5 Foods that Cause Acne

A common question many acne sufferers ask is:  Are there foods that cause acne? From what I have read and experienced, there is not a universal answer for everyone.


Because everyone is different and has different skin types, diet and acne can also effect each person in its own way. But if you are prone to breakouts, you may want to browse the list below.

I’ve put together a common list of what foods cause acne that I am going to share:

  • JUNK FOOD – This is a very generic term that includes all fast food, oil fried foods, high carb foods and ones containing a high amount of refined sugar. Examples would be food you typically get at drive through windows (I don’t want to mention specific restaurants by name but I am sure you can figure them out), pastries, cookies, candy, french fries, etc.
  • DAIRY PRODUCTS – This is mostly due to the fat content in milk and cheeses and these can be hard for some people to digest in general. Examples can also include yogurt, creamers, frozen yogurt and ice cream.
  • PROCESSED FOODS – These types of food have many preservatives and additives and tend to be high in both fat and sugar. You can usually read the ingredients label and know how processed the food is by how long the list is and how many of the ingredients are not an actual food, sound like some sort of chemical, and are long words you can’t pronounce.
  • CAFFEINE – This one includes energy drinks, lattes, espresso, coffee, tea and chocolate that not only give you an energy boost but can also have a severe impact your skin.
  • RED MEAT – The biggest culprit is the especially fatty red meats that are harder on your body to digest. Examples include a hamburger with a high fat percentage that tend to be the cheaper bulk packages and the fattier steak cuts.

As mentioned, this is a ‘typical’ list but there are likely other foods that may aggravate your skin. As with anything, you need to be smart and eat these foods in moderation. You don’t have to avoid all these foods all the time but you may want to start noticing which foods that cause you to develop pimples.

How To Know Which Foods Cause Acne For You

By staying in tune with your body, you will know which foods to stay away from or eat less of. Figuring your specific acne and diet relationship may take some time along with some trial and error. You will need to be patient which you go through the exercise of noticing which foods have what effect on your skin. You will also need to be very diligent about keeping track of your “good” and “bad” foods.

Here is my advice that is a simple and cheap way to discover your personal bad food list:

Keep a journal of what you eat every day and keep track of when you have your breakouts and what you recently had to eat.

That ought to do the trick and after a month or so (maybe a little more or less) you will have a good idea of the foods that cause acne for you. Now this is not to say you will know every single bad food, especially since many of us eat different foods, and there may even be some seasonal foods.

The journal will help you find the ones you eat most often and determine which foods you may want to cut back on. Even though you identify these quickly, you want to be still aware when you are eating something you haven’t had in awhile and be sure to notice if it causes any adverse effects on your skin.

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