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Worst Foods for Acne

When it comes to acne, not all cosmetic dermatology tips exist in the form of acne medication. In fact, one of the best ways to help treat your acne is to watch what you eat. Let’s take a look at some of the worst foods to consume when it comes to acne.


Refined Sugars

If you want your acne treatment to be effective, it’s a good idea to avoid foods with refined sugars in them. Eating these foods can contribute to heightened blood sugar and insulin levels, which is bad news for those suffering from acne. In fact, one study found that people who frequently consumed added sugars were almost 30% more likely to develop acne than those who didn’t. So as tempting as it might be to have dessert or a sweet snack after every meal, try to limit your consumption of refined sugars when possible.

Dairy Products

While everybody is different, several studies have found links between dairy products and acne in teens. While there’s still research to be done, the data suggests that there is a link between dairy products — specifically milk — and the development of acne. One of the most supported theories is that the consumption of milk increases insulin levels, which may contribute to the development of acne. Cow’s milk also contains amino acids that signal IGF-1 production in the liver, which has been linked to acne.

Fast Food

It’s no secret that fast food isn’t the best where health is concerned. And when it comes to acne, a diet that’s high in fat can contribute to breakouts. Food items such as chicken nuggets, hot dogs, burgers, and soda may all be typical fast food staples, but they’ve also been known to increase the risk of developing acne. It’s still unclear why fast food is linked to acne development, but researchers have suggested that it may have something to do with the way fast food may influence things like gene expression and hormone levels.


While chocolate has been linked to the development of acne since the early 20th century, the scientific community still hasn’t reached a consensus on exactly what chocolate’s relationship to acne is. More recent studies have been able to link consistent chocolate consumption with increased acne lesions, but it’s still unclear why chocolate and acne development are linked. More research is definitely needed, but it’s safe to say that there is a link between chocolate and acne. So if you want to avoid a breakout, steer clear for a while!

Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement, especially if you work out on a regular basis. While this product is excellent for building muscle, it’s not great for your skin. It’s rich in leucine and glutamine, two amino acids that can contribute to increased skin cell growth and acne breakouts.

If you want to nip your acne in the bud to avoid acne scars in the future, you’re not alone. To discuss your treatment options, set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today!

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