When you have acne as a teenager or adult, all you want is for it to go away and never come back. It impacts your self-image, your mood, and your mental health.

And there are so many aspects of your skincare routine that can impact acne. Everything from your makeup to skincare products to medications and diet impact what your skin looks like and how it feels.

You probably know that drinking enough water helps your body flush out toxins that allow your skin and all your other organs, but there are a surprising amount of foods that often lead to acne.

Of course, you know that one person with perfect poreless skin who eats fast food daily, but they are an anomaly. That is not the norm.

No one wants to change their diet or stop eating deliciously unhealthy foods, but sometimes just cutting back on certain things can clear up your skin more than you ever thought.

So, what foods should you avoid to keep your skin clear and glowing?

Pasta may be one of your favorite carbs, but regular pasta can wreak havoc on your skin. Why? Well, white bread and pasta release sugar in your body and crash. This can cause skin damage, inflammation, fatigue, and worsen skin conditions like acne or rosacea. This doesn’t mean you can never have pasta again by trying to opt for other versions like whole foods—gluten-free pasta, vegetable pasta, and chickpea pasta are better choices when it comes to your skin.

Milk and dairy, in general, tend to contain a high level of hormones that can poorly interact with your skin, especially if you are suffering from hormonal acne. In the same way, hormonal birth control can regulate your hormones and reduce acne; milk products can do the opposite. Milk, even skim milk, can increase acne. Drinking milk or heavy creams may have the most significant impact, so avoiding those and opting for almond or oat milk is best for your skin.

Too much cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products can have the same effect, but not always as intensely. You don’t necessarily need to cut out dairy, but reducing your intake can make a noticeable difference.

We all love cakes, cookies, and danishes, but the high calorie and sugar content without any nutritional benefits have a high likelihood of leading to acne. These foods contain high levels of sugars and fats that increase your body’s production of hormones that increase oil production and lead to acne.

Coffee drinks also fall under this umbrella. Unlike black coffee or coffee with a splash of almond milk, coffee drinks like frappucinos or lattes contain intense carbs, sugars, and caffeine levels. This stresses the body out intensely. The reason you might feel tired after having a drink like this is that all those levels rise quickly and drop just as fast. That sudden change increases your body’s production of cortisol, resulting in acne.

If you want caffeine opt for a simple coffee or green tea instead.


Although the idea that chocolate leads to acne has been debunked, other candies like gummy candy or hard candy are much more damaging. A small amount of dark chocolate provides you with essential antioxidants to help your skin. Fruit-flavored sweets do not offer any level of nutrition, meaning they are only producing harmful reactions within the body, resulting in acne.

Now, this is still a controversial subject. Some scientists argue that your diet doesn’t directly correlate with your skin, but it has been proven true for others. It seems that hormones and genes also play a role in how your skin reacts to certain foods. But, if you are struggling with acne and find that practical skincare products aren’t helping, changing your diet may do the trick.