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Acne Diet: is it a thing?

June 25, 2020 2 min read

Acne Diet: is it a thing?

There is no doubt certain foods can cause a acne breakout. If there is such a thing as a hormonal "acne diet", avoiding the following food categories (or reduce your intake) has been shown to keep acne under the control: 
  • Avoid excess dairy - this can lead to increase in sebum production
  • Avoid excess sugar - sugar raises your insulin levels which causes a rise in inflammatory markers
  • Avoid high intake of processed food such as refined carbohydrates or those with a high glycemic index - these too can raise insulin levels, leading to a rise in inflammatory markers. A large study was conducted in the US found patients who were on a low glycemic index diet not only lost weight, but 87% found their acne had improved dramatically and 91% reported needing fewer acne medications
  • Zinc supplements have been shown to assist in the management of acne and skin repair. Studies have shown 20mg-40mg daily is sufficient, just remember to take these after food to avoid nausea

 

Foods which have been found to have a positive effect on individuals with acne:

  • Foods which are high in antioxidants as these are also anti-inflammatory
  • Increase consumption of fish and healthy oils which are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (also known as γ-linoleic acid).  

Where you are breaking out can also give an indication of what is going inside your body. Check out our acne mapping guide. 

 

Author: Helen Huynh 

Pharmacist and Editor for ellé derm

 

References:

1. Baldwin, H. Tan J (2020) "Effects of diet on acne and it's response to treatment." American Journal of Dermatology. Aug 3. doi: 10.1007/s40257-020-00542-y

2. "Can the Right Diet Get Rid of Acne?" (2020) American Academy of Dermatology. Cited 12/08/2020

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/diet