There are many foods that could cause acne that you might not be aware of, and some are from some pretty healthy sources. We all know we should avoid sugar, fast food, and many processed foods to avoid acne, but what about healthy foods? One tricky thing about health foods, is they don’t just affect our weight, hearts, and waistlines, but also our skin. Foods higher in natural acids, and natural sugars can cause acne in sensitive individuals. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat these foods, as many have benefits, but it simply means you need to watch your skin as you eat them. You may not react to them at all, or you may notice a huge difference once you remove them from your diet. These 7 foods that could cause acne tend to be the most common foods I see that people react to, but there could be others. If you notice acne out of nowhere after you introduce a new food, don’t automatically think just because it’s healthy that it won’t break you out. Always pay attention to your skin. Food has more of an effect on it than you think, and sugar and fast food aren’t always the only culprits.
One of my favorite foods in the world is grape tomatoes, but sadly, they are one of the most common foods that could cause acne. Tomatoes are rich in natural acids, plus high levels of Vitamin C. Many people actually promote Vitamin C and tomatoes for skin health, and they can help some people’s skin, but hurt others. My mother also can’t eat them, along with a friend I have. If you notice small red bumps or pimples after eating raw tomatoes, try not eating them for a week to see if it helps. It doesn’t mean they are bad for you, but you may just be eating more than what your skin can handle. I do fine with cooked tomatoes, so try those instead.
Tomatoes, with their vibrant color and delicious taste, often become a staple in salads and snacks. However, their high acidity level can trigger acne flare-ups, particularly in those with sensitive skin. While the Vitamin C content is beneficial for collagen production and overall glow, an excess can upset the skin's natural balance. It's similar to the notion that too much of a good thing can be harmful. If you love tomatoes but are facing skin issues, listen to your body. Keep a food diary, and see if reducing your tomato intake makes a difference. Adding tomatoes in moderation might be the key to enjoying their flavor without compromising your complexion.
Strawberries are an acidic fruit that is commonly known to cause breakouts, along with it being very high in Vitamin C. The combination causes acne and small bumps, just like tomatoes do. Again, monitor your skin when eating them. I love strawberries and find that I tolerate them fine on occasion, but if I eat them daily, my skin lets me know! I switch to blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, which are all higher in antioxidants, fiber and polyphenols. They also help combat acne as a bonus.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, for some people, citrus fruits such as oranges can contribute to acne because they're high in citric acid, which can irritate sensitive skin and trigger breakouts.
Strawberries might cause acne in some individuals due to their natural acids which might irritate the skin, but they are not universally bad for everyone's acne.
Tomatoes can affect acne in some individuals. They contain tomatoes acids and other compounds that might irritate the skin or exacerbate existing acne for certain individuals.
Yes, it's true. While they are nutritious, certain healthy foods like strawberries, citrus, and tomatoes might trigger acne in people with sensitive skin or particular allergies.
Food allergies or sensitivities can aggravate acne because they can cause inflammation in the body, which might show up as skin irritation or pimples.
Salsa is my favorite condiment aside from mustard, but I have to take it in small doses, which is hard! Salsa is just like tomatoes, whether it’s cooked or not. It’s high in natural acids and Vitamin C, which can all cause issues for sensitive individuals. It doesn't only cause acne because of the tomatoes, but also because of the vinegar and peppers it contains, which can irritate some people's skin in excess. The best way to eat salsa is on occasion. If it doesn’t cause issues for you, great! If it does, just do like I do, and keep it to a once a month treat. I do find that jarred or canned tomatoes or tomato paste works just fine for me though since the tomatoes are cooked well and the additional ingredients aren't added.
Oranges are also very high in Vitamin C and natural acids. Both of these can cause acne in sensitive individuals. Oranges are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and available all year round. I personally love them myself, but have to eat them in small quantities. If you notice you’re eating a lot of them and have skin issues, try removing them to see what happens. You can always switch to another delicious fruit in the meantime!
