Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

You can do just about anything to keep your facial skin free from acne, right? For sure. 

Americans shell out billions of dollars annually on different acne over-the-counter solutions. Unfortunately, those expensive facial creams, scrubs, masks, etc won’t fix your acne if the inside isn’t right. 

Skin tells us about the conditions of our internal organs. It’s about the time you start paying attention to our skin, else you continue to get the red message. 

So what is the best food for reducing acne breakout and achieving flawless facial skin?  

Recent research confirms that protein-rich, glycemic-low diets can help improve acne symptoms. 

With that said, the following 10 foods will help reduce acne breakout on your face. 

1. Kale 

Kale is far ahead of other members of its cabbage species. And that’s because of its surplus nutrients. The high fiber, low-calorie superfood packs a punch with quality nutrients such as calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A, B-6, C. 

Minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants present in kales reduce hyperpigmentation and even out the skin tone. 

Vitamin C in kale boosts collagen formation to facilitate a faster acne repair. 

Routine activity – sprinkle some kale on your salad for breakfast or spice up your smoothie with kale for lunch or diner. 

2. Sweet potato 

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, fights off existing acne and eliminates blemishes. The acne treatment market is flooded with pools of retinol-infused cream, promising to end your acne. However, these over-the-counter solutions can be threatening to adults under age 30 because of the harsh ingredients they contain. So eat your retinol instead – at least in its clean, unprocessed form. 

Beta carotene, converted into vitamin A, is the secret behind the attractive color of sweet potato. Vitamin A protects against common skin threats like inflammation, discoloration, or clogged pores caused by free radicals. 

Routine activity – while sweet potato casserole is typically served as a holiday dinner, taking them as baked fries is one of the many ways to enjoy their skincare benefits all year long. 

3. Lemon 

, Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

Lemon juice functions as a clean, natural astringent which prevents the blurring of blemishes and tightening of sagging skin. However, do not use it as a topical treatment. Fresh lemon juice can be acidic and may destroy your skin protectors, leaving it extremely light or dark when exposed to the sun. 

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Thankfully, lemon properties are now produced in a packaged serum which you can squeeze into water, sprinkle on salads, or include in your diet. You’d be thrilled at the magical transformation it can give your skin. Lemon helps increase collagen production and lighten acne scars. 

Routine activityHave fresh lemon squeezed into a cup of warm water and take it every morning for sparklingly beautiful skin. 

4. Pumpkin

While pumpkin is available in just about every season, there’s more to its benefit than the pleasures of pies and lattes. 

Nutritionally rich in zinc, alpha hydroxy acids, and enzymes, pumpkin can balance PH levels and soften the skin. That’s why mask and exfoliating manufacturers included it in their production process. 

Zinc and fiber perform an excellent job internally. Zinc controls body oil production.  

Routine activityFor breakfast, Add pumpkin puree in pancake batter or just roast its seed and add a little oil and a little salt. Be sure to explore other recipe options for this diet. 

5. Berries  

, Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, etc – don’t be fooled by their small sizes. These berries are small but mighty. They’re vitamin C and antioxidant-rich (like those found in kiwi, broccoli, and bell pepper). 

The circulatory presence of vitamin C in the blood provides a strong barrier against itchy skin while teaming up with antioxidants from berries to fight off dark spots, or even prevent their initial formation. Some other health benefits of berries include: 

  • Boost brain health 
  • Reduce cholesterol 
  • Regulate blood sugar level
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes or heart disease 
  • Provide stable bowel movement

Routine activityApart from berries being a beautiful snack and a yummy combo to yogurt and oatmeal,  someone who has a sweet tooth will love the berry-infused desserts. 

If you’re going for whole fruits, set your daily goals to 8 average-sized strawberries or 21 cherries. 

6. Legumes 

What’s that one thing that connects the dots between peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans? They’re legumes! 

Legumes are low-glycemic, which means they regulate blood sugar level and reduce acne flare-ups. 

Chocolate, white rice, breakfast cereals, and other high glycemic foods can boost blood sugar. Not only can these improve the risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, they can also threaten the skin. 

See also  The Healthy Way to Count Calories

Routine activityAdd legumes to your soup. Or just sprinkle them on your salad to enjoy a nutrient-rich meal. 

