The Clear Skin Diet: Can Foods Cause Acne?


By Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The torment of acne has become a rite of passage for teens. But, as it turns out, acne is not a condition limited to adolescents. Today, over 40% of American adults age 25 and over deal with clinical, facial acne. That includes 12% of people who are considered middle-aged! What’s most startling is that this condition is not a global phenomenon. Young adults in other, non-western societies do not appear to share in the experience of acne.

Hormones impact the amount of oil in your skin, and acne occurs when those hormones shift and cause more oil to be produced. The oil causes dead skin and dirt to get trapped in the pores, leading to the bacterial growth and infection we refer to as acne. What could cause some to be immune to the trials of acne that affect so many? Many signs point to genetics, stress, and environmental toxins as contributing factors. But there’s something more; new findings suggest that food may play a huge role.

A Closer Look at Diet and Acne

Researchers recently succeeded in positively identifying the correlation between diet and acne. A study of 43 men between 15 and 25 years of age showed that changing to a diet centered on protein and low-glycemic carbs helped clear acne within 12 weeks. And, in addition to improved complexion, the men also experienced a better insulin response and body weight.

Most carbohydrates cause blood sugar to rise and make your body produce more insulin. This is worth mentioning because studies have shown that people with blood sugar spikes and high insulin are more likely to experience acne. Conversely, a low glycemic diet encourages a better complexion.

The impact of food on a person’s blood sugar is quantified and measured using the Glycemic Index. High glycemic foods cause blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. On the other hand, low glycemic foods are digested more slowly and have less effect on blood sugar. In recent years, researchers have noted that high glycemic diets increase the chance of type II diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic disorders.]

Milk may be another stressor, as research suggests a possible link between drinking milk and an increased risk of breakouts. Reduced fat and skim milk do have a higher glycemic load than whole or raw milk, but in order to be certain of the exact impact milk has on acne, more research is needed.

Some have said that the oft-repeated warning about candy causing acne was just an old wives’ tale, but with all the negative effects from sugar, it seems that the warning may be well founded.

Foods That Cause Acne

To avoid acne, start by avoiding high-glycemic foods. This includes fried foods, processed foods, and any food that contains refined or added sugars. Start with the following:

  • White bread
  • Bagels
  • Cornflakes
  • Puffed rice
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Short-grain white rice
  • Rice pasta
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baguette
  • Baked russet potato
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Popcorn
  • Saltine crackers
  • Pizza
  • Soda


Can Food Allergies Cause Acne?

Anecdotally speaking, people who suffer from food allergies seem to be more prone to acne. But, food allergies affect different people differently. For many, the immune system responds to food allergens like they’re invading germs. The reaction can be incredibly serious, sometimes even fatal.

Of course, not every allergic reaction is deadly. Some actually work so slowly that a person may not even know they’re happening. For example, some foods may cause inflammation in certain people. Symptoms may not actually appear until days after the food was eaten, making it tough to pinpoint as a cause. Acne can be one of those delayed symptoms.


Foods for Healthy Skin

For smooth, healthy skin, it’s best to eat natural, organic, fruits and vegetables. Lean proteins like beans, nuts, and fish also support skin health. Big meals lead to blood sugar spikes. Eat smaller, more frequentVancouver_Washington_Day_Spa_Flaxseed_healthy_food_fruits_veggies meals to get the nutrition you need and help keep your blood sugar balanced.

Aim for foods high in skin-supporting vitamins A, C and E. For vitamin A, eat plenty of sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, and fish. Your best sources of vitamin C include acerola cherries, lemons, and cantaloupe. Tasty sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, and spinach. Many of these foods also protect against heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


Vancouver_Washington_Day_Spa_Flaxseed_healthy_food_nuts_seedsChickpeas are a great source of all of these vitamins, plus protein. Hummus is a great snack with veggies like carrots or broccoli. You can make your own or buy it from the store. Remember to look for organic and avoid options with added sugar.

Most importantly — drink water. Most people simply don’t get enough water.



Additional Acne Considerations

Nutrition and diet are an important approach to your skin’s appearance but environmental factors may also play a role in the incidence of acne. A consistent, natural skin care routine can help achieve healthy looking skin, depending on your skin type. Be mindful of products used to cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize as they may contain harmful ingredients such as endocrine disruptors that can aggravate acne or absorb into the skin. Chemicals to watch out for include parabens, phthalate-based fragrances, and petroleum based PEG compounds.

Acne takes time to heal; the residual markings and acne scars may take weeks to fade. Natural moisturizers such as coconut oil, aloe vera plant, and olive oil an assist the body’s self-healing mechanisms by supporting cellular function with nutrients and hydration. Again, make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Sleep is also important for cellular regeneration, make sure you are getting enough.


Repost from another blog, read original article here


We here at Cascade Day Spa recommend using, for your daily routine


 Step 1:

Refreshing Foaming Gel

This gel cleanser gently lifts away impurities and traces of makeup without the irritation often associated with bar soaps and foaming cleansers.(Vegan)


  • Purifies and refines
  • Rebalances the hydrolipidic film
  • Normalizes sebaceous secretions
  • Helps maintain a healthy, smooth complexion

How to use:

Dispense a small amount into your hand, mix with a little water, and work into lather. Massage over wet face and rinse thoroughly with warm water. For best results, use morning and evening. Avoid direct contact with the eyes.

Key ingredients:

  • Cucumber extract: provides soothing and calming effect
  • Chamomile extract and Aloe Vera: soothes skin and reduces skin inflammation
  • Wheat protein: softens and hydrates the skin

Step 2:

Acne Defense Clarifying Complex

This spot treatment effectively manages acneic skin. Helps to dry up blemishes and reduce inflammation, promoting clearer skin. (Vegan)


  • Non-drying formula  and safe for use during pregnancy
  • Helps dry blemishes
  • Reduces inflammation and soothes irritated skin
  • Promotes clearer skin

How to use:

Apply to affected area twice daily. May be used alone or in combination with Avitalin Rebalance Calming Complex.

Key ingredients:

  • Witch hazel: anti-bacterial
  • Green tea extract: provides protection from free radicals
  • Arnica extract: helps to minimize pigmentation from healing acne lesions, prevents scar formation
  • Embryonic phyto complex: stimulates healing and repair processes
  • Calendula, slippery elm and nettle leaf extracts: minimize inflammation and stimulate healing process
  • Salicylic acid: anti-bacterial; drying
  • Oat extract: soothes the skin and helps to reduce redness

Step 3:


Rebalance Calming Complex

This formula contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that promote healing, nourish overly sensitive skin, and help to relieve irritation and redness associated with eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea. (Vegan)


  • Gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin
  • Highly nourishing and moisturizing
  • Soothes and calms the skin
  • Helps to repair dehydrated and irritated skin

How to use:

Apply liberally to cleansed skin, avoiding direct contact with eyes. May be used alone or over prescribed medication.

Key ingredients:

  • Rooibos and green tea extracts: antioxidants
  • Licorice extract: soothes, calms and brightens the skin
  • Oat extract: softens; provides anti-inflammatory effect; reduces redness
  • Calendula: reduces inflammation; promotes healing
  • Embryonic phyto complex: protects from environmental damage; provides vitality
  • Beta glucans: helps stimulate Langerhans cells (skin’s immune cells); stimulates collagen production; has an anti-aging effect



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