Many studies so far have been looking at the connection between the food we eat in our daily lives and the appearance of acne. And the results of these studies showed what many people had already noticed – the way we eat can really improve or worsen acne!
When we look at the relation between acne and food choices, most sources tell us what we should not eat.
Some of the foods that are on the “NO” list if you suffer from acne are cow’s milk, sugar, junk foods, simple carbs, white flour, processed foods, etc.
However, there is not much focus on what we should eat if we want to get rid of acne faster and achieve that glowing and clear skin.
Here, I will give you a complete list of 15 magical foods you can eat to battle acne and get that perfect complexion you are always dreaming of.
Of course, don't expect that your acne will be gone immediately when you eat a certain food. It’s all in the routine and small daily changes.
Changing your eating habits is the first thing you need to do if you are battling acne. And here is what to eat:
Throughout the history of civilizations, it’s rare to find an acne-sufferer in regions where people eat mostly vegetables. All vegetables are good for your skin, but especially dark leafy vegetables and cucumbers. Cucumbers are mostly water, which means they flush out all the toxins from your body and clear out the skin.
In fact, cucumbers are a known acne-fighting ingredient and can be found in many acne creams and ointments.
On the other hand, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale contain many vitamins and antioxidants that fight free radicals and are beneficial not only for clearing up acne but also for your whole body and health in general.
Same as with vegetables, in countries where fruit intake is higher, there have been much fewer acne appearances. To cure and diminish acne, it’s especially important to eat citrus fruits and antioxidant-rich fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, oranges, blueberries, melons, strawberries, etc.
All of these foods are rich in Vitamin C which is an incredible healing and regenerative vitamin. You will notice much less scarring and your skin complexion will significantly improve.
Aside from these, fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene are another powerful acne-fighting weapon.
Great options include sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, bell peppers, apricots, yams, carrots, pumpkin, etc. Not only that these foods fight acne, but they’re also very rich in fibers which makes them fulfilling.
So, if your goal is to fight acne, while at the same time curb your hunger and drop some pounds (who doesn’t need that!), feel free to indulge in these foods.
3. Omega-3-rich Foods
The instant skin glow that we can get from consuming Omega-3s is close to magical! Clearing acne is one of the many skin benefits of Omega-3!
The inflammation-reducing properties of these good fats are incredibly beneficial for fading away your red acne marks and reducing acne breakouts in general.
If you wish to increase your consumption of these good fats in your diet and get clearer skin, try to eat more walnuts, salmon, flaxseed, seeds, nuts, etc.
Great choices of nuts that have acne-fighting properties are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc. If you prefer the crunchiness of seeds, indulge in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc. Your skin will be so grateful!
4. Probiotic Food
Your body can have healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Needless to say, we want more of the first one and less of the second. In order to restore the balance in your body in general, you need healthy bacteria in your gut.
Did you know that your gut is the greatest immune system booster? More than half of your immune cells are located there, so the balance of your whole body can be regulated through your healthy gut.
As you can imagine, the skin is the biggest organ you have, so if you wish to have less acne and better skin, indulge in foods such as kefir, yogurt, kombucha, hot water with lemon in the mornings, pickles, etc.
5. Antioxidant-rich Foods
Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body and detoxify you from all the bad things that we consume and inhale on a daily basis. People who consume more antioxidant-rich foods have significantly less acne and suffer from fewer conditions and diseases than people whose main source is artificial and junk food.
To get the most of these antioxidant benefits, fill up your place with dark leafy vegetables and dark berries such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, red grapes, and much more!
6. Food Rich in Zinc
Zinc is another powerful weapon against acne. Aside from helping Vitamin A to be absorbed better, zinc is also known to control the production of male hormones such as testosterone. The overproduction of male hormones can lead to overproduction of sebum, which in turn, leads to overactive acne.
So, in order to incorporate more zinc in your diet, try eating oysters, fish, dark chicken and turkey meat, beans, and so on. These foods can greatly help you get rid of acne.
7. Food Rich in Selenium
Selenium is a strong antioxidant which can improve the elasticity of our skin as well as to prevent cell damage. So basically, it’s like a holy grail for your skin.
To increase your intake of selenium for clear skin, try eating more Brazil nuts, whole grains, clean meat, fish, garlic, onion, chicken, and turkey.
8. Food Rich in Beta-Carotene
The Selenium that we have mentioned above works best in combination with Beta-carotene which is transformed into Vitamin A in your body. For this, you need to consume foods rich in beta-carotene.
