About all

Does oily food cause acne: Does Greasy Food Cause Acne? – Yale Scientific Magazine

Do Greasy Foods Like Pizza Cause Acne? – SLMD Skincare by Sandra Lee, M.D.

Skin Concerns

Derm Ed

Skin Hacks

Ingredient Spotlight

For something that’s so common, acne remains something of a mystery for most people. It’s not your fault: even dermatologists and researchers don’t fully understand the biological mechanisms behind the world’s most prevalent skin condition.

So it’s no surprise that there’s confusion about whether or not greasy foods like pizza — or sugary sodas, or dairy — cause acne. For answers, we went straight to the expert: Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper.

Does greasy food cause acne?

According to Dr. Lee, the answer is…not exactly. “People have this misconception that greasy food somehow equals oily skin,” she says, “but our skin doesn’t work that way.”

Whether or not you have oily skin depends upon your pores, which contain your sebaceous glands. How large and how productive these oil producing glands are is largely dependent on your genetics and your hormones.

Moreover, just because your skin is oily doesn’t necessarily mean it’s acne prone. Though the two tend to go hand in hand — since pores clogged with oil and dead skin are the building blocks of breakouts — it’s very possible to have oily skin without acne.

Does sugar cause acne?

Some studies have shown that diets high in refined carbohydrates (think: cereal, white bread, white rice, sugar, corn syrup) lead to an increased risk of having acne. While more research is needed, one fact is clear, says Dr. Lee: refined carbs spike blood sugar levels, which leads the body to release more insulin. In turn, higher insulin levels stimulate androgens — hormones responsible for increasing sebum production. And (in case you missed it), more sebum tends to mean more acne.

Does eating dairy cause acne?

If you’re paying attention to the pattern, you already know the answer to this one: consuming dairy foods doesn’t directly cause acne, but research shows it may play a role. Dr. Lee explains that the hormones contained in milk may be to blame: there is some evidence that consuming both the naturally occurring hormones, as well as added growth hormones, can lead to inflammation. In theory, this in turn can leave skin more susceptible to breakouts.

Can you still eat junk food if you have acne?

“I’m a big believer in ‘everything in moderation,’” says Dr. Lee. “If you’ve got acne and you want to eat pizza, eat pizza sometimes — just balance it with something healthier.” She says that if you notice an immediate breakout after eating certain foods, however, you may want to explore further and/or limit that food in your diet. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you have food allergies.

But the best way to keep breakouts under control, Dr. Lee shares, is to maintain a consistent skincare routine that includes key ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and retinol. SLMD Skincare Acne System is a simple, 3-step routine that helps manage acne at every stage.

Dr. Lee’s last word

Patients are always asking me if their diet contributes to their acne. The fact is, dermatologists suspect that certain foods probably affect your skin health, but the research is ongoing. To a certain extent, the old expression ‘You are what you eat’ is a smart philosophy to live by, whether you have acne or not. Healthier food definitely keeps your body — including your largest organ — healthier, too.

—Dr. Sandra Lee

← previous

next →

Shop the Article

$40 USD
In stock


Acne System

Regular price

3-Step Routine in 30 Day Supply

30-Day Kit – $40 USD

60-Day Supply – $70 USD


$30 USD
In stock

BP Lotion

Regular price

Antibacterial Acne Treatment

Default Title – 3000


$40 USD
In stock

Retinol Serum

Regular price

Nighttime Clarifying Treatment

Default Title – 4000


Biggest Myths about Acne and Food: Dermatology of Boca: Dermatologists

Biggest Myths about Acne and Food

Acne is by far the most common skin disorder, affecting about 80% of teenagers and young adults. Even though acne is usually associated with teenagers, it affects people of all ages. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 54% of women over 25 experience acne breakouts and clinical studies suggest that more than 40% of people in their 20s and 30s have persistent acne.

Acne develops when your oil glands produce too much sebum, which can clog your pores and cause pimples, also called acne lesions, to erupt. They can show up on your face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a health issue that should cause much distress, but it can be unsightly and lead to permanent scarring.

For obvious reasons, most people would prefer to avoid acne breakouts, but there are a lot of myths floating around about what causes acne and how to prevent it. Your best bet is to make an appointment with dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey S. Fromowitz of Dermatology of Boca in Boca Raton, Florida, for personalized treatment options.

