New Year, New Hair! Enjoy 20% off your transformation Book Now
New Roots Hair Transplant Clinic


Any Query Call Us

Food that Causes Acne - New Roots

What Are The Food That Causes Acne? The Complete Guide

What You Eat Matters – Foods that Lead to Acne Breakouts

Do you find your skin breaking out a great deal more than a hormonal teenager’s? If yes, it most definitely could be because of what you’re eating. The role of diet in acne is like tight rope balancing! An acne prevention diet needs to be your go-to if you want to win this battle against breakouts! Whilst most people tend to rely on topical treatments to manage acne, it is a well-established fact that your diet plays a very crucial role in skin health.

Understanding the Connection between Diet and Acne

You may be taking absolute care of your skin – scrubbing, double cleansing, toning, moisturising and giving it loads of love and care! Then, why is it breaking out as if you are a teenager all over again? Well, your diet is to be blamed. Regardless of the fact that you are particular about what you eat and are eating a wholesome diet, there might be a trigger that is responsible for your breakouts and you need to ascertain what that could be.

The Role of Diet in Skin Health

What we eat directly influences our skin. A well balanced diet comprising of legumes, nuts, whole cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal to lessen inflammation in the body as well as regulating the hormones; this is turn brings down sebum levels and wards off the occurrence of breakouts. Make sure to cut back on sugar. Your sugar intake ought not to exceed 2 servings per day from fructose found in fruit. Steer clear of  sugars found in refined and packaged foods, such as cookies, biscuits, cakes. Eliminating sugar from your diet is the mainstay of acne management. You also must keep away from processed foods – these have an overload of sugar, salt, and trans fats – all of these cause massive exacerbations of acne. The more fruits, vegetables, whole cereals and legumes you integrate in to your daily menu, the clearer and more radiant your skin.

Medical Studies Linking Acne and Food

Doctors, researchers and scientists have conducted scores of case studies and clinical trials to ascertain the relationship between diet and skin. Results demonstrate that following a low glycemic diet helps manage acne better as well as staves off new flare-ups. Low-glycemic foods include – fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, lentils and whole cereals.


Here are 2 case studies revealing what happens when you switch to a healthy, wholesome diet based on low glycemic foods.


2,258 American patients were asked to follow a low glycemic diet, so as to shed unwanted weight. Alongside, following the diet also decreased their acne. 87 % of participants said they saw a marked reduction in their acne, and 91 % said they required lesser acne medications.


In another study, out of 43 males with acne (15 – 25 years) some consumed their usual diet, whilst some were put on to a low glycemic diet for 3 months. Results revealed that those on to a low glycemic diet had way lesser flare-ups compared to those who consumed their usual diet.

Specific Foods that Lead to Acne Breakouts

Here’s a round-up of certain foods that cause, trigger as well as exacerbate acne flare-ups. An acne prevention diet will yield wonders. You need to know the foods causing acne and eliminate them from your diet; if your skin clears up, they sure are the culprit!

MILK – Dairy Products and Acne

Studies show, about 65 % of the adults are lactose intolerant. Milk, not only adversely affects the GI system, it can also set off acne on your face. Research data at the American Academy of Dermatology demonstrates a very strong relation between acne and milk. Milk is loaded with bovine growth hormones, and these tend to affect your body as well as they tend to stay in your body, even after the milk has been pasteurized. The bovine growth hormones present in the milk influence your hormones in your body, and this results in increased oil production – leading to acne. It is very important that you identify whether milk is your trigger and then it would be most prudent to switch to non-dairy milk options, such as almond milk or oat milk. Your flare-ups are sure to clear up within a month!

SOY and it’s Impact on Acne

Soy can get your hormones out of whack as well as inflame your skin. Soy is packed with isoflavones, which function like estrogen in your body. When the hormone profile oscillates dangerously, it causes hormonal acne flare-ups, more so, around the jawline. If you’ve been having too many breakouts, you ought to steer clear of soy and it’s products. Also, make sure that you read labels very carefully; soy is known to lurk in a whole bunch of foods, right from protein bars to hot dogs and burgers. You should swap out soy for nut-based products instead. Substituting soy milk with almond milk or cashew milk will help clear up the acne. Also, other legumes, such as lentils, peanuts, kidney beans, and chickpeas are good sources of protein and you could replace soy with these.

SUGAR – Inflammation and Acne

Sugar is the most inflammatory food, consuming large amounts of sugar leads to acne. When you include aerated drinks, sweets, and baked goods in to your everyday diet, it is a sure-fire way to cause inflammation in your entire body. Your body absorbs the sugar very fast, causing the sugar level in your blood to spike and this prompts an inflammatory response. As a consequence, more insulin is released by your body to help bring down the blood sugar level; this in turn affects the other hormones, which increases the oil production in your skin, thereby setting off massive  breakouts. Research shows there is a very strong link between sugar and acne. Sugar wreaks havoc on your skin, and you would be doing your skin a huge favour by keeping sugar in your diet to a bare minimum. 

FATTY FOOD – Fast foods and Acne

Foods that are loaded with saturated fat and trans fat cause undue inflammation in the body which in turn sets off acne. Biscuits, cookies, fried foods and greasy foods ought not to be a part of your diet.

