leading to more acne. Increased consumption of dried fruits has also been shown to increase the severity of acne.

[Read: Supplements For Acne Treatment]

5. Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein powder is a common dietary supplement(2), especially consumed by those who go to the gym a lot. However, aside from its muscle-building benefits, it has also been found to be a cause of acne. The amino acids present in it are said to be the primary cause. Several studies have also shown an increase in the severity of acne with a longer duration of the consumption of whey protein powder.

6. Milk Chocolate

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate has often been said to be a cause of acne. However, there hasn’t been a definite understanding of how this works. While the cocoa present doesn’t seem to be a cause, the milk, sugars, and often, trans fats can be major contributors. As a result, for those who can’t stay away from their daily dose of chocolate, dark chocolate will prove to be a better option.

[Read: Benefits of Grapeseed Oil to Get Rid of Acne]

7. Alcoholic Cocktails

Several alcoholic cocktails like margaritas and mojitos contain a high amount of sugar, which is a well-known contributor to the formation of acne. Apart from that, alcohol also has a tendency to dehydrate the body and leads the skin to dry up, further increasing oil production, causing acne. Thus, if you want to consume alcohol, switch to wine-based drinks as the antioxidants present in it do not contribute to the development of acne.

Acne is not damaging but can leave scars behind, which is usually due to intense itching.

It is observed that acne can have multiple causes which could be genetically related, or based on the weather, diet, hygiene, age, etc. However, one should not be perturbed with acne since there are plenty of remedies available to mitigate its effects. A few dietary changes can go a long way to help you develop radiant skin. Researchers have linked American diets as one of the causes of acne.

Adequate sleep is highly essential for healthy skin. One must also try to reduce stress in their daily lives. Stress leads the skin to produce more oil, and this leads to the growth of bacteria, causing chronic acne in some cases.

[ Read: Diet for Acne Treatment ]


1. Do Eggs Cause Acne?

Generally, foods that are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 cause acne. Nowadays, eggs rich in omega 3 are easy to purchase at a store. These are relatively more expensive, and since they contain omega 3, they help in propagating acne growth.

2. Does Sugar Cause Acne?

Yes, an excess of sugar in any food or drinks such as fizzy drinks, juices, etc. causes acne. Excessive consumption of sugar also causes other diseases in the long run. It is thus ideal for controlling your consumption of sugar.

3. Does Cheese Cause Acne?

Dairy products are one of the major reasons for acne growth. However, one should make a conscious decision considering the overall benefits and drawbacks. Keep in mind that these products contain vital ingredients that are essential for the body.

Acne is observed amongst 3 in every 4 people aged 11 to 30 years.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top

Sign up for our Newsletter !
Get access to quality &
Natural Health Tips right from the Experts
Subscribe !
Send this to a friend