Break Out of It! Avoid These 5 Foods, Get Rid of Acne

There’s nothing quite as bad as having a big day ahead of you – be it a photo op, presentation or party with a long guest list of gorgeous people – only to discover that a huge red zit has moved in on your face. Wasn’t clear skin supposed to be one of the advantages of no longer being a teenager?! Actually, acne effects around 80% of people between 11 and 30, and can extend well beyond those years. Don’t panic and resort to ordering an expensive, toxic treatment system that will do more long-term harm than good; consider looking for the root of the problem. You may discover that your eating habits are leading to poor skin and that a few small adjustments in your diet will clear it right up.

The skin is our body’s biggest organ and it plays two major roles – absorbing and eliminating. When you put unhealthy food into your mouth, any toxins that your internal system can’t handle make their way out through your pores. While an individual’s genetic makeup and hormonal balance play a big role in the persistence of acne, the following are common culprits that cause embarrassing blemishes:


You likely already know that too many treats, especially chocolate, can lead to breakouts. Hate to burst your bubble, but alcohol falls into the sugar category. These indulgences can lead to a surge in insulin, which by way of the excretion of a greasy substance called sebum can lead to clogged pores. Have something that is naturally sweet instead like cantaloupe or sweet potatoes, which are also rich in the blemish-buster beta-carotene.


Yep, too many glasses of milk, slices of cheese or dishes full of creamy desserts can lead to pimples. Researchers believe this is because of all of the hormones and additives (estrogen, progesterone, steroids, etc.), as well as the natural sugar content. However, calcium-rich foods are important for healthy skin, so make sure to get the vital nutrient from lots of green vegetables like soy, broccoli, kale and collard greens.


If you’re already cutting out or reducing sugar and dairy, what’s the point in drinking coffee or caffeinated tea? Even if you like it black, the caffeine content is another acne trigger because it can throw your hormones off balance and cause the body stress. Luckily you can get energy from certain foods and get your flavor fix with herbal tea or coffee alternatives like Teeccino.

Processed/Refined Foods

Food that is high on the glycemic index, salty and/or glutenous (baked goods, chips, anything white) affects the blood sugar and hormone levels. Like sugar, these edibles also lead to excess insulin and thus acne-causing bacteria build-up – no thanks! Focus on whole, fresh, organic foods like gluten and dairy-free goodies. Try some kale chips, and choose produce that is rich in color (especially green, orange and red).

Oily Or Fried Foods

While most research concludes that oil doesn’t cause pimples, some believe there’s a correlation. It is mainly thought to be an issue with low-quality, super processed oils, which can increase insulin and rev up the follicles. Plus, fried foods don’t do us much good anyways. Enjoy things that are rich in healthy fats, like avocado and nuts, and opt for baked items instead of fried.

While it may seem like you’re being asked to limit all the finer things in life, it’s absolutely possible to have a varied, satisfying diet. Have as much fresh, organic produce, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds as you’d like. Your skin will love all the fiber, protein, omega-3s, vitamins and natural digestive enzymes. Turmeric, ginger, green tea and berries are also thought to help open up your pores. Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated and flush out any lingering nasty toxins. Outside of nutrition, your skin will also respond well to more sleep, less stress and as much exercise as you can fit into your day.

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Image: tommerton2010