MEAT – Going Vegetarian and Acne

Dermatologists claim that those on a plant based diet have a healthy glow to their skin! Clinical trials and case studies show that people who have acne, see a drastic reduction in breakouts and flare-ups when they eliminate or substantially cut back on their intake of meat. What’s more, the powerful antioxidants and fibre in fruits and vegetables detoxify your gut, and consequently the skin, thereby promising you to healthy acne free skin.

REFINED FOODS – High Glycemic Index Foods and Acne

Refined foods such as white bread, pasta, and sugary foods cause your insulin level to zip and this results in uncontrollable acne. By and large, refined foods are high glycemic carbohydrates, made of simple sugars which significantly increase your risk of acne eruptions. You need to understand the relationship between high glycemic index foods and acne.

Role of ALCOHOL in Acne Breakouts

Alcohol is the biggest inflammation trigger and consuming undue amounts is bound to show up on your skin. Furthermore, when you consume large amounts of alcohol, the absorption of zinc gets affected negatively, and zinc is known to give you a clear acne-free complexion.


This, it would be wise to keep away from these foods if you are suffering from or are susceptible to acne breakouts.


Having eliminated these from your diet, if you still do not notice a change in your skin, then you need to discuss with a dermatologist to manage your acne better. To a great extent, it is easy to deal with acne at home, however, some cases are serious and need medical intervention.

Seeking Professional Advice for a Customised Skin Care Plan

When careful skin care, modifications in the diet, and over-the-counter topical applications fail to tackle acne, you absolutely must confer with a dermatologist. Timely treatment will prevent scarring. We, at the New Roots Hair Clinic will help empower your skin and treat the root cause of your acne. We provide a treatment plan that will be the best fit for you and we employ the most advanced equipment and techniques for skin care. We are proud to have an all-star team that understands and discusses your beauty goals and we promise to support you in your beauty journey!

Your Takeaway!

There are numerous acne treatments available which will help treat and manage acne well. However, it can take several weeks for noticeable improvements to be seen. Integrating medications, topical ointments, along with an ‘acne’ diet will yield brilliant results. So, your secret fix is adjusting your diet! Nutrient rich foods and acne reduction work in close partnership! When you have stubborn breakouts, it most definitely is a sign that you’ve indulged in loads of sugar, refined foods, or alcohol! Watch your diet!


The biggest culprits that trigger acne are –


  1. Sugar
  2. Refined foods
  3. Milk

The most important factor affecting your skin is your diet – it has a pivotal role to play. Foods that raise the blood sugar very quickly are responsible for setting off acne eruptions. When the blood sugar shoots rapidly, it causes the body to release large amounts of insulin. An excess of insulin in the blood makes the glands manufacture a lot of oil, and this increases your risk of developing acne. Alongside, sugar is a big inflammatory agent, causing widespread inflammation in the body and this too provokes an occurrence of breakouts.

A Western Diet comprises of –


  • Cereals: instant oats, processed breakfast cereals, white rice
  • Pasta: spaghetti, macaroni, ravioli
  • Fried foods: wafers, chips, French fries
  • Baked goods: doughnuts, muffins, cookies, croissants, bread, bagels
  • Snacks: biscuits, chocolates, crackers, pretzels
  • Sugar-sweetened drinks: fruit juices, sports drinks, soda
  • Alcohol: beer, whisky, vodka

All these foods suddenly and rapidly increase the blood sugar level. When the blood sugar level spikes, it causes an increase in the production of the hormone insulin. Huge amounts of insulin in the blood cause the glands to synthesize large amounts of oil, which encourages the onslaught of acne. What’s more, sugar is an inflammatory agent too, causing extensive inflammation throughout the body which in turn fosters acne.

The high glycemic foods contain carbs that get rapidly absorbed in to the blood stream and make the blood sugar level shoot. This leads to an increase in the level of insulin in the blood which in turn triggers the occurrence of acne. Incidentally, sugar is  also directly associated with large scale inflammation in the body, which excites acne eruptions.

Foods that have a high glycemic index and a high fat content increase the blood sugar level suddenly and considerably. Subsequently, insulin levels shoot too, which cause a rise in sebum levels and this sets off awful breakouts. Patho-physiologically, what is happening is, your pores get clogged because of a rise in the production of sebum and this encourages the growth of bacteria which is responsible for the development of acne.

The elimination diet will help you ascertain which food is your trigger. You will have to turn detective and figure out which specific food item is bringing on the acne! After some trial and error, you will be able to establish which food is your trigger. You must then eliminate that food item and see if you find a respite in the breakouts.

Opt for a plant based diet, consisting of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce your consumption of meat and dairy. Steer clear of refined, processed, junk food. Keep your sugar intake to a minimum; if possible, swap out sugar for jaggery and dates. Integrate loads of cherries, strawberries, mangoes, chickoos and mangoes to deal with your sweet tooth. In place of dairy, substitute almond milk or oats milk. Ensure that you do away with all the acne causing foods and look for alternatives.

Book Appointment