You can also help yourself by learning to distinguish myth from fact when it comes to acne and food. Here are three popular myths about how what you put in your mouth affects your skin.

Myth #1: Your diet does not affect your acne

At first, researchers believed your diet had a significant impact on acne. Then, after a few studies regarding chocolate and acne, they reversed their position. Now, recent studies do point to a connection — or at least a correlation, though not an absolute cause and effect — between acne and food.

The culprits? Foods high on the glycemic index, such as white bread, chips, high-sugar products, and white potatoes. Other studies show that dairy, also long thought to be an acne aggravator, may also lead to pimples.

Eating foods low on the glycemic index and limiting your dairy intake may improve your skin.

Myth #2: Greasy foods cause breakouts

Because acne is caused by an increase in sebum, which is an oily substance, people have long assumed that eating greasy foods makes your skin greasy, leading to an acne eruption.

This has never been scientifically proven, so you don’t need to worry about eating fried or greasy foods when it comes to your skin. However, there are plenty of reasons you should still limit these types of foods, especially when it comes to your heart and your waist circumference.

Although eating greasy foods do not promote acne, touching your skin after eating may contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.

Myth #3: All chocolate causes acne

Chocolate has long been lumped together with greasy foods and junk food as snacks to avoid if you want to get rid of your acne. While the sugar and dairy content in milk chocolate may contribute to skin problems, dark chocolate is probably safe. In fact, the antioxidants in dark chocolate may even help your skin.

If you suspect something in your diet is causing breakouts, keep a food diary and make an appointment with Dr. Fromowitz to learn how to effectively treat your acne.

How Tattoo Removal Actually Works

You loved that butterfly when you first got it tattooed. But now every time you see it, you feel regret. Maybe it’s blurry or poorly done. Maybe it reminds you of someone no longer in your life. Learn how tattoo removal works and get rid of it for good.

What Causes Adult Acne and How to Get Rid of it?

Acne can develop well into adulthood as a result of excess oil production and clogged pores. There are all kinds of treatments — lifestyle changes, laser therapy, LED photodynamic treatment, medication, and topical creams or gels.

Getting Rid of Those Brown Spots has Never Been Easier

We call them age spots, but they’re probably more related to your time in the sun than your time on the planet. Find out what causes them and how easy it is to get rid of brown spots, regardless of what you choose to blame for their appearance.

Start TruSculpt Body Contouring Now for the Shape You’ve Always Wanted by Summer

When you live in Florida, it’s never too early to start thinking about beach season. Summer will be here before you know it. Are you happy with your shape, or could you benefit from an effortless yet effective truSculpt® 3D body contouring treatment?

what to eat to get rid of acne

Everything that gets on your plate is then reflected on your face. You can choose foods that trigger breakouts. And you can get acquainted with food that relieves acne. We will tell you from which foods acne recedes if you include them in your diet.




weight loss



It is impossible to get clear and radiant skin with skin care products alone. The effect will be temporary or imperceptible. Of course, you can mask flaws with cosmetics, postponing the solution to the problem. But if you learn to take care of the skin from the inside, disguise will not be needed. Add acne products to your plate and the result will not be long in coming.

Off the menu – products that cause acne

Before moving on to the list of products that are useful for your face, find out which ones cause acne. Perhaps you use them, but you don’t know that all the troubles on your skin are from them. Stay away from this food.

  • Sweet food. Put here anything that has a high glycemic index and solid sugar. Cakes, pastries, rolls and similar products that provoke acne. We will also place buns made from premium flour here. They will destroy not only your figure and intestines, but also your skin.
  • Dairy rivers. Pimples from dairy products appear due to the increased secretion of sebum, which they contribute to. Pores become clogged and acne appears.
  • Fatty food. And not only fatty meats, but also sausage, fast food, snacks and other momentary pleasures spoil the spring look. We will also leave fried and smoked here. Products in this group that cause acne on the face contain chemical additives and irritate the sebaceous glands.
  • Coffee and alcohol. Can’t go a day without three cups of coffee? Remember that we have included it in the list of products that affect acne. The drink acts on the production of the stress hormone and increases blood sugar. And alcohol dilates blood vessels and dehydrates, which is by no means good for the skin.


By learning which foods cause acne, it will be easier for you to overcome unpleasant phenomena on your face and body. You can always experiment and cross them off the menu at least for a while. There is a chance that the result will pleasantly surprise you.

