What Are The Foods That Trigger Pimples & Acne?


A lot of people battle with pimples and acne during and shortly after puberty while some others experience it throughout the teenage years. Throughout these periods of my life, I did not have pimples and acne anywhere on my face and body. I always pride myself on that because my face was always clear and clean. I thought this would continue like that forever but I was wrong – I would later have my own fair share of pimples later on.

What Are Pimples And Acne? Any Differences?

One of our readers sent a message to ask if the food they eat could cause acne or pimples and we will try to address that. Many people don’t even know the differences between pimples and acne. Someone even told me that pimples show on black peoples’ skin while acne only comes out on white peoples’ skin. I will try as much as possible not to dwell too much on these because the purpose of this post is how some foods lead to the onset of acne and pimples on our skin. Yes, food can trigger pimples.

acne pimples skin

Acne is the inflammation of the skin in which the secreted sebum gets collected in the pores of the skin and remains there. This causes the skin to swell up in the form of a breakout. Acne will most likely have a white head (not in every case) and is painful to touch. If it is a pimple, it would normally not be painful unless it is too severe.

So, What Are Those Foods That Can Set Off Pimples?

To continue with my story, I started seeing pimples and acne on my skin in my early twenties and it lasted into mid-twenties. It was a nightmare because when they finally go, they turn into
black scars (not just spots). I started to think of the possible causes and one day I thought of my diet – could it be my eating habit?

What I have always read about foods as they affect your skin was that they do not cause pimples and acne. Something just told me to do a little more digging and I found out that several other pieces of research were already published telling us that there could be a relationship between diet and acne.

The truth of the matter, however, is that there has not been a definite link between any food (dairy especially) and acne, but there are several theories about it.

In an article written for a medical journal in 2008, F. William Danby, MD, a skin expert who promotes the possible dairy-acne connection, explained how the two may be related. Milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne.

So, could we say Milk can cause acne? Some would say yes and some would say no, but I have read reports of people who saw all their pimples and acne disappear after stopping the consumption of Milk. The same happened to me too.

Some researchers have suggested that an imbalance in the level of insulin in the body may play a role in the onset of acne. They explain that some foods make your blood sugar quickly soar. This triggers your body to make a burst of the hormone insulin to help your cells absorb the sugar.

ADVICE: What I would advise is to monitor your own skin and diet and note what foods you are eating when the acne breakouts start coming out. This is because these foods (Milk, Chocolate, Cheese, etc.), that people are implicating in the development of acne have health benefits. When you monitor yourself and you notice that milk causes acne for you, you can try to cut down on it and see if you still have acne.

I would not ask you to stop consuming milk. Never! Milk is highly nutritious – containing several vitamins and minerals that are useful for the body. I would not be pointing fingers to any food. What you should do is to observe and adjust.

ALSO SEE: Differences Between Skimmed Milk and Full Cream Milk

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Ahmed Ogundimu
Ahmed is a Food Scientist/Technologist first of all. A Seasoned Blogger, Astute Marketer, Food Enthusiast and Manchester United Lover. I read anything and everything available so I know so many useful and useless things.

4 Comments

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  1. Thank you very much for this awareness God will bless you richly.I now knw thier differences.does acne inch?bacause that’s wat i think i have base on ur explanation.

  2. Thanks for that piece. But I want to ask, does oily foods cause pimples and acne? People say it and I want to know, please how true is that?

    1. No food has actually been directly linked to development of pimples and acne. However, different people have observed that different foods cause it for them and this is what we should do too – observe what could be the cause. For some people, it is stress for some others, when they allow sweat to linger too much on their faces.

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