Foods bad for acne

5 June 2018

Ainsley Hunter

Diet is critical when considering the effect that foods have on skin. People with bright and beautiful, blemish-free skin will tell you that they drink a lot of water and eat healthy foods. Foods that contain excess sugar, oils and spice can cause indigestion, acidity, fluctuation in hormone levels, infections, and skin conditions.

How does food affect the skin?

Acne and conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dryness, and so on are signs of liver dysfunction. Overburdening of the liver causes a slump in the detoxification process of the body. This slump and sluggishness of the liver cause skin conditions that can turn harmful.

Correct foods help flush toxins from our system. However, when the liver is unable to get proper nutrition and function efficiently, the body tries to flush toxins through other means like through the skin. When toxins are eliminated through the skin, they can cause pimples, acne, rashes, dermatitis, blackheads, and other harmful skin conditions.

Foods like fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants properties and help the liver function faster and more effectively. The liver can detoxify the body faster to remain healthy and prevent skin conditions.

Let us look at a few foods that are bad for acne and should be avoided.


Dairy products are pro-inflammatory and can worsen existing skin conditions. If you have acne, rashes, eczema, and so on, avoid dairy and dairy products at all costs. Dairy also tends to weaken gut health and can result in leaky gut syndrome, stomach pains, and gas. Dairy products may cause food sensitivities, inflammatory response in the skin, and lactose intolerance in the system resulting in skin breakouts, pimples, and acne. Dairy and dairy products also contain the ability to clog the liver and skin.

Replace dairy products with nut milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk. These unsweetened nut kinds of milk are smooth on your liver and gastrointestinal system.


Refined carbs:

Refined carbs are nothing but processed sugar and processed flour that break down into complex sugars. Refined carbohydrates have little nutritive value and can hamper the working of your digestive system. Sugar is food for bacteria that cause harm to your system and helps the bad bacteria grow and overtake the good bacteria in your digestive system. Bacterial conditions such as candida aid in the growth and spread of body and face acne throughout the body resulting in sensitive skin and red, patchy skin.

Refined carbs also increase the production of oil in your skin and can clog all your pores resulting in pimples and acne on the face, neck, near the lips, shoulders, and upper back.

Replace refined carbohydrates with natural sweeteners like honey, raw maple syrup, coconut nectar and so on. These naturally occurring sugar substitutes have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels and can be easily digested. They do not hurt the skin and help prevent acne and break-outs.

refined carbs


Wheat is high in gluten and phytic acid. These ingredients are the reason it is tough to digest bread easily. Wheat is also directly related to rising gluten intolerance in a majority of the population. White flour, whole wheat flour, and so on can affect the sensitivity of the skin when not made according to specification. Consumption of pure wheat flour is helpful to the skin, but when mixed with white or refined flour, the wheat loses its nutritive value and harms the skin.

Replace wheat with amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, and so on. These whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and help the skin get clear while retaining moisture. Buckwheat has low glycemic levels and does not affect blood sugar levels as severely as wheat.



Gluten is a protein found in grains like oats, barley, and so on. It can also be found in processed meats, condiments, and sauces. Gluten is difficult to digest and causes an unnecessary chemical reaction in the gut. These reactions do not allow the complete breakage and absorption of food particles into the blood and instead, allow undigested food to get absorbed into the blood directly. When there is an entry of undigested food into the bloodstream, the body tries to eliminate the foreign particles through the skin. Inflammatory skin conditions, acne, rashes, breakouts, and so on are probably due to low tolerance for gluten in the body.

Replace gluten with millet, quinoa, amaranth, and gluten-free oats to clear the bloodstream of impurities and return the skin to a natural glow. You should consider opting for an acne face wash as it may clean your skin up enough to eat small portions of your favourite foods without affecting your acne. Also sleep may play a big part in acne, its always best to rule things out before turning to food, consider making your bed and sleeping environment comfier in cases where you struggle with sleep. Opt for a mattress protector if your mattress is uncomfy, a pillow for side sleepers if you sleep on your site or even ear plugs if your room has background noise. Other things like tanning lotions can also block your pores, there are plenty of external factors which may be the reason you get acne.