21 Foods to Get Rid of Acne

Foods to Get Rid of Acne

Acne has an unfortunate habit of appearing when you least expect it. Be it the night before your wedding or 5 minutes before the first date, acne comes unexpectedly and threatens to ruin your special occasion. While there are plenty of different remedies created to fight acne, you can easily prevent it with the right diet. Armed with a list of foods to get rid of acne, you can forget about this unpleasant occurrence in no time.

Fatty Fish

The fat contained in this fish is not the one that makes your skin greasy. In fact, it does just the opposite. Salmon, sardines, cod, and tuna give your body the omega-3 fatty acids required to keep your body healthy. Omega-3 is the building block that helps your organism produce new skin cells. Omega-3 also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can help you fight acne when it already appeared. Regular fatty fish consumption can have a tremendous effect on the condition of your skin.

Water-Containing Foods

Keeping your skin hydrated is the key to its healthy appearance and acne decline. Foods that contain plenty of water, such as watermelons and cucumbers, are the key to keeping your body hydrated from the inside. People tend to dry out their skin with various acne-fighting medication. Instead of ruining your skin cells with salicylic acid, work on preventing the breakouts by keeping the skin hydrated naturally. Water-rich foods to get rid of acne are also a great tool for weight loss since they keep you feeling full while offering almost no calories. [1]


The consumption of probiotics is compulsory to keeping your digestive system functioning properly. Did you know that the way your digestive system functions affect the way your skin looks? The healthier your stomach is, the clearer and shinier the skin will be. Probiotics also hinder the release of inflammatory proteins. They decrease the production of natural skin oil called sebum and prevent clogged pores. That’s why probiotics consumption is essential for getting rid and preventing acne. Here are some foods that contain plenty of probiotics and should become a part of your diet:

  • Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Raw cheese
  • Apple cider vinegar [2]

Green Tea

Green tea has a high antioxidant potential. The antioxidants contained in green tea can fight inflammation and keep your skin clear. Some studies show that green tea is a more effective antioxidant than vitamins C or E.

Another benefit of the green tea is the reduction of insulin levels. Too much insulin in your blood leads to clogged pores and acne. [3] Green tea can lower the blood sugar levels. A study done in Japan showed that drinking at least six cups of green tea per day can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by over 30 %. [4]

Important tip: Brewing tea using tea bags won’t give such a good effect as brewing it using loose leaf tea.

Zinc-Containing Foods

Several studies show that zinc can reduce the appearance of acne. Taking zinc supplements should be regulated by your doctor since it might have such unfortunate side effects as headaches. Zinc deficiency might be one of the reasons the acne appears. It plays a major role in the cell replication. Zinc carries vitamin A to your body and improves hormonal balance. Your best bet is finding zinc in the foods to get rid of acne. [5] Here is a short list you might want to take with you the next time you go to the grocery store:

  • Oysters
  • Lamb
  • Chickpeas
  • Veal liver
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Watermelon seeds
  • Spinach
  • Cashews
  • Mushrooms
  • Dark chocolate

Foods Not to Eat

While you are buying foods to get rid of acne, make sure to cross the following off your list:

Processed Foods

While eating processed food is a sure way to gain weight and boost your blood sugar levels, it can also lead to acne formation. Processed food contains excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and fats. Besides all the acne-causing ingredients, the processed foods contain additives that can prevent the absorption of vitamin A and zinc by your body.

When you eat at fast food venues, you can’t be sure of the nature of food you are getting. Most likely, it’s extremely unhealthy and will cause breakouts. Processed food includes everything you don’t cook from scratch at home. Even if you go to a good restaurant, be ready to get high-sodium content together with low-quality products.

Starchy Foods

White bread, pasta, and potatoes are high in starch and may cause acne breakouts. [6] Refined carbohydrates are the clear skin’s worst enemies. When we consume starchy carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels go up. High insulin levels lead to inflammation. They also cause blocked pores and oily skin. Some studies showed that 70 % of people who eliminated processed carbohydrates from their diet had a dramatic improvement in the condition of their skin. If you want to prevent acne formation, you have to forget about cakes, bagels, and juices as well.

Dairy Products

When it comes to foods to get rid of acne, milk is definitely not one of them. In fact, milk and other dairy products, excluding yogurt and kefir, lead to acne breakouts. Milk contains an IGF-1 hormone which causes inflammation that eventually leads to acne. Dairy products also act as insulin boosters. This causes the liver to produce more IGF-1 hormone. At the same time, dairy increases the production of sebum. Excessive sebum production leads to clogged pores and acne. [7]

While milk and other dairy products are rich in vitamins, they are a bad choice for people who are trying to fight acne. The vitamins and minerals contained in dairy products can be found in other foods or supplements.

Making a list of foods to get rid of acne and following a diet is easy. If you make sure to avoid the acne-causing food and stock up on “good” products, you’ll see a major decrease in breakouts in no time.



[1] http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/acne-foods/

[2] https://draxe.com/probiotic-foods/

[3] http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/lifestyle#1

[4] http://www.acneeinstein.com/3-ways-green-tea-treats-acne/

[5] http://www.clearskinforever.net/zinc-and-acne-does-zinc-help-with-acne/

[6] http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/acne-foods#1

[7] http://www.clearskinforever.net/milk-acne-does-milk-cause-acne/

Anthony Alayon

Anthony Alayon is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Sports Nutritionist with the ISSA. He’s written for Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, About.com (A New York Times Company), Labrada.com, and several other popular fitness websites. He’s taught thousands how to eat better, and build the physique they could only dream of (including numerous pro athletes). Today, he’s here to share his knowledge and experience with you!