Foods That Are Giving You Acne

1. Dairy

Dairy is a HUGE contributor to acne. Dairy is filled with hormones from female cows and messes with your own hormones. Also, dairy is extremely inflammatory which expresses itself in the form of acne. Dermatologists often just provide their patients with a cream or a pill – this really just covers up the problem instead of fixing the root issue. I personally am genetically prone to acne, so for me, eliminating dairy has been a lifesaver. My sophomore year of high school my skin was at its worst but if I reflect on my diet back then, it was filled with dairy! If you feel like you’re trying everything but nothing is working, try cutting out dairy for a few weeks to see if you notice a difference. There are so many dairy alternatives out there, so not to worry! For a milk replacement, I like almond milk or coconut milk. My fav yogurt substitute is So Delicious brand unsweetened plain (I like adding a little maple syrup to it so I control the amount of sweetener). For cheese, I like Kite Hill brand or Miyokos!

2. Processed Food

Processed junk food, or food products that come in a box with a laundry list of ingredients may also play a role in triggering breakouts. If you are someone with acne-prone skin, what you eat is going to be directly reflected on your face. Processed foods are filled with artificial ingredients, additives, preservatives, chemicals, sugar, refined flours, GMO-corn, GMO-soy, etc. If you’re feeding your body junk, your body can’t function properly. A consequence of this is breakouts and inflamed skin! Stick to whole, plant foods; if it comes from the earth, eat it! Fruits and vegetables should be your best friends here. If you do buy food in a box, make sure it has minimal ingredients (like 5 or less)!

3. Gluten

For some people, gluten can contribute to an increase in acne. To be clear, gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten does not affect my skin but if you have a sensitivity you might want to try cutting it out. If you do not know if you have a sensitivity or not, try eliminating gluten for a few weeks to a month to see if you notice a difference. I would start with cutting out dairy then you can try gluten as well. Like dairy, gluten can also be inflammatory in the body. If you’re thinking that a gluten-free diet seems impossible, don’t freak out! Like dairy, there are SO many alternatives! For GF pasta I like Trader Joe’s organic lentil pasta or quinoa pasta but every grocery store sells GF pasta of some kind (try to go with a brown rice pasta vs. a corn pasta). Foods for Life brand has GF English muffins if you need a toast replacement or if you have time you can bake your own GF bread, there are tons of recipes online. For GF crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers are my go-to, they are delish and so healthy!

In good health,


Danielle Brown

Hi! I’m Danielle Brown, the face behind HealthyGirl Kitchen! I share easy, approachable plant-based recipes that are not only healthy but taste amazing. Follow me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for free vegan meal ideas, recipes and healthygirl tips.

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  1. Arica says:

    Wow, this was so informative!! I can’t wait to read your next post!!

  2. Acne Treatment says:

    People should know that your foods have a huge impact on your acne. Your the excess amount of junk food and oily food you eat the higher amount of acne you will get. I would say this article will guide people very well to know what will be the right foods for them when they suffer from acne. Thank you.