Is There a Correlation Between Acne and Diet?

Birds are chirping and the sun is radiant. “What a beautiful day,” you might think to yourself. However, that beautiful day quickly ends when you look at your reflection in the mirror and see a painful, red dot: acne. Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a common condition in which small holes on your skin called pores are clogged with dead skin cells, oil, or bacteria. It mostly appears on your face, shoulders, neck, chest, and back, but it can happen in other body regions. Fortunately, it is not a dangerous condition, but it can be painful. There are many rumours surrounding the origin of acne. For instance, many people assume that acne is caused by a bad diet, but is that actually true?

In general, there are many factors that cause acne. For instance, puberty can cause acne because puberty makes your body undergo various hormonal changes, which changes oil production and causes more acne. Similarly, pregnancy can also cause acne due to hormonal changes. Furthermore, genetics can also cause acne. Although there is no specific gene mutation that causes acne, there are patterns of acne running within families. For instance, if your parents had acne, then there is a higher chance that you may develop or have acne. Certain factors, such as hormones, may cause this pattern, but further research must be conducted on this. Additionally, medication that might change your hormone levels, such as birth control, can make acne worse. Overall, hormone levels deeply impact how much acne you have.

By looking at what causes acne, we can see a pattern between changes in hormone levels and acne. Thus, when it comes to diet, the same logic will most likely apply. If you eat food that will impact hormone levels, then you will be more likely to develop more acne. Food that will impact hormone levels most likely are high in sugar levels because they trigger the release of the hormone, insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. Examples of such food are milk and white rice. Nutrients in food that combat acne are fatty acids, such as fish oil, antioxidants, vitamin E, and zinc. These nutrients help reduce inflammation, which is caused by high blood sugar levels, Thus, these nutrients reduce acne.

The main takeaway here is hormone levels deeply influence acne. Therefore, foods that induce hormone levels also indirectly cause an increase in acne. Remember that everyone’s skin is different. One person’s skin might not react to one food product the same way your skin does. In addition, despite evidence of a link between diet and acne, research on whether diet is connected to acne has yet to be conducted. For the time being, they are simply assumption one makes. In summary, even if there is a correlation between diet and acne, remember that acne is not solely caused by diet and that your skin is different from everyone else’s skin, so your skin will react differently to different food products.


Is Acne Genetic? Omecare. (2020, November 9).'t%20a,acne%2Drelated%20bacteria%20to%20hormones.

Kucharska, A., Szmurło, A., & Sińska, B. (2016). Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris. Postepy dermatologii i alergologii, 33(2), 81–86.

What Causes Acne? Healthline. (2019, April 25).


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