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What Foods Cause Acne?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What foods cause acne? Acne is a common condition that affects about 10% of the world population. And the types of foods we eat contributes to acne that is on our face. This sounds like a cliché, but we are what we eat.

And if you eat junk food, do you think your body outside will reflect something that looks good? You always know when you meet someone who has good skin that eat well. The vitality of your skin is a reflective of what you eat.

It has nothing to do with any special unique cream you put on your face. There is a saying your skin is associated with what you put inside your body not what you put on your skin. And that is called inside out.

What Foods Cause Acne?

  • Dairy Products. There have been studies that have been associated with dairy products with teenagers in terms of the development of acne. Milk is known to increase your insulin and blood levels which can cause acne development.

There still needs to be more research on exactly what type of dairy potentially causes this. And what is the cause and effect of this relationship.

  • Eating Chocolate. There have been studies that have linked chocolate to high levels of acne on the skin. In fact, there was a study on men where they consumed 25 grams of dark chocolate. And 14 days later they had acne on their skin. There was another study where males were given capsules of cocoa powder and one week later, they had acne development. The research clearly shows the link between chocolate and the increase of acne on the skin.
  • Eating Fast Food. Fast foods like burgers, fries, pizza, fried chicken, sodas. If you are eating all these regularly it can cause acne. There was a Turkish study done on 2300 men and those men ate burgers and sausages. That led to a 24% increase in acne development. There was another separate study on 5000 Chinese teenagers and young adults that were eating fast food high fat diets showed an increase of 43% of acne development on the skin.
  • Diets that contain Omega 6 Fats. Foods that contain omega 6 fats such as fish, walnuts, almonds, soy, and corn oil, etc. This has shown an increase in inflammation which at times can cause acne in the skin. Especially if you are eating substantial amounts of these Omega 6 diet foods. There still needs to be more cause and affect research to 100% validate this.

What foods cause acne?

The Bottom Line: One of the best ways to eliminate the foods that link to acne is to create a food diary. And write down the foods you eat every day.  And then you can eliminate the foods immediately that give you acne development. When you are keeping track of what you eat in a notepad or diary. Then it will help for you to pinpoint the foods that cause you sensitivity in your skin.

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References

Vongraviopap S, Asawanonda P. Dark chocolate exacerbates acne. Int J Dermatol. 2016 May;55(5):587-91. doi: 10.1111/ijd.13188. Epub 2015 Dec 29. PMID: 26711092.

Dark chocolate exacerbates acne – PubMed (nih.gov)

Caperton C, Block S, Viera M, Keri J, Berman B. Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Assessing the Effect of Chocolate Consumption in Subjects with a History of Acne Vulgaris. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 May;7(5):19-23. PMID: 24847404; PMCID: PMC4025515.

Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Assessing the Effect of Chocolate Consumption in Subjects with a History of Acne Vulgaris – PubMed (nih.gov)

Blasbalg TL, Hibbeln JR, Ramsden CE, Majchrzak SF, Rawlings RR. Changes in consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):950-62. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.006643. Epub 2011 Mar 2. PMID: 21367944; PMCID: PMC3076650.

Changes in consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century – PubMed (nih.gov)

Dupont J, White PJ, Carpenter MP, Schaefer EJ, Meydani SN, Elson CE, Woods M, Gorbach SL. Food uses and health effects of corn oil. J Am Coll Nutr. 1990 Oct;9(5):438-70. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1990.10720403. PMID: 2258533.

Food uses and health effects of corn oil – PubMed (nih.gov)

Wei B, Pang Y, Zhu H, Qu L, Xiao T, Wei HC, Chen HD, He CD. The epidemiology of adolescent acne in North East China. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Aug;24(8):953-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03590.x. Epub 2010 Mar 10. PMID: 20337811.

The epidemiology of adolescent acne in North East China – PubMed (nih.gov)

Aksu AE, Metintas S, Saracoglu ZN, Gurel G, Sabuncu I, Arikan I, Kalyoncu C. Acne: prevalence and relationship with dietary habits in Eskisehir, Turkey. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Dec;26(12):1503-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04329.x. Epub 2011 Nov 10. PMID: 22070422.

Acne: prevalence and relationship with dietary habits in Eskisehir, Turkey – PubMed (nih.gov)

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