Foods That Cause Acne

10 Foods That Cause Acne and Breakout

What you eat does not just affect your health, it can also affect your skin — for good or bad. Learning about these 10 foods that cause acne and breakout will help you know what food to avoid if you want to fight acne and breakout.

Acne is a skin condition that affects almost 10% of the world’s population. The link between food and acne is controversial, but recent studies reveal that diet plays a substantial role in acne development.

Foods That Cause Acne and Breakout

Before we delve into foods that cause acne, you should know that food does not directly cause acne.

Only if you are acne-prone and have excessively oily skin, or have poor hygiene, then the following foods can cause a reaction.

1. Sugar

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Sugars, which are taken as refined white sugar and in other forms such as sodas, juices, tetra packs, etc. are rich in refined carbohydrates. These raise your sugar levels as they are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.

The raised insulin levels push excess sugar into the cells, which then causes acne.

2. Milk

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The higher your milk intake, the more prone you are to have acne – particularly if it’s skim milk. Scientists are still trying to understand why, however, the culprit could be the hormones made by pregnant cows, which wind up in their milk.

People with higher levels of these hormones in their blood could develop acne.

3. Chocolate

Dark Chocolate
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Dark Chocolate

Research shows that eating more chocolate is likely to cause pimples. Why it is so is not clear. The key component of chocolate, cocoa, doesn’t seem to be the cause.

In one research, people who took chocolate with 10 times higher cocoa were not likely to develop pimples when compared to people who ate the common type.

Dark chocolate, with lower sugar and milk content, could be a better option to control your acne.

4. Fast Food Or Junk Food

Fast Food Or Junk Food
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Fast Food Or Junk Food

A research evaluating the occurrence of acne in adolescents revealed that adolescents with acne did not have healthy dietary habits.

The researchers concluded that eating a lot of fast foods such as fatty foods, cakes, pastries, burgers, sausages, and sugar could increase the possibility of having acne or aggravate it.


5. Non-Organic Meat

Non-Organic Meat
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Non-Organic Meat

Steroid hormone drugs like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are usually used to speed up the growth rate of animals. This is done so they are ready for consumption faster. These drugs have been approved by the FDA.

Eating this type of meat could trigger acne by increasing the activities of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) and androgens.

6. Caffeine

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A study reveals that coffee lowers insulin sensitivity. This means your blood sugar levels will remain high longer than usual after drinking coffee. This could increase inflammation and worsen acne.

Another study that evaluated the food of Kitavan people who didn’t have acne revealed their diet involves a small intake of coffee, sugar, oils, alcohol, and dairy products.

7. Canned Food

Canned Food
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Canned Food

Canned, frozen, and pre-cooked foods are considered processed foods. They usually have added sweeteners, preservatives, oils, and spices used for flavoring.

Ready-to-eat foods and spicy or sugary foods are often heavily processed and can cause acne.

8. Alcohol

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Who doesn’t enjoy a little tipple? However, you should slow down as there are some skin-related issues associated with it. A high amount of alcohol in your system could raise hormone levels and lead to excess sebum production.

One of the lead causes of painful pimple breakouts and clogged pores.

Also, these increases could cause an imbalance in estrogen levels which can in turn increase the frequency and intensity of the next acne breakout! Alcohol also weakens your immune system.

9. Lean Meat And Animal Protein

 Lean Meat
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Lean Meat

Most people have fairly large pimples that are dark red which appear along the jawline and the neck.

Excessive eating of meats such as chicken, mutton, and red meat can cause these pimples, although the link is unknown.

10. Desserts

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Just know that anything that tastes or feels like a dessert will affect your health and body just like a dessert would. In a bad way, we mean. Desserts are heavy in calories and low in nutritional content.

They are filled with fat and a sure avenue of acne. It’s time to back-pedal on your sugar intent.


While the jury is still on whether certain foods have a link to acne, there are foods that cause acne and outbreaks.

So if you know a certain food that gives you pimples, it is best you avoid it. On the other hand, learn to be happy regardless of the acne as acne will come and go.