Wheat is a major source of acne flair-ups, likely due to the gluten. If you’re sensitive to wheat, and not even allergic, wheat may still be the reason you’re suffering from acne. It can be problematic for the body on a number of levels. Many people tolerate it fine, but many also don’t. To avoid this issue entirely, just buy gluten-free bread, or better yet, cook whole grains like oats, quinoa or amaranth. All of these are much better for your body and your skin.
Wheat is a major source of acne flair-ups, and for many people, it can be problematic for the body on a number of levels. While it is not always the case, wheat can be a major trigger for acne, as it contains gluten, which can be difficult for some to digest. Even if you are not allergic to wheat, it can still cause issues for your skin.
Fortunately, there are other options that can help you avoid this problem. Gluten-free breads are available in many stores, and there are also a variety of whole grains that are much better for your body and skin. Oats, quinoa, and amaranth are all great alternatives to wheat bread, as they contain fewer allergens and are easier for the body to digest.
In addition to gluten-free breads and whole grains, there are a variety of other foods that can help reduce acne. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can help reduce inflammation and help keep your skin healthy. Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, can also help reduce inflammation and keep your skin clear.
Finally, avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks can also help reduce acne.
Dairy is a major food source of acne for most people. I actually don’t break out at all from plain yogurt, but I do with sugar sweetened yogurts and other forms of dairy, such as cottage cheese and milk. Yogurt and kefir’s probiotics might help your body digest the milk sugar known as lactose better, which could have a reason to do with why it won’t break you out, so long as you stick to the plain kinds, without added sugar. Yogurt and kefir are both by far the healthiest choices in the dairy department you can eat, but be sure to read the ingredients to make sure they only contain milk and cultures. Do note though, that all dairy is mucous forming in the body, which is the reason it tends to break people out. If you love dairy and your skin is breaking out, try non-dairy sources for a week and see what happens. I personally love almond milk myself! If you can’t even tolerate yogurt, there are many alternatives available.
Dairy has long been associated with skin breakouts, and yogurt is no exception. While plain yogurt may not cause breakouts, sugar-sweetened yogurts and other forms of dairy, such as cottage cheese and milk, often do. This is because dairy products contain lactose, a milk sugar that some people have difficulty digesting.
Yogurt and kefir, which are both dairy-based, contain probiotics that may help your body digest lactose better. However, it’s important to read the ingredients list to make sure the yogurt or kefir only contains milk and cultures.
It’s also important to note that all dairy products are mucous-forming in the body, which can lead to skin breakouts. If you’re experiencing breakouts due to dairy, try eliminating dairy from your diet for a week and see if it makes a difference. There are plenty of non-dairy alternatives to choose from, such as almond milk.
Who doesn’t love a huge glass of OJ, right? I know I do, but it is a big no-no for my skin! Orange juice is pure sugar and has no fiber from the oranges, even if you buy an unsweetened variety. It doesn't break you out only because it's from oranges, but also due to the added sugar in orange juice, which will almost always cause breakouts for people. Take a look at the back nutrition panel on the carton and you’ll see what I mean. Plain, unsweetened orange juice has no fiber, and over 20 grams of sugar, more than most candy bars, all in just one 8 ounce serving. That’s a lot of sugar, and sugar is the biggest culprit for breakouts. Plus, as I mentioned, oranges are rich in Vitamin C and natural acids, which are great for you, but may lead to breakouts in excess. All citrus sources should be monitored since they are rich in Vitamin C and acids, but oranges tend to be the most problematic for most people. Instead of orange juice, try some green juice instead! I know it isn’t the same, but it is much more energizing, calming and it’s fabulous for your skin.
Some of these foods might not bother you at all, and are by no means a definite reason for your acne. I do think they are all worth exploring if you’re having skin issues and have tried everything but removing these from your diet. Let me know what you think. Have any of these foods ever cause breakouts for you?
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