by Andrea Sellner

What Foods Are the Main Triggers of Acne and Other Skin Conditions?

Food and lifestyle choices can have a direct impact on your skin.

Seventeen million American people suffer from the condition of acne and 40-50% of Americans who suffer from acne are over the age of 25. Acne can be caused by many different sources like environment (pollution, climate, etc), stress, comedogenic or toxic skin care, food sensitivities and other imbalances in the body. The main sources of acne can all lead back to digestion, gut and hormone health. The skin acts as a mirror letting us know where we need to pay the most attention to our internal healing. If you don’t address skin issues from the root problem, you're going to have to keep suppressing the inflammatory response on the skin. (especially with allergy issues like eczema, hives and even acne. Not addressing the issue can lead to more severe health concerns.

Ways that we can start to change our skin from the inside out is to limit inflammatory foods and become aware of what foods cause your skin to flare up. Internal inflammation has  a significant impact on skin health and can cause acne and the breakdown of collagen.

Optimal skin health requires healthy habits from the inside out.

Most Common Inflammatory Foods For the Skin



(Or anything that turns to sugar) It's the increase in blood sugar that causes the issues- since it increases insulin, that increases sebum production and androgen activity which also causes accelerated aging in the skin.


Dairy is also connected to the glycemic index- it spikes blood sugar. There will always be an excess of hormones in milk from animals which can cause an imbalance in our hormones contributing to acne around the jaw line.

Vegetable Oils

(Like canola, safflower, soybean, corn, and grapeseed oil)

The way these oils are extracted are much different from the healthy oils (olive, coconut). Making these vegetable oils involves pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents. This can lead to inflammation and disease.

is alcohol bad for your skin.jpg


Your liver works hard every day to eliminate toxins in the body. When you consume alcohol, your liver is focusing on eliminating the alcohol rather than daily toxins which slows down the skins ability to detox. Alcohol also forces out water, making it harder for you skin to hydrate itself.

Red Meat and Processed Meat

Processed meat contains nitrites, nitrates, other preservatives triggering inflammation. Red and fatty mean generated free radicals which damages cells and the skin’s ability to protect itself. 


The main food triggers that contribute to eczema are wheat (most common), corn, and eggs.

Food to calm inflammation

best food for acne.jpg

Antioxidant rich foods are great for the skin to balance moisture and protect from free radical damage.

Foods high in Omega-3s.

Avocados are good because of their monounsaturated fats, polyphenols and antioxidants.

Fermented vegetables are good to balance beneficial bacteria for a healthy gut and sinus health. 

Broccoli and other dark green vegetables assist in detoxification.

Ginger and Turmeric contains antioxidants, natural antihistamines, and anti-inflammatories that speed healing, decrease pain, and reduce swelling and congestion throughout the body. It eases allergies, sinus pain and can calm symptoms of acne.


I personally take supplements to ensure I’m getting the right nutrients to balance my gut an hormone health. I use Dr. Jess  Microbiome Master and Hormone Master. Her formula consists of wildcrafted and organic herbs that effectively heal the body.  


To get the best results with acne, a two step approach is best. Address and decrease the internal imbalances that are causing inflammation in the skin but also use plant based skincare to balance the pH of the skin and help the skin's barrier function.