Anti-acne products for clear skin

It’s one thing to cross out knowing which foods trigger acne, it’s another to add them. It’s a matter of taste and health. If in doubt about some, even healthy, products, consult a specialist about allergies and individual tolerance.

1. Avocado

This vegetable will probably be erected a monument. And skeptics are all waiting for something harmful to be found in it. But no! Solid benefit. Including for the face. Therefore, we have included it in products that help with acne. The fruit contains vitamin E, which prevents the breakdown of collagen in the body. And vitamin C, essential for healthy skin.

2. Broccoli

This cute cabbage has made it to the list of foods for acne, causing conflicting emotions. She is also a record holder in terms of benefiting our body. But many consider it terribly tasteless, which fits well with the concept of “the medicine must be bitter.” A complex of vitamins A, groups B and K provides high-quality skin care and its rapid healing. We like to eat fresh broccoli by leaving it in boiling water for 10 minutes. After it becomes crispy and very tasty.

3. Fig

Delicious fruit rich in magnesium helps restore smooth, velvety skin and reduce the activity of the sebaceous glands. Some acne products are very high in calories. These include figs. In raw form, no more than 150 g per day is allowed. And the calorie content of dried food increases five times.

4. Oatmeal

Rich in magnesium, less tasty than figs, but more accessible. This is convenient for similar products that remove acne. Without serious expenses, they can be consumed at least every day. And how many options for oatmeal face masks!

5. Brown rice

Rice has found its way into acne products due to its beneficial properties. It is an absorbent and a source of fiber, it also realizes its cleansing properties in relation to the skin. It is also a source of vitamin B, proteins, magnesium and antioxidants.

6. Trout

If you ask a specialist what foods help get rid of acne, he will definitely mention this type of fish. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which reduces the likelihood of acne. The anti-inflammatory effect and antibacterial activity of fatty acids is what you need for your face.

7. Oysters

Sometimes, to get rid of acne, you have to choose exotic products. Or maybe you’ll like it? Shuku and answer all envious sighs: “The dermatologist advised me, there is a lot of zinc in oysters!”

8. Pumpkin seeds

Budget product that helps with acne, suitable as a snack. The seeds contain zinc, which keeps sebum production under control.

9. Dark chocolate

What is the tastiest product for acne? Of course, chocolate. Antioxidants will only benefit your skin. By the way, zinc is also here. Just don’t, please, eat the bar in one sitting. Getty Images

Subscribe to our newsletter ”Context ”: she will help you sort out the events.

Image copyright, Getty Images

More and more of my patients are excluding certain foods from their diet just to beat acne. But don’t you eat do we only make things worse for your body?

As a consultant dermatologist in central London, over the past ten years, I have been visited by people with a wide variety of skin problems. Personally, as a specialist, I am most interested in acne (acne, or blackheads – an inflammatory skin disease. – Note translator ).

I will share with you some observations that disturb me. The growing popularity of so-called wellness, its obsessive presence in our lives, makes me seriously concerned about this: how does the fashion for a healthy lifestyle and the business associated with it affect our relationship with food – and ultimately the health of our skin?

Let me bring you up to speed a little. I am aware that in my private clinic there are quite specific patients. Many of them have years of fighting acne behind them. Most are women, and mostly very wealthy, such is the peculiarity of working in a clinic located in an expensive London area.

These are smart, well-informed women who care not only about their skin, but about their health in general.

By the time they get to my office complaining of acne, most of them have already tried, it seems, everything – all sorts of drugs that have cost more than one thousand pounds, various diets . ..

  • Undersalting is as bad as oversalt?
  • Sugar – “white death”? What if he’s not guilty of anything?
  • 10 steps to Korean beauty: snails, algae, mushrooms
  • Is everything harmful? Debunking Food Myths

The last aspect, nutrition, is one that has become increasingly difficult to ignore when trying to help these patients. They tell me how dairy, gluten and sugar products are excluded from the diet – just to get rid of these terrible black spots on the face.

Many of these women limit themselves to food to such an extent that it is clear to me that this has become an unhealthy obsession.

How else to call the constant search for a good reason for not going out to dinner with friends? What do you call a refusal to eat a small piece of cake that mother baked for her birthday? How to call a categorical refusal to eat if there is no cafe nearby where they cook “clean”, “permitted” food?

