3 Foods That Science Says Causes Acne

Acne is a common yet troubling condition for a number of people. It is now understood that both hormone levels and the presence of inflammation can influence the amount of acne on your skin.

Hormones cause the skin glands to overproduce sebum and to increase skin cell growth. This leads to blocked pores that contribute to acne. Additionally, inflammation damages the sebum in the pores and results in the growth of bacteria which adds to further inflammation, creating a vicious cycle.

While there are many treatments available, paying attention to the role dietary choices play in the development of acne can be an important consideration in working to find effective treatments for the condition.

While different foods can cause skin problems for different people, there are a few foods that research has identified as problematic in contributing to acne. Sugar, milk and other dairy products, and gluten-containing foods including breads and grains all aggravate the two major influences of acne: hormones and inflammation.

Sugar and high glycemic index carbohydrates

The primary hormones associated with acne are insulin and insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Insulin and IGF-1 are both linked to blood sugar levels, and certain foods, primarily sugar, can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Studies have shown that high glycemic index (GI) foods have also been linked to acne.

High GI foods increase blood sugar levels rapidly. Sugar and refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta are considered high GI foods. In addition to increasing inflammation, sugar can increase intestinal yeast known as candida which can increase acne.

Dairy products

Dairy products have also been shown in studies to increase IGF-1 levels, and those who drink more milk tend to have more problems with acne. The fact that dairy products significantly affect blood sugar (insulin) levels can be cause for concern when it comes to hormonal acne flare-ups.

Additionally, dairy is the most common food allergy and when allergens trigger an immune response it can lead to allergic skin reactions including acne breakouts. Also, those with lactose intolerance instead of milk allergy will have gut-related problems which can result in skin conditions such as acne.


The relationship between gluten and acne is a result of an immune system response to gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, cross-contaminated oats, and other less common grains. A lot of processed foods contain gluten and it is a growing sensitivity for a significant number of the population.

As a result of this sensitivity, there is an inflammatory response in the gut. This reaction results in a depletion of antioxidants that protect the skin which can lead to an increase in acne.

Addressing food issues can be a valuable tool when working to identify the contributors to acne conditions. Reducing foods that upset hormone balance and increase inflammation, including sugar, dairy and gluten, can go a long way to reduce acne flare-ups and to promote healthier skin.


Using an Acne Facial Mask Will Transform Your Complexion

Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought, ‘today is definitely not a good skin day’?

Unlike hair, where we can have a bad hair day, and pull up our hair or put a hat on it, skin is much harder to hide. Of course, there is makeup and foundations, but those just cover your skin, they do not solve your problem.

facial mask for acne treatment picture

A good facial mask product can really help to keep your acne problem under control.

Acne Is Pretty Common

Acne is a common problem. Like most skin problems, it is probably caused by something deeper, not a surface issue. Those of us who have had acne for a long period of time, or suddenly developed it after changing nothing, can attest to this fact.

Acne affects people both male and female, and can be caused by hormones, stress, and even hot, humid weather. Acne is an infection in the pores whose skin cell walls have been broken down, allowing the inflammation to spread.

What are the Causes of Bad Skin?

Why is there an infection in the first place? Well, any of the internal or external causes we see above result in an overabundance of sebum (oil that the skin produces to keep itself moisturized).

Sebum, produced at a healthy rate carries dirt and debris that collect in the hair follicle to the top, out of the skin, and it is washed off when you wash your face.

In a person with acne, the overabundance of sebum causes a clog in the hair follicle, and then the dirt gets trapped and causes an infection.

What To Do About Acne?

What can we do about this? Pursuing a resolution of the deeper issues causing the overabundance of sebum is always a good thing, but let’s discuss some more immediate solutions.

Facial Masks Can Definitely Help

An anti acne face mask can be helpful. An acne facial mask can help rejuvenate your skin and clear up acne.

What Do I Look for in a Facial Mask?

Like any other skin care product, be sure to choose a mask with ingredients that support and develop healthy skin, not just something that is going to dry your skin out.  A quality acne facial mask could include green tea which has great astringent properties, as does lavender, oregano, and mint.

Skin health supportive vitamins such as B, C, E, and H, are wonderful additions to your acne facial mask as well. Acne can be a bothersome issue, especially for teens who are already overly concerned with their looks. Whether you, your teen, or a friend you know, is suffering from acne, an anti acne mask is a first step to take in skin health and cleanliness.

About the Author:

Guest author Jenny D. is a part-time writer that loves writing about all aspects of skin care.  She is also a full-time SEO writer. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!


Should You Buy Acne Products from Your Dermatologist?

acne on the face Flickr

Getting started in a medical practice is an expensive proposition. Your dermatologist has to go through four years of college, four years of medical school, and a two- to four-year residency, all the time usually racking up tens or hundreds of thousands or dollars in student loans.

A full-care dermatologist will also have to buy lasers and diagnostic equipment of all kinds, and even set up an operating room, sometimes before seeing even one patient.

It is only natural for dermatologists to look for all the ways possible to earn money during the first 10 years of their careers. But does that mean that you should buy your skin care products from your dermatologist?

Typically, the skin care products a doctor sells are “private label.” This means that the doctor makes an arrangement with a cosmetics or nutritional supplements manufacturer to put the doctor’s label on a generic product.

Private label products are typically good quality, but in no way special. There is nothing in most private label products that cannot be found in products for sale for a lot less at a department store cosmetics counter, and sometimes the quality is not even as good.

The dermatologist’s sales pitch is usually subtle. You might be offered a gift bag when you schedule a follow-up appointment. You might be given discount coupons to see the doctor’s preferred makeover specialist, or given passes for a day spa with a trip to the aesthetician’s office.

There is nothing wrong about accepting products and services that are genuinely free–usually. It is often a good idea to beware products that list “exotic” ingredients. Exotic ingredients such as argan oil may trigger exotic allergies that cause persistent itching skin or perhaps even your first rosacea flare.

There is a lot that it wrong about your doctor writing the name of a cosmetic on a prescription form. That is a blatant ploy to get you to part with your hard-earned dollars for a private label brand. When your dermatologist “prescribes” cosmetics as doctor’s orders, it usually time to see another doctor.

Use caution in buying over-the-counter skin care products from your dermatologist unless the doctor’s products are nationally or internationally known. Dr. Murad’s and Dr. Perricone’s formulas are to be trusted, but never become a guinea pig for an untested line.

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