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Can foods cause acne?
There is much debate over which foods cause acne, or if what you eat can actually affect your skin.
Just a quick google search gives conflicting results, and even professionals disagree, so it’s hard to know what to believe.
However, the most common foods on these lists seem to be fast food, chocolate and dairy products.
But before you start worrying that you’ll have nothing nice left to eat, we thought we’d look into it more deeply, and find out exactly which foods can affect your skin and why.
Will changing my diet cure my acne?
When it comes to the relationship between food and acne, it’s very important to remember that it’s only true for some people.
Some people without acne prone skin may eat these foods all the time and never get spots. It’s also true that someone suffering with acne may be eating these foods, but this is not the cause of their acne.
So there's no guarantee that avoiding these foods will give you clear skin.
We asked Dermatologist, Dr Chopra, what his opinions and advice were.
Processed sugars & Refined Carbohydrates
“When you have acne prone skin, breakouts can be caused when your insulin levels increase rapidly. So when you eat foods that cause a fast sugar release, this can cause a breakout” Dr Chopra explains.
This means eating processed sugars and refined carbohydrates can cause acne, such as cake, donuts, sweets, fruit juice, sugar in tea and milk chocolate.
“The other thing that can worsen acne prone skin, is milk. This is because it contains cow’s hormones, which can affect your hormone levels, leading to breakouts.”
So it’s possible that products containing milk such as cream, butter, cheese, ice cream and yoghurt could be causing your acne, or making it worse.
How can I know if food is causing my acne?
If you’ve tried multiple treatments and are still suffering with breakouts, it’s worth avoiding these foods and seeing if it makes a difference.
Dr Chopra advises to cut out one food group for a week, and see if it makes a difference to your acne. So, 1 week without processed sugars/ refined carbohydrates and then 1 week without dairy products.
Make sure you do one at a time, so you know which one is causing it. You may find no difference to your skin, but it’s worth trying.
Foods to Avoid
If you do want to try this out, make sure to check the labels of any foods you’re going to eat, but here is some initial guidance for what to avoid. Before making any changes to your diet, we advise that you always seek medical advice from your GP to ensure you are doing this safely.