From your genetics to your skincare routine, hormones, and even diet, all of these factors relate back to the condition of your skin. While it never hurts to look closely at your skincare habits, more often than not the cause of acne flare-ups is actually harmful foods in your diet.
“A clear complexion isn’t just based on what you put on your face, but also what you put in your body,” explains Dr. Howard Sobel, a leading Cosmetic Dermatologist in NYC and owner of Sobel Skin, to SHEfinds. “Food that is technically ‘healthy’ for your body isn’t always good for acne-prone skin. This is such a common mistake from clients thinking that they are eating ‘healthy,’ but still breaking out.”
The reality is some people can eat whatever they want and not experience a single breakout, but for others, the consequence to eating pore-clogging foods is almost instant inflammation.
If you’re later, stay away from these foods for clearer skin:
1. Foods Containing Whey Protein
“Bars and drinks that are high in whey protein can cause outbreaks,” says Dr. Sobel. According to Women’s Health, some research suggests that whey protein causes a spike in sebum production which leads to clogged pores and acne.
“Dairy is one of the worst foods people with acne-prone skin can eat because it not only clogs pores, but also increase hormone levels,” explained Dr. Sobel. “You want to choose foods that neutralize the free radicals in your skin that cause acne, not inflame them.”
3. Refined Carbohydrates (AKA White Bread, Pasta, And Rice)
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice have been processed, bleached, and stripped of their nutrients. “When your body has to produce tons of insulin because you ate tons of refined carbs (white flour, sugary foods etc.) then complex things happen with your hormones-including hormones that affect your pores,” says Cynthia Bailey, M.D., of Dr. Bailey Skin Care.
Chocolate, like dairy products and refined carbohydrates, is high on the glycaemic index which increases insulin production and leads to acne. In chocolate, the combination of caffeine, theobromine, and serotonin spikes insulin production, according to DermNet NZ.