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Foods to avoid for a clearer complexion

By Tori Taylor, August 25 2019 — 

We are all too familiar with horribly-timed breakouts. I remember being told that bad skin was a problem for our puberty-ridden teenage phase. Low and behold, as most of us have discovered, that was a bold-faced lie. I am nearing my 30s and have had worse skin this year than I ever did as a teenager. It’s been super awesome. If you can relate to me then you may be happy to hear there are a few dietary steps you can take to clear up your skin that won’t break the bank.

Refined sugars and grains:

It is good to remember that processed foods have several negative effects on the body. Refined sugars and carbohydrates raise insulin levels and that can have some negative results. Pastries, cakes, breads, packaged snacks and pastas all raise blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar rises so does your insulin levels, and high levels of insulin often manifest through the skin as acne. It is best to moderate or negate the processed foods and refined sugars that you eat if you’re looking to clean up your diet and skin. 


People who consume higher amounts of dairy products were reportedly up to four times more likely to struggle with acne. There are a few reasons as to why dairy consumers deal with worse acne than those who avoid dairy. It seems likely that because dairy raises insulin levels in the blood, this is how acne results. As with refined sugars and carbohydrates, when dairy increases the body’s insulin, poor skin conditions can take place with higher frequency. 

Fast Food:

Westernized fast-food has always been lumped into a bad category in terms of healthy eating — and for good reason. Fast food is high in saturated fats, processed sugars, refined carbohydrates and calories. The skin is the biggest organ in the body and when you eat food that is not good for you it has a negative effect on your organs. It only makes sense that poor nutrition manifests through your skin. Eating a diet high in saturated fat and processed foods is linked to higher risks of bad skin and acne breakouts. 


We have all been told at least once in our lives that eating chocolate will give you poor skin — and more often than not this has rung true. For such a long standing, widely passed on belief, there is surprisingly little research to back the claim. However, it still maintains that a lot of people breakout when they eat more chocolate than they usually do. It is thought that chocolate may increase your immune system’s reactivity to the bacteria that causes acne.

Whey Protein:

Whey protein is a widely-used supplement by athletes and people looking to eat healthier. It is in most nutritional shakes and used frequently as a post-workout fuel. It would seem that certain amino acids found in whey protein are likely to cause higher insulin production. As discussed before, if the body is producing more insulin than needed, acne is an associate result. Perhaps look at vegan avenues for protein supplements. There are many vegan protein products that taste great and are not linked to bad skin or constipation. 

It’s a nightmare to deal with acne at any stage in your life. It can be a very real struggle and does nothing for a student’s confidence or mood. If you are hoping to clear your skin up, then avoiding the above mentioned foods may help you out. It is worth experimenting with your diet via the elimination process to find out what could help your skin out the most.

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