There are several factors why you may be getting breakouts. People say they get breakouts more often by doing certain things or going to certain places. The fact of the matter is breakouts are the result of many, many different factors.

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Air quality, diet, genetics, lifestyle factors, personal health can all be the cause of your breakouts. The one we will be identifying and discussing today is food. For many people, food can be one of the leading causes of their breakouts and today we’ll be discussing the ones that might be the main culprits.

Foods That Cause Acne

foods that cause acne

1. Dairy Products

Studies have shown that a link between dairy products such as milk and cream may be the cause of acne development for teenagers. Although more research needs to be done to conclude the relationship between dairy products and acne development, there are indications that dairy products can negatively affect existing breakouts and create new ones.

Milk is known to increase insulin levels and blood sugar to worsen acne severity. Cows milk also contains amino acids that can stimulate the liver to produce more IGF-1, which can also lead to increased acne development.

2. Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, noodles and anything with flour are known to lead to breakouts. This is because refined carbohydrates may spike up insulin levels and blood sugar. High levels of insulin make androgen hormones more active and will contribute to the development of acne and boosting sebum production; the oil that is produced from the pores.

The same goes for sugar. Products such as lollies, sodas, syrup, and sugary condiments can increase acne development. Just like refined carbohydrates, sugar boosts insulin levels. Although in theory, refined carbohydrates may affect breakouts, more research needs to be done to conclude this as a fact.

3. Fast Food

It is still relatively unclear on whether fast food has a cause and effect relationship on acne development. Yet, plenty of research around the world has shown that increased consumption of fast food does increase the risk of acne development in young adults and adults.

Calorically dense, high in fat foods with an abundance of refined ingredients are known to trigger acne development in some people so it’s sad to say that it should be moderated and reduced, not just for acne development but also for overall general health. 

4. Whey Protein Powder

A popular dietary supplement for young adults, whey protein powder, has an abundance of nutrients that support a proper diet including amino acids. But it is these amino acids that make skin cells grow at a faster rate and promote acne development.

Although more studies need to be done on the cause and effect relationship between acne and whey protein powder, studies have suggested that people who take protein powder do develop more breakouts as opposed to those who don’t.

5. Foods Rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fats

Diets that are rich with omega-6 fatty acids have been linked with increased acne production and inflammation. Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids include corn, seeds, soybeans, and certain nuts.

Certain omega-3 fatty acid foods such as fatty fish, avocado and nuts are also often seen as trigger foods for acne in some people. An imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are said to push the body into an inflammatory state that may worsen acne severity.

6. Chocolate

Chocolate has been suspected as an acne trigger for a very long time, but until today there is no solid evidence to claim this as fact. Although more research is needed, studies have shown that people suspect it as the main culprit to the production of acne.

Ways to Prevent Acne Breakouts

foods that cause acne

Apart from avoiding the trigger foods that lead to your acne breakouts, here are other things you can do to keep your face clean and reduce the development of acne.

  • Cleanse thoroughly and consistently. Dirt and oil build up in your pores are inevitable, especially with the air quality and humidity in the UAE. Be sure to use a cleanser that suits your skin and removes all dirt without leaving your face too dry.
  • Keep your face moisturized. Use a good moisturizer after cleansing as it will prevent your skin from naturally hydrating by releasing sebum which can lead to more breakouts. 
  • Avoid pollution. With the air quality not being very ideal in the middle east, try to avoid air pollution although this is difficult when outdoors, getting a humidifier for your home or workplace is a step in the right direction.
  • Manage stress. Stress can lead to breakouts and is something you can focus on reducing. Stress-related hormones may heavily affect the development of breakouts and so practising calming techniques or ways to unwind may help. 

Speak With Your Doctor

Before making any dietary changes to prevent acne, speak with your doctor about the condition of your skin and the best course of action on combating your acne condition. When making dietary changes, you need to consider all factors of your health and not just your skin.

Some of the above-listed foods are good for your health, so to cut them out based on the belief they may be causing your acne would be a pity. Speak with your doctor in regards to other preventative actions you can take. They may prescribe you with antibiotics or refer you to a dermatologist.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.