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Foods Which Increase the Risk of Acne

Acne is a skin condition which occurs when the hair follicles get clogged with dead skin and sebum. In spite of following a good skin cleaning regimen, acne keep occurring. Have you ever wondered why? Our diet plays a major role in their occurrence. Any food which leads to inflammation raises the sugar level, disturbs the hormonal balance and causes infection. Let us understand about the foods which increase the risk of acne.

Foods Which Increase the Risk of Acne

Foods Which Increase The Risk Of Acne

There are many causes of acne but some of the triggers are very obvious and diet is one of them. Let’s discuss a few foods which increase the risk of acne.

Refined Grains

Food such as white bread, rice, pasta, and cereals has a high glycemic index. This leads to an impact on the blood sugar and the insulin levels. A high blood sugar level increases the risk of acne. High insulin level increases the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which leads to acne development by increasing the skin growth and sebum production.

Refined grains are the commonest foods which increase the risk of acne. All these refined grains should be replaced with the low on glycemic index whole grain options. Besides clearing up the skin of acne these foods are high in nutrition as well.

Junk Food

As quick as are these fast foods to reach the plate quicker is their action in causing acne. All the junk food such as burgers, fries, pizza, chips, and others are rich in trans and saturated fats and in refined carbs. All these factors lead to an imbalance in the hormone level and eventually lead to breakouts. Junk food also increases the insulin level in the body which can lead to acne. Hence, junk food is undoubtedly one of the foods which increase the risk of acne.


Excessive alcohol intake leads to lowering down of the zinc level leading to its deficiency. Zinc protects the collagen and elastin proteins keeping the skin young and resilient and keeping acne away. Alcohol also leads to an imbalance in the testosterone and estrogen level leading to acne breakout. Thus, alcohol is surely one of the foods which increase the risk of acne.

Packaged Drinks

All the packaged and aerated drinks are loaded with sugar, which is one of the greatest inflammatory foods. Therefore drinking a lot of aerated drinks can increase the breakout, thus making aerated drinks one of the foods which increase the risk of acne. Cutting down on sugary drink will not only give you a clear skin but also you would notice its huge impact on your weighing scale for sure.

Dairy Products

Dairy eaters are more prone to acne than those who do not take dairy products. Dairy products cause a spike in testosterone leading to the breakout in some. Milk contains growth hormone which leads to the overproduction of skin cells and can cause blockage of the pores and acne. Cow’s milk contains the amino acid, which affects the skin and causes acne. Thus, milk and dairy products are some of the foods which increase the risk of acne in some people.

Whey Protein

Whey protein contains amino acid which leads to overproduction of cells, blocking the pores leading to breakouts. Amino acid also encourages peptide production which elevates sebum build-up which increase the risk of acne. Therefore think again before buying whey protein powder as it can spoil the skin.

Caffeinated Products

Most of you might have a habit of starting your day with a cup of caffeine i.e. tea or coffee. But caffeinated products are the commonest foods which increase the risk of acne. Consuming caffeine increases the cortisol levels in the body can elevate insulin levels and stress. Raised insulin levels increase the sebum production, while stress is another triggering factor.

Our diet plays a crucial role in maintaining our health. It affects our skin health as well. Therefore it becomes very important to pay attention to what you eat and avoid foods which increase the risk of acne.


  1. “Diet and Acne: The Full Story” – WebMD Link: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/diet-and-skin

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 19, 2023

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