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What Food Causes Acne?

What Food Causes Acne?

Causes of Acne

Many of us are still getting “Adult Acne“.

There can be many causes of acne such as lifestyle, genes, and diet.


Can food cause acne outbreaks?


Have you ever binged on chips and cookies, only to wake up with several pimples on your face the next day? Were the snacks to blame?

There is actually a link between acne and certain foods, namely Dairy and high glycemic index foods.

High glycemic index foods refers to foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydrates.



Research that shows that diet can play a role in acne development.

A study shows that dairy intake (e.g. milk, yogurt, cheese, and whey protein powders) is associated with an increased likelihood of acne in people aged 7-30 years old1.

Many people have also experienced an improvement in their acne once they stop eating milk and dairy products.

Studies have also shown that people who eat more refined carbohydrates and higher glycemic index food have more acne 2, 3.


Food to avoid in acne outbreaks

These foods increase the production and secretion of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) – which in turn increase sebum production4.

Overproduction of sebum leads to oily skin and clogged pores, resulting in acne.

The two hormones are also involved in increased inflammation in the clogged pores, therefore pimples are more prone to becoming large and painful cysts and nodules.


Therefore, if you suffer from acne, it is best to limit your intake of milk and dairy, as well as sugary treats. Not only will you notice clearer skin, you may also notice other benefits such as weight loss, better mood and sleep.



Skin treatment for acne problem

If adjusting your diet doesn’t help much, you can always see a doctor experienced in treating acne problem.

At Healthsprings, we offer treatments for these conditions:

  1. acne
  2. clogged pores
  3. redness
  4. rashes
  5. blackheads/ whiteheads

Contact us at +65 9728 2861 for more info!

You can also go for a food allergy test at our clinic.





  1. Juhl, C.R., Bergholdt, H.K.M., Miller, I.M., et al. (2018). Dairy Intake and Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 78,529 Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. Nutrients. doi: 10.3390/nu10081049
  2. Cerman, A.A., Aktas, E., Altunay, I.K., et al. (2016). Dietary Glycemic Factors, Insulin Resistance, and Adiponectin Levels in Acne Vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.02.1220
  3. Burris, J., Rietkerk, W., Shikany, J.M., Woolf, K. (2017). Differences in Dietary Glycemic Load and Hormones in New York City Adults With No and Moderate/Severe Acne. J Acad Nutr Diet. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.03.024 
  4. Reynolds, R.C., Lee, S., Choi, J.Y.J., et al. (2010). Effect of the Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates on Acne vulgaris. Nutrients. doi: 10.3390/nu2101060
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