What I have to deal with is not just acne per se. It is also a real fear of eating something wrong, a fear of certain foods.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

To get rid of acne, people cut out dairy, gluten, and some other foods from their diet.

This connection has been studied and discussed for decades and still causes controversy among specialists.

It is very difficult to conduct high-quality research on the effects of food on the body. Many rely on people’s memories – what they ate at one time or another.

But can you remember exactly what you ate last week? And 10 years ago?

What do we know exactly? That there is a growing body of evidence linking the onset and development of acne and high glycemic index foods (GI, the rate at which carbohydrates in a food are absorbed by the body and raise blood sugar levels. – Note translator ) – so in theory sugar could play a role here.

However, the conclusion that I would draw from this is this: you should not completely eliminate sugar from your diet, but consume it wisely. It is useful – and not only for your skin, but for your health in general.

The relationship between acne and dairy products is much weaker. While they may play a role in causing acne in a small group of people – not everyone!

By the way, for reasons not yet fully understood, low-fat dairy products are more unhealthy than regular, fatty ones.

There is no UK or US recommendation to stop dairy products for acne.

I know many people who follow a vegan diet and still have acne.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Some patients have gotten to the point of becoming terrified of eating certain foods, refusing even a piece of birthday cake baked by a family member

Skip the Podcast and continue reading.


What was that?

We quickly, simply and clearly explain what happened, why it’s important and what’s next.


End of Story Podcast

Similarly, I know many patients who have eliminated entire food groups from their diet – so what? They still haven’t gotten rid of the pimples.

It would be an oversimplification to think of food as the source of the problem – by doing so we are ignoring the multifactorial nature of acne, including genetic and hormonal differences.

But food restrictions are not enough for us, and we are also ready to shame anyone who, in our opinion, eats wrong.

Somehow it seems perfectly acceptable to people to give their (unsolicited) advice and make judgments about someone’s eating habits, which they believe is the cause of acne on someone else’s face.

This happened to me too. I remember a complete stranger who came up on the street and said that ice cream on a hot day is the cause of acne.

I remember a worried relative who urged me to refuse a piece of chocolate, because it is because of it that acne occurs.

I remember a social media troll who wrote: no wonder you have bad skin – you just posted a photo of a slice of pizza!

We live in a world where there is an overabundance of information. Everyone has a voice and a place to express their opinions – social networks give us access to such a worldwide audience that even 20 years ago it was impossible to even dream of.

But how can we tell a charlatan from someone worthy of our trust in such discord?

If you’re really frustrated by the way your face looks, if your acne is causing your self-esteem to vanish, it’s perfectly normal to turn to the internet for advice.

The only problem is that not all advice is equal. They contain a lot of conflicting information – and this happens even in the recommendations of professional specialists.

And if something helps one, it doesn’t necessarily help another. We are all unique individuals with unique DNA and a unique microbiome, both gut and skin.

Acne has already been linked to some mental problems such as anxiety, depression, social isolation and body embarrassment.

When a person who already has similar problems is also told to give up something in food, this can only lead to a worsening of the general situation.

And yet it’s happening all over social media – all sorts of bloggers, referring to naturopaths and alternative medicine practices, promise to “eradicate your problem.”

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

People with acne are already psychologically vulnerable, and telling them to stop eating certain foods is unwise.

No one denies that good nutrition is important. Food plays a major role in either healthy or unhealthy skin.

But this does not mean at all that it is necessary to force people to feel inferior just because they eat this way and not otherwise, and to go to them with unsolicited advice that has no scientific basis.

Criticizing someone who is already in a vulnerable position is unfair to say the least. My patients told me that after reading such comments on social networks, they felt that their mental state was deteriorating and they wanted to give up food altogether.

Many people are overly concerned about their own diet, and some are even embarrassed about eating certain types of food in public.

Friends and colleagues in nutrition and psychology have told me that they experience the same thing in their clinics.

So what to do?

If you have acne, and much of what I have described here is familiar to you, it is important to seek medical attention. Similarly, if you notice that someone close to you is starting to avoid certain types of foods because of acne, please encourage them to speak to a specialist.

Talk to your family therapist or dermatologist as honestly as you can about your worries, including food concerns.

It can help you a lot if your skin treatment includes a nutritionist and a psychologist in addition to a dermatologist.

Food should not be divided into good and bad – such an approach to the problem is too primitive.