Does Food Really Affect Acne?

Acne or pimples are something that is very common & totally uninvited. ‘Oh God, Not Again!’ is the feeling when you wake up in the morning with that unwanted skin pop-out, right? Well, we all have experienced that. 

Whenever we witness a pimple, the one thing that comes to our mind is food. We start analyzing what we ate yesterday or before witnessing a pimple. But is food really a reason for your acne? 

Well, firstly let’s understand how & what causes acne. 

Our skin has open pores which have hair follicles & sebaceous glands which produce sebum (oil). They release the oil which makes the pore clear and keeps the skin soft & lubricated. When these pores get blocked due to excess secretion of oil, dirt, pollution, bacteria, or dead skin cells, oil does not find its way to get released hence, the result is a pimple or a zit. 

Along with these, stress, hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pre & post-pregnancy, menopause, etc; skin inflammation; medications; hair products; makeup; genetic factors; and smoking are also the contributors of skin breakout.

Food & Acne Relation

Nutrition, food & healthy diet is important & affects the whole body. But when it comes to food & acne relations, there is no study that claims that diet or certain food is the sole reason for acne. However, it is truly being said that ‘food is our medicine’, but consuming anything within a certain limit is not harmful. We have been taught to stay hydrated, to drink water, but drinking excess water also affects the body in some or the other way, so does the food we consume. 

Irrespective of the unclarity on ‘food & acne relation’, there are some studies that say, consuming certain types of food may trigger the oil secretion & become a helping hand in causing acne. 

According to some studies, it has been claimed that people whose vitamins intake like Vitamin A, Vitamin E & Zinc is more are likely to have lesser pimples. And on the other hand, a combination of a diet high in sugar & fats increases the blood sugar level which contributes to causing acne. 

Some scientists believe that a low-glycemic diet and less consumption of dairy products can help in controlling the secretion of oil & leading to lesser acne. Low Glycemic food includes fresh vegetables, leafy vegetables, beans, fresh fruits & oats. 

The best way to keep the glycemic index in control is by avoiding high in sugar, refined & packaged food & drinks. 

As per some studies, you may consider the following conclusions for acne –

1. Avoid medicines & supplements
2. Consume food high in vitamins & zinc
3. Lower the consumption of refined sugar & dairy products
4. Low-glycemic diet may help 
5. Stay hydrated
6. If you have oily skin, avoid oily & greasy food 

Even though food may not trigger the breakouts, limiting the consumption of fast food, oily, greasy & sugar-infused food will make your lifestyle a little better leading to a healthy body & skin. 

You can always keep track of your food & daily activities whenever you’re witnessing acne to find out if it’s the food, your lifestyle, or hormonal changes that are causing the acne. If a certain food is really triggering your breakouts, try to avoid them. 


The bottom line is that the relationship between food & acne is quite ‘controversial. Having said that, you can freely enjoy having your favorite food but with certain limitations and in moderation.