Natasha Dunn

Did you know, if your parents suffered from acne, you are more likely to develop acne at some stage? During the ages of 11-30 years, up to 80% of people will be affected by acne.

If both parents had acne, it’s more likely you will develop severe acne in your earlier, and even later adult life – as young as 7 up, until well past your 50s.

You can help your skin fight acne and the inflammation associated with acne via consuming a therapeutic diet.  It was thought that greasy sugary foods caused acne, but it has been found that acne is in fact related to high glycemic index (GI) foods.

A study by Nguygen, Q-G et al., 2016, found a link between dairy consumption and acne.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Pasta
  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Non organic dairy

Foods to eat to help reduce the effects of acne:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Oysters

Note that the above foods are high in zinc.  A study by Mogaddam, M, R., et al, (2014), found that lower zinc levels were found in those with severe acne compared to the controls, suggesting zinc plays a large role in reducing inflammatory skin issues.

It’s also important to include foods containing vitamin A and E. In a study by Ozuguz, P et al, (2014), it was concluded that diet is important for patients with acne.  They found that the levels of vitamins E and A along with zinc was lower in those who had acne compared to the control group. They also found that supportive treatment with these vitamins lead to improvements in acne.

Foods containing Vitamins A & E:

  • Nuts such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts,
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Vegetable oils
  • Avocados
  • Butternut squash
  • Trout
  • Eggs
  • Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits
  • Salmon
  • Liver

Antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids:

A study by Nguygen, Q-G et al., 2016, found a positive relationship between the consumption of omega-3 rich fish and inflammation associated with acne.

  • Eggs
  • Fatty fish such as salmon and Mackerel
  • Nuts and seeds such as flaxseed chia and walnuts
  • Plant oils

Khyayef, G et al, (2012), found that the use of fish oil supplementation in people with severe acne showed an overall improvement. Fish oils also help with mental heath and distress which can be caused by acne flare ups.

If you want to know more about your current level of Omega 3’s, then read more on our blog about the Omega Index test >>

The best take home message here is to avoid poor choice foods and keep your diet rich with fresh fruits and vegetables, good proteins and whole grains.


  1. Mogaddam, M, R., Ardabili, N, S., Maleki, N., and Soflaee,M 2014.  Correlation between the Severity and Type of Acne Lesions with serum Zinc Levels in Patients wit Acne Vulgaris. ‘BioMed Research International’ v2014: 474108
  2. Nguyen, Q-G.,Markus, Ramsey and Katta, Rajani 2016.  Diet and acne: an exploratory survey study of patient’s beliefs. ‘Dermatology Practical & Conceptual’ 6(2) 21-27
  3. Ozuguz, P., Dogruk, K, S., Ekiz, O., Balta, I., Kalkan, G 2014.  Evaluation of serum vitamins A and E and zinc levels according to the severity of acne vulgaris. ‘Cutan Cul Toxicol’ 33(2):99-102
  4. Khayef, G., Young, J., Burn-Whitmore, B., and Spalding, T 2012.  Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne.


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