7. Papaya

Papaya contains papain, an effective digestive enzyme. On your skin, Papain can: 

  • Unclog pores
  • Keep the skin hydrated
  • Prevent acne breakout 
  • Clear acne scars 

This magical fruit also performs wonders on your inside. It contains minerals and vitamins that increase skin elasticity while eliminating wrinkles and fine lines. 

Routine activityYou’ll love them in your smoothie, curry, sorbet, and tangy salsa. They’re also incredible when tried topically as a rejuvenating mask (expect a clearer, brighter skin) 

8. Quinoa

Cook a cup of quinoa and you’ll get fiber between 17-27 grams. So you won’t experience constipation.  When you poop regularly, you’re equally getting rid of body toxins, resulting in brighter, clearer, and dark spot-free facial skin. 

Routine activityYou’ll love Quinoa’s taste in salads or as a substitute for wheat flour in baked goods like muffins and cookies. Want to explore? Try quinoa black bean burgers.

9. Salmon

, Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids that promote healthy skin. However, anchovies and sardine are other incredible options.

Omega 3s protects the skin from sun damage, reduces the risk of brown spots and skin cancer which is typically triggered by prolonged exposure to the sun. 

Salmon is rich in: 

  • Protein 
  • Potassium
  • B vitamins 
  • Antioxidants 
  • Selenium 

Routine activityCan be baked, fried, and steamed. Google up other different creative recipes for your salmon. 

10. Cauliflower

Vibrant veggies and fruits tend to come with incredible health benefits. However, do not ignore the underlying benefits of cauliflowers. 

Cauliflower contains histidine,  a very potent amino acid. Excessive exposure to sunlight can worsen existing dark spots. That’s where histidine comes in to prevent the effect of the harmful rays on the skin.  

With a cup of cauliflower, you can expect:

  • Fiber 
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus 
  • Folate 
  • Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and vitamin K 

Routine activityDip some cauliflower in fresh hummus for a delicious lunch snack. Alternatively, add it to your cheese or your mac, or pizza crust and mashed potato for a soothingly healthy combination. 

Acne Diets: Foods To Avoid

, Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

First off, keep in mind that food does not play a major role in an acne breakout. Except you’re acne-prone, have oily skin, and lack proper hygiene, the following diet can improve the risk of acne breakout. 

See also  Low FODMAP Dinner Recipes


Sugar and its refined version (honey, juice, sodas), which we consume in our homes contain high levels of refined carbs. These carbs tend to get easily absorbed into the bloodstream to increase sugar levels. The high sugar level means more sugar entry into the body cells which can result in acne. 

Dairy products

Research found that consuming low-fat milk can increase the risk of acne. However, research does not prove the relationship between acne and milk. 

If you detect acne after milk consumption then avoid all forms of dairy products. 

Junk food 

Young adults who eat plenty of junk foods like fries and burgers tend to have acne. However, research is yet to confirm the ingredient in junk foods responsible for acne. 


A study found that people who consume cocoa have a higher risk of acne than those who don’t. Chocolate (which contains a bit of dairy product) can cause your immune system to react and form acne

Greasy food 

Burger, bacon, and fried food that contains a high amount of grease all has extra fat and oil which can cause acne breakout. 

Omega 6 fat-rich foods 

Foods like soybean oil and cornflakes tend to trigger the risk of acne because of the omega 6 fat they contain (which has inflammatory properties). If your skin is acne-prone, these foods can increase your vulnerability. 

Important pointers

, Top 10 Foods for Reducing Acne Breakout (And Foods To Avoid)

I’m Pretty sure it’s not your first time hearing this but fish, fruits, and veggies are some of the best additions to your diet. 

The big secret to reducing acne is to eat foods that reduce inflammation, improve collagen formation, and prevent external toxins.

The body breaks down the food eaten and transports them to the bloodstream. So you’re not getting a typical result overnight you’d get with topical treatment.  

A plate of salmon or berries won’t do the magic.  

Bottom Line

Your food plays an important role in the relationship between you and your skin. It’s the ultimate foundation that the body needs to build from the inside out. 

 A healthy diet fuels the skin with the necessary minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that promote healthy skin devoid of acne.


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