Anti-acne diet: everything you need to know - Kanupriya
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Anti-acne diet: everything you need to know

Anti-acne diet: everything you need to know

Acne and pimples are a clear indication that the body is out of balance and is expelling excess oil.

Most of us want that amazing glow throughout the day, but then there’s the issue of acne or pimples, which can be very demoralising.

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin condition caused by clogged hair follicles beneath the skin. Sebum (oil that keeps skin from drying out) and dead skin cells clog pores, resulting in outbreaks of lesions known as pimples or zits. The outbreaks usually appear on the face, but they can also appear on the back, chest, and shoulders.

Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder characterised by sebaceous (oil) glands that connect to hair follicles containing fine hair.

What causes acne?

● Hormones – Acne may be caused by an increase in androgens, which are male sex hormones. These naturally increase in both boys and girls during puberty, causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum. Acne can also be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.

● Heredity – If your parents had acne, you are more likely to develop acne.

● Medications – Acne can be caused by certain medications, including those containing hormones, corticosteroids, and lithium.

● Age – Acne can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in teenagers.

How does your diet affect your skin?

A low-glycemic diet may help reduce acne because it eliminates blood sugar spikes. When your blood sugar levels rise, inflammation spreads throughout your body. These spikes also stimulate your body’s production of sebum, an oily substance found in your skin.

Foods to avoid to keep acne away!

● Fried foods

Fried foods or items with a lot of grease, such as pizzas and burgers, have extra fat. Excess oil and fat can cause a pimple outbreak.

● Dairy products

Drinking low fat and skimmed milk causes an increase in acne. However, the link between milk and acne is still unclear. It is believed that dairy contains hormones (given to cattle for increased milk production), which in turn cause certain hormonal imbalances in our bodies, leading to acne.

● Sugar

Sugars, which we consume in our homes as refined white sugar and in other forms such as sodas, packaged juices, desserts, and so on, are high in refined carbs. These are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels. The increase in insulin levels also pushes excess sugar into your cells, causing acne.

Foods to consume:

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

These fatty acids are mostly found in protein sources like eggs and fish, as well as a few plant sources.  omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and those who consumed omega-3s had less acne.

Include omega-3 fatty acid-rich chia seeds and flaxseeds in your diet.

Foods containing Vitamins A, D and E

When applied topically, vitamin A (retinol) combats acne. Retinol is extremely effective in treating acne inflammation.

Antioxidant rich foods

One of the primary causes of acne is oxidative stress. The antioxidant defence system in your body, which includes catalase and the enzyme superoxide dismutase, regulates the production of reactive oxygen species and thus maintains the redox balance of the cells. Oxidative stress is caused by high levels of ROS and low levels of antioxidants. Consume foods high in antioxidants to avoid acne.

Antioxidant rich foods to consume:

● Dark chocolate

● Berries (cranberry, mulberry, goji berry, blackberry, and wild blueberry)

● Kidney beans

● Raisins

● Green tea

● Broccoli

● Tomatoes

Foods containing zinc

Zinc is found in chickpeas, beans, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, meat, and shellfish. Acne may be more common in people who have low zinc levels in their bodies.

Zinc is also effective against acne-causing bacteria.

Other micronutrients 

Selenium:  People with acne vulgaris can have low levels of selenium in their bodies. You can take supplements to increase your selenium levels.

Vitamin C: This antioxidant is a skin saver. It not only stimulates cell regeneration, but it also clears acne and reduces breakouts.


Diet and skin health are inextricably linked. While eating healthy will not eliminate inflammation and zits overnight, it will benefit your skin in the long run.

Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Also Read: Foods to eat when you have period cramps

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