and hormones are usually the cause of acne in adults (and teens, too) but apparently certain types of food can cause adult acne as well.
Three Types of Food That May Increase Adult Acne
1. Dairy. Yep, milk may do a body good, but according to dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger, milk may also have high levels of hormones that can mess with our oil glands - and help trigger acne breakouts in adults.
Important note here- an article on WebMD states there is not a direct confirmed link between dairy and acne. Dairy is an important source of calcium and vitamin D, which your bones (and the rest of your body) need. If you find that your skin clears up after you cut out dairy, see if you can have a little without breakouts. Some people can drink small amounts of milk and stay acne-free. Or try different kinds of dairy. Nonsweetened yogurt from cows, or dairy from other animals such as goats, may be more tolerable for your skin. And also remember that you need to replace the calcium that you would normally get from dairy by eating other foods such as calcium-rich leafy greens (like kale and mustard greens), broccoli, and sardines.
2. Sugar. No big surprise here. We know sugar is not exactly healthy for us anyway. But some studies also suggest that eating foods high in sugar can cause blood glucose to rise rapidly, triggering a boost in insulin and resulting in inflammation on a cellular level. This can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells, as well as overactive oil gland activity. Clogged pores means higher chances of an acne breakout.
This may be why so many of us link eating chocolate with acne. The dairy and sugar in some chocolate could be why I will wake up to a nice red pimple after eating chocolate. There is some good news however - according to one study, chocolate inflames existing acne instead of causing it. And another study shows that patients who ate milk-free chocolate bars – not pure cacao – showed no connection at all. So if you love your chocolate, try eating dark chocolate because it usually has less dairy and sugar.
3. Fried Foods. So along with eating food with too much sugar, eating too much fried food is just not a great choice for us either. Many fried foods have unhealthy trans fats and omega 6 fatty acids which can trigger inflammation -which can aggravate acne. (not to be confused with healthy omega 3 fatty acids which can actually help reduce inflammation)
So what can we do as adults to try and limit acne flare-ups? Looks like cutting back on sugar is a must. And for more reasons than acne alone. Eating foods with healthy omega-3 fatty acids is important - and again, for more than just trying to avoid acne. And follow your instincts. If you suspect a specific food causes breakouts (be it milk, sweets or processed snacks), you can try to cut back or eliminate it for four weeks and see if your skin improves.