A poor diet can result in the development of acne (Photo: Shutterstock)

Acne is a skin condition that affects up to ten per cent of the world’s population. There are very many contributing factors to the development of acne, some being acne-causing bacteria, hormonal imbalance, inflammation of the pores on the skin as well as the blockage of these pores. 

There is a lot of controversy concerning the nexus between a proper diet and acne but it is true to say that a poor diet can result in the development of acne. 

And speaking from experience, every time I have a generous serving of chocolate fudge cake it is almost guaranteed I will wake up with a breakout the next day. If you can somewhat relate, chances are you are consuming foods that may be triggering acne.

Here are some common culprits that may be behind your buster up face. 

Sugary foods

An increase in sugar intake may affect blood sugar levels as well as the production of insulin in the body. When carbohydrates are properly refined, the rate of absorption into the bloodstream is rapid and this leads to an increase in sugar levels. Insulin activates androgen hormones contributing to rapid development of new acne-causing cells.

 Dairy products increase the levels of insulin in the body and may contribute to the development of acne (Photo: Shutterstock)

Dairy products

Dairy products such as milk are known to increase the levels of insulin in the body and may eventually contribute to the development of acne. The theory behind this is that cow milk contains certain amino acids which instruct the liver to generate more insulin resulting in the development of acne and sometimes aggravating it.

Fast food

Any diet that is rich in fat, carbohydrates and calories can be associated with the development of acne. Most of the research done on the relationship between acne and fast food is mostly self-reported data and may not be entirely factual. 

However, most fast food is generally unhealthy and of no value to the body. Normally in this kind of research, data reveals the patterns of poor diet habits and how they have resulted in or aggravated already present acne prone skin.

 Fast food is rich in fat, carbohydrates and calories which can lead to acne (Photo: Shutterstock)

Omega 6 fats

Omega 6 fatty acids have been linked to the formation of acne and increased inflammation of the skin. This is because of the imbalance of omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids in the body resulting in inflammation worsening your acne. 

Whey protein powder

This is a popular supplement in some people’s diet and despite how it has been marketed, it may be something you need to stay away from. This product is a high source of leucine and glutamine amino acids.  These amino acids in turn accelerate the production of skin cells and as a result may lead to the development of acne.

 (Photo: Shutterstock)

General allergy to certain foods

Acne is an inflammatory disease. This can otherwise be backed up by the fact that anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed as effective treatments for severe acne due to an already increased number of inflammatory molecules present in the patient’s bloodstream. 

This inflammation may be aggravated by delayed hypersensitivity reactions when it comes to certain foods. Some people react to fish while others react to butter and so on. It is important for individuals as well as guardians to children to be more knowledgeable about the foods they are sensitive to, to avoid further skin complications.


Having a drink is always a treat but when done in excess, it may affect hormonal activity which may result in skin breakouts. While this research has not been fully proven, alcohol affects estrogen and testosterone levels which contribute majorly to the frequency and how severe skin conditions can get. 

When these hormonal levels are increased, it leads to the production of sebum which blocks the pores on the skin resulting in acne. It also alters the body’s immune system hence it may not be able to fight off acne-causing bacteria effectively.