Acne Diets – Foods To Eat And Those To Avoid For Healthy Skin

acne diets imageAlthough it has not been proven scientifically, there seems to be little doubt that there is some form of relationship between diet and skin complaints, notably acne.

It seems to be no coincidence that the foods that are considered bad for acne sufferers are generally considered unhealthy by the medical world in general, as the health implications are far reaching and go well beyond skin conditions, if the intake of certain foods is continued without any balance.

Modern living has a lot to answer for in this respect, very few people have the time or the inclination to prepare proper meals and therefore buy more convenience foods that require little or no preparation or use less than ideal cooking methods.

So with this in mind rather than try and follow some form of complicated diet plan, which can quickly be forgotten it will be a lot easier to just stop eating foods that are considered unhealthy and to increase the intake of foods that are vital to a healthy complexion, but it will certainly take a conscious effort by a person to change their eating habits, and in some cases it may require some willpower, but if you are really determined to clear your acne then your diet is a free way to begin the fight.

Let us begin by looking at the vital elements required for healthy skin.
It is not my wish to blind the reader with the scientific whys and wherefores, vitamins are an immensely complicated subject on their own so we will just concentrate on the foodstuffs that contain the various elements.

First is Vitamin A, this vitamin is very important for the skin and it is important that you are getting at least the recommended minimum daily amount, which varies according to your age and sex, the following is a list of Vitamin A rich foods in order of vitamin content.
It can be seen from the list that carrots feature very high up, but do not make the mistake of thinking that eating 9 pounds of carrots a day will clear your acne, this will not work, every diet must be balanced.

It should also be noted, that cooking will considerably reduce the vitamin content of food, especially if it is boiled, therfore it is far better to steam vegetables where necessary, and carrots are best when eaten raw.

Vitamin A rich foods

liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish)
broccoli leaf
sweet potato
collard greens
Cheddar cheese
cantaloupe melon

Vitamin C rich foods

Here is a list of fruit and vegetables that are naturally high in Vitamin C, some of these may not be available in the West as many are tropical, but there is more than enough of our native species to include in your diet, although they are quite high in the list, eating Chili peppers is not recommended for acne sufferers or any other food that is hot and spicy as it may have an adverse effect on your skin.

Kakadu plum
Camu Camu
Rose hip
Indian gooseberry
Chili pepper, green
Red pepper
Chili pepper, red
Brussels sprouts
Melon, cantaloupe
Mandarin orange
Passion fruit
Cabbage raw green
Melon, honeydew
Plant source
Horned melon


Vitamin B6
Good sources include meats, whole grain products, vegetables, nuts and bananas

Many of the other essential vitamins that you need for health are already present in one form another in much of the food you eat, and it is unlikely you will deficient in any, any good diet will provide everything that the body needs for well being, there are also many vitamin supplements available for those who for reason or another may neeed to take them, seek advice from a suitably qualified person about these before taking them, excess vitamins are usually excreted from the body in urine, so do not be surprised if you urine changes color when taking some of these supplements, Vitamin B6 supplements for example can turn urine bright green!

Well now you know, if you didn’t already what you should be eating, lets go to the other end of the scale and see what type of foods and other things to to avoid, not just for acne but for your health in general, most of what follows you are probably aware of already.

  • Heavily processed and junk food
  • Spicy or hot food
  • Salt
  • Refined sugar
  • Certain types of oil and fats
  • Carbonated drinks (cola etc)
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolates and candy
  • Potato chips/crisps
  • Cakes cookies donuts.
  • Full fat dairy produce.

I can here the groans of disapproval from here from some people, but let’s go through things one by one and do a little analysis.


Salt and Sugar

Salt and Sugar has been the subject of much official medical research and guidelines have been set for the RDA or recommended daily amount, this has been done for a reason, because the medical profession has tons of patient data and extensive research has proven beyond all doubt that an excess of salt and refined sugar is bad for you, would anyone care to argue with highly qualified scientists? (citation requires)

Salt and sugar improves the taste of food. Who Says? Your parents, Celebrity Chefs, Processed food manufacturers, thats who says, we, myself included, blindly followed along with this without a second thought.

Now, suppose as a young child you were only given food that contained no salt or sugar, you would not know any difference, and later if you tried eating sweet or salty food you would probably wretch. Get my point? the only reason you eat salt and sugar is because your parents and the manufacturers added it to food.
We don’t actually need it.

