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The skin is a fascinating organ. Not only is it your body’s first line of defense against external elements, but it’s also a quick way to tell when your body’s not entirely right internally. For example, if you lack some nutrients or constantly consume foods that cause acne, the consequences will likely show up on your skin.

Creams and help maintain skin health as well as prevent and manage skin concerns. However, you can take your skin care up a notch by targeting an overlooked but often guilty culprit behind persistent acne: your diet.

What Are the Foods That Cause Acne?

Right off the bat, know that pizza and other greasy food do not cause acne. That’s just an old wives’ tale people tell you to get you off junk food – which you should since they lead to poor health beyond your skin. Unless you somehow rub oil all over your face and forget to cleanse, you’re unlikely to develop acne from eating a burger.

Acne is typically caused by . Clogged pores, in turn, are caused by several factors, including hyperactive sebaceous glands (which can be genetic or externally triggered) and dirt buildup. Thus, the foods that cause acne are the ones that aggravate these situations.

Sugar isn’t sweet on the skin.

Sugar is just one of those frustrating ironies in life. It tastes great, but it isn’t good for you. It can rot your teeth, mess with your weight, and rouse acne.

According to the 2016 article “Significance of Diet in Treated and Untreated Acne Vulgaris,” most studies on acne-causing foods are inconclusive. However, there is convincing evidence that high glycemic diets can worsen acne. Sugar can elevate insulin levels which can stimulate the secretion of androgens and prompt an increased production of sebum. Moreover, hyperinsulinemia influences the levels of IGF-1 and IFBP-3 (types of insulin-growth factors). It could lead to an imbalance that can exacerbate androgens as well. All of these .

Numerous studies also compared the effects of the high-glycemic diets of Westerners in the United States and Great Britain and the less-refined food of countries like Papua New Guinea and Paraguay. The latter countries tended to have fewer diet-related acne flareups. 

Unfortunately, if you want to manage your acne better, you might have to quit the sweets and skip the syrup on your pancakes.

Chocolate: good for the heart, but not for the skin.

Here’s another bittersweet irony. People have long associated acne with chocolate, but it’s only recently that studies have discovered a link. The 2016 study “Dark Chocolate Exacerbates Acne” in the International Journal of Dermatology concludes as much. For four weeks, male subjects who consumed 99% dark chocolate daily developed acne by the second week, worsening as the study progressed.

Meanwhile, an earlier study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology shows a correlation between consumption of non-sweetened chocolate products and the development of skin lesions.

Your body may not agree with the food you eat.

Suspected foods that cause acne include dairy, nuts, and whey. However, as previously mentioned, there hasn’t been enough quality research to back these claims. It is important to note that your body may just react differently to specific types of food. Food sensitivity may cause inflammation that can trigger acne, for example.

If you believe that what you’re eating is causing your adult acne, practice the elimination diet. Wean out suspect foods one by one and observe if your skin improves. You can also consult with a dermatologist.

What Can I Put in an Anti-Acne Diet?

In the 2014 paper “Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease,” the relationship between what you eat and your skin is a case-to-case basis. It would depend on your overall health and lifestyle. However, dermatologists recommend upping your fruits and vegetables and cutting back on sugary and starchy foods. The article also recommends avoiding fad or crash diets that can cause your hormones to go haywire.

Complement a balanced diet with suitable skincare products that can clean your skin and unclog pores. Reduce impurities with POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Acne Control Facial Foam. It has Active Thymo-BHA and vitamin B3+ that attacks acne at the root and improve skin in three days. Follow it up with Eskinol Deep Cleanser Calamansi to remove deep-seated dirt and excess oil. It also has calamansi to brighten skin and even out skin tone.

You can avoid foods that cause acne as much as you want, but sometimes life compels you to reach for that box of chocolates. Cover your bases by targeting acne at all levels.