Foods that contain beta-carotene are carrots, pumpkin, yams, bell peppers, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and so many more…
To make it simpler, all fruits and vegetables that are colored yellow, orange, red, and anything in between, contain good amounts of beta-carotene
9. Food Rich in Vitamin C
Of course, all fruits and vegetables have good amounts of Vitamin C. However, there are some that are more powerful than others. Some of the most powerful fruits and vegetables you can consume are bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, melons, kiwi, papaya, etc.
Vitamin C will not directly improve your acne, but it has the ability to strengthen and protect your cells, which means your skin will have less scarring and marks from the existing acne. After all, there is a reason why Vitamin C Serums are such a hype nowadays!
Besides, Vitamin C benefits for skin do not stop at acne. Vitamin C has thousands of different uses and benefits for your whole body and general health and wellbeing.
10. Food Rich in Vitamin E
Nowadays, a low-fat diet might seem like a good option to drop some pounds, but it's not very good for consuming enough Vitamin E. For your skin to be healthy, scientists recommend at least 15mg of Vitamin E per day.
You can get Vitamin E from all types of unrefined vegetable oils, almonds, nuts, as well as whole grains. Whenever you have a choice, choose whole grain products over white, highly-refined ones.
On the other hand, be careful if you are also taking a Vitamin E supplement. This is a fat-soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) supplement, so you need to take some oil or fat with it. For example, a salad with some almonds and some olive oil drizzled on it is a perfect way to get more out of this vitamin!
11. Whole-Grain Foods
The more natural and raw you can eat the better for your skin. Instead of white bread, fill your cart with whole-grain bread.
Instead of white rice, try brown, unprocessed rice. And instead of fries, try sweet potatoes or boiled potatoes in your dishes. Try to replace white flour and white flour products with whole-wheat or whole-grain pastries. This will be of huge help in the long run.
Refined and processed foods can spike your insulin levels very fast. Insulin can wreak chaos on your hormones, which equals to an almost instant acne breakout! The relation between acne, insulin, and hormones is extremely important, especially in cases of adult acne!
If you have heard of this blue-greenish algae, you probably know it's considered to be a "superfood." Besides all other health benefits it offers, spirulina also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient called GLA or gamma-linolenic acid. This fatty acid can quickly subside your skin's inflammation and reduce the ugliness of your acne.
If you are not a huge lover of how spirulina tastes, you can try mixing it in your smoothies and juices. Your rich palette of fruits and vegetables will hide the taste of the spirulina powder.
13. Green Tea
Incredibly high in antioxidants, green tea is a magical drink which should be consumed every day to win your battle with acne. Not only that this tea will help you fight inflammation and reduce the redness that comes with acne, but it also contains much more antioxidants when you compare it to Vitamin C, for example.
A great habit would be to start drinking green tea with lemon in the mornings instead of your usual cup of coffee with heavy cream. These small daily habits can make a huge difference when you look back on your results and what you have achieved.
You remember all the vitamins and antioxidants that we mentioned so far? Well, avocado has all of them in one creamy and delicious green ball!
Whether it’s fiber, fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E…all of these are in just one avocado!
And the best part is that you can eat this as well as put it directly on your skin as one of the best DIY acne-clearing masks. Whether you choose to treat your acne topically or from the inside out, avocado is among the best foods for this purpose. Plus, you must admit, this acne weapon is pretty tasty as well!
Place half an avocado on a whole-grain toast, or make delicious guacamole and dip some vegetables in it. Trust me, your skin will thank you!
And of course, last but not least – water! Yes, pure water is the best thing you could do for your skin, your body, and your health in general.
Whenever your body is dehydrated, even when it's light dehydration that you might not feel physically, your kidneys get more toxins than they can handle and the rest will be trapped in your skin and appear as what we know as acne.
In order to flush out all of these toxins, you need to be drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. A suitable replacement to nourish and hydrate your skin could be lemon-infused water or coconut water.
Another thing you can do to hydrate your body and skin is to eat more fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Excellent examples of such foods are watermelons, oranges, cucumbers, parsley, pineapple, etc.
Drinking more water comes with all types of benefits such as more energy, weight loss, clearer mind, a feeling of freshness, curbing hunger, etc. So, conclusion – water is your best friend in battling acne!
Even though there are no magical foods, you can eat to battle acne and get rid of them immediately, with regular consumption of the above-mentioned foods you will be able to significantly decrease and improve your condition.
With regular exercise, the right food, and regular skincare routine, everyone can beat acne. Even if your problem is hormonal, food and exercise are always the first steps to achieve hormonal balance.
Of course, if you suffer from severe acne and open and inflamed wounds, food choices will not be enough on their own, and you should visit a dermatologist.
All in all, I hope that my food suggestions will help many of you improve your acne situation and you will finally get the relief you need so much!
If you found any of my suggestions above helpful, please let me know in our comments section. Or, if you have any better suggestions, you’re welcome to share them with our community!