For years, doctors and experts have been debating over whether what you eat causes acne or not. It’s one of the most talked-about skincare related concerns and just like how complex each person’s skin type is, proving the link is not that simple. Doctors are still looking for proof between the diet a person has and the breakout that happens later on.

There is one thing that they’re sure of: poor dietary habits and nutrition can make teens and adults even more likely to have breakouts. Take a look at the ways your diet can affect your skin:

Sugary Food and Carbohydrates

You can deny that these sweets have had a bad reputation for decades. Recent studies have shown that it’s not the cocoa that’s doing the damage and causing acne, it’s the sugar that’s to blame.

When you have a diet that’s high in simple carbs and sugar, acne breakouts are more likely to happen. This is due to additional insulin that your body creates, which then produces more skin oils and adds to clogging of your follicles. Foods that spike your blood sugar and should be avoided include:

  • Drinks with high sugar content (soda)
  • Processed food (cookies and chips)
  • Starches (potatoes, bread and pasta)


There are studies that have suggested that dairy products like milk are the cause of breakouts. A lot of additional research is needed to confirm this, but initial reports are citing the growth hormones and factors found in milk as a trigger for acne. This could be true on a case-by-case basis so one way to see if it applies to your skin is to stay clear of dairy for one month and take note of your complexion.

Greasy Food

This one can be a bit tricky: eating greasy food like fries, pizza and burgers might not create more oil, but working in a greasy environment sure does! If you’re constantly surrounded by oil particles due to fast food or flipping burgers, this can clog your pores by coating your skin.

To prevent acne breakouts, you don’t need to go so far as to stay away from your favorite fast-food joint or quit your job. What you do need to prioritize is cleansing your face as soon as you get home. Choose a gentle cleanser that’s alcohol-free and you’re good to go!