Acne Diet: 3 Foods to Avoid for Clear Skin

It has a great impact on self-confidence. Acne can completely undermine your self-confidence and prevent you from living a full life. Sometimes, no matter what skincare product you use, your skin will remain blotchy. It’s easy to feel hopeless when you have acne, but changing your diet can help clear your skin.

Acne is a common skin condition that affects both teens and many adults. It has a major impact on self-confidence, body image, and quality of life, but it can be very difficult to manage and very difficult to get rid of. Nutritionist Harriet Smith recognizes that while acne is mostly caused by hormonal changes and genetics, small changes in diet and lifestyle can benefit skin health.

This means that what you eat can affect the severity of your acne, and there are certain foods that can cause flare-ups while others can improve them. According to Harriet, if you want to reduce or eliminate acne, you should try following a Mediterranean diet.

The nutritionist said: “The Mediterranean diet contains fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, and lean protein reduces the risk of acne.” Make sure you get enough vitamin A (dairy products, eggs, liver, oily fish, and yellow, red, and leafy green vegetables) because vitamin A helps your body produce new skin cells, which prevents dead skin from clogging your pores.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and potatoes, and studies have shown that its antioxidant properties can help protect skin from UV damage. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health by helping the body produce collagen.

3 foods to avoid for clear skin

Dairy products

There is an ongoing debate about whether dairy products are linked to acne, with some studies showing a possible connection and others finding no link.

If your acne is so bad that it’s affecting your life, it’s worth trying to cut out milk, cheese, and other dairy products such as chocolate, cakes, and cookies.

Harriet said: “If you choose to avoid dairy, a well-planned dairy-free diet that is healthy and balanced can provide you with all the nutrients you need. However, eliminating dairy and animal products means that you may lose certain nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin B12, and iodine. These will need to be replaced elsewhere in your diet, either through foods or nutrient supplements.


We all know that too much sugar is bad for our overall health, but did you know that sugar can make your condition much worse? Harriet noted: “Some studies have shown that eating a lot of sugary foods is a risk factor for acne, but others have not found such a link.”

While giving up sugar doesn’t work for some people, it could be the answer for you, so why not give it a try? Harriet said: “That’s about seven teaspoons of sugar. Free sugar is sugar that manufacturers add to food and drinks, as well as sugar found in fruit juices, honey, and syrups.


According to Harriet, a diet high in fat can increase the risk of acne. However, not all fats are “bad”. Therefore, you should not completely eliminate fats from your diet. Harriet said: “It is important to note that having fat in your diet is an integral part of a healthy diet.

“Try to reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat (such as red and processed meats, pastries, and cakes) and replace them with heart-healthy unsaturated fats (such as olive oil, oily fish, nuts, and avocados).”

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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