4 Foods That Cause Adult Acne

Fighting Acne? Here Are 4 Foods to Avoid

In our quest to get rid of stubborn adult acne, we try an endless number of facial cleansers, toners, serums, creams, and lotions. However, it’s easy to forget that what we put into our bodies matters just as much as what we put on them. If you battle adult acne and acne-fighting treatments don’t seem to be effective, then it may be time to evaluate your diet and see if you regularly eat foods that can trigger breakouts.

Here are four foods that may be contributing to your adult acne.


As it turns out, the old wives’ tale may be right. People have been pointing at chocolate as an acne-trigger since the 1920s, although no one could clearly outline exactly why the nation’s favorite guilty pleasure might be ruining our skin. While we still don’t have a definitive explanation for the link between chocolate and acne, recent studies have shown that when participants consume dark chocolate, they experience a marked increase in breakouts.

Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates have a significant impact on our blood sugar. Because our body breaks refined carbohydrates down a little too easily, they absorb into the bloodstream very quickly and cause an insulin spike. Insulin makes androgen hormones more active. This, in turn, causes skin cells to turn over too quickly while simultaneously increasing the production of sebum. The excess sebum combined with an increase in dead skin cells is a classic recipe for acne.


Milk products have long been pointed to as a culprit behind acne breakouts in teenagers, and it seems that it may also exacerbate skin problems in adults. So far, studies have only demonstrated a correlation between dairy intake and acne, and the exact reason for this correlation isn’t understood. However, it’s suspected that dairy causes acne for the same reason that refined carbohydrates do; dairy causes an insulin spike, which eventually leads to an increase in sebum production and cell turnover.

High-Fat Diets

Not all dietary fats are created equal, and not eating a proper balance of fats can cause an increase in adult acne. A diet that is high in Omega-6 fatty acids and low in Omega-3s has been shown to increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to acne.

If you deal with adult acne, take a look at your diet and consider how the foods you eat may be affecting your skin. Sometimes, a few dietary tweaks are all it takes to see improvements.

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