If only life was that simple, unfortunately both salt and sugar are also natural food preservatives that have been used for centuries, and at present there is nothing better, and until there is it will continue to be used because it makes economic sense to do so.
The answer is to only eat preserved foods if you have no alternative, but it’s not that easy right? as it has been added to almost everything that is not organic, so on the face of it that is the answer, only eat organic food, “Yes, right”, I hear you say, “have you seen the price of it”?
My answer is yes I have, but it compares quite favorably to fast junk food.


Junk Food

Why do you eat junk food?

If you were asked that question what would your reply be?

“I cannot be bothered to cook anything”

Yes, I have to agree everyone has days like this, but how many days like it do you have?
If it is more then one or two a month there is probably something amiss in your life, on the other hand who says you have to cook, have a salad.

“I dont have the time to cook a proper meal”
With the advent of modern appliances like microwave ovens, this excuse doesn’t work anymore, there are hundreds of meals you can quickly make with a microwave, or better still have a salad.

“I only get a short lunch break”
When I worked for an employer I used to get twenty minutes, take your own lunch.

“I work at a place that makes it, and its free”
So what? Just make sure you only eat the salad ingredients.

“The kids pester me to take them to …?”
I wonder why? a child educated to the problems associated with fast food will quickly make their own minds up about eating it.

“I go there with my friends after work/school”
Every day? eat at home first, meet up later.

“I like eating lots of salt, sugar, fat and chemicals”
Apathy is one of the biggest problems facing the people.

“I like the taste of it”

I love fried onions and cucumber but never eat them because they give me gastric problems, find something healthy you like and eat that instead.


Is not that good for the skin, so try and cut down on your coffee and tea, or drink decaf instead, after a while you may not notice the difference.

If you really want to keep your skin healthy as possible then it is very important that it is properly hydrated, and this can be achieved by drinking plenty of water, two to three pints a day is what is usually recommended, but it may be more if the weather is very hot, the water may be bottled or out of a tap it makes no difference as long as you drink enough.

Carbonated drinks (cola etc)

Some types of soft drink can contain massive amounts of sugar and caffeine, better to drink water instead.

Chocolates and candy

Nope, these are out, too much sugar and fat, have some nuts or a piece of fruit instead.

Potato chips/crisps

Nope, these are out, too much salt and fat, have some nuts or a piece of fruit instead.

Cakes cookies donuts.

Nope, these are out, too much salt sugar and hydrogenated fat, have some nuts or a piece of fruit instead.

Spicy or hot food

Now this is a tricky one, certain traditional native dishes are in themselves very healthy food, but certain ingredients such as Chilli peppers or Curry powder may play havoc with your acne.

I will relate this story about my friend who is a native Thai that has lived in Hong Kong for many years, if she eats Thai food now, which is very spicy, the next day she will have pimples, and this is from someone who spent 25 years eating Thai food, so what I am trying to relate here is that if you are not used to hot and spicy you should be wary of it if you have acne, if you eat it regularly now, just come off it for a few weeks to see if your acne improves, it may or may not make a difference to you.

Certain types of oil and fats

There are certain types of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic oils and fats used in food that are not good you at all, whether you have acne or not, it would be best to avoid them and use altenatives where you can for your long term well being as they can most certainly cause problems later in life.

Trans fatty acids, more commonly called trans fats, are made by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas, a process called hydrogenation.
Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil. It also converts the oil into a solid, which makes transportation easier. Partially hydrogenated oils can also withstand repeated heating without breaking down, making them ideal for frying fast foods. (Fully hydrogenating a vegetable oil creates a fat that acts like a saturated fat.) It’s no wonder that partially hydrogenated oils have been a mainstay in restaurants and the food industry.

If you would like to read more about good and bad fats this article will tell you all you need to know.

Full fat dairy produce

If you have oily skin then it would be wise to cut out most full fat dairy produce from your diet and replace it with low fat varieties, you will notice little difference.

This article will tell you the constituent parts of a typical commercial milkshake

Drinking and smoking

No I am not going to tell you to give up, just be aware that alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, especially spirits such as Gin, and smoking will do your skin no good at all.

In summary then, and sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for a miracle acne diet, there isn’t one, just eat a natural well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water and stop eating all the things mentioned above that people have become addicted to in modern life that will do you no good at all, and may affect your health later.

As a closing tip if you want an actual healthy diet to follow, take a look at Chinese and Cantonese cooking, if everyone ate this type of food the planet would be a healthier place.
Health is very important to the Chinese and it is reflected in their cooking, having said that the McDonalds in Hong Kong are open 24 hours and they are always packed, the difference is that to them, eating there is an occasional treat not a way of life!

Here are some other interesting articles you may like to read…

Return To The Home Page
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