A Clear Skin Diet: What to Eat and Why

The key to clear skin might be easier than you think. 

There are many factors that can affect the appearance of clear skin. A sometimes overlooked factor is what we are putting on our plates. Research suggests that what we eat directly affects our skin. It also shows that a healthy diet can help clear up acne and might even help prevent skin cancer in some cases.

If your skin is prone to acne, consider making changes to your diet. Certain foods and drinks could be the solution that you have been looking for.

What Causes Acne?

You might think that you left acne back in your teenage years, but acne is also a common problem in adults. It affects as many as 50 million people in the U.S. alone and is labeled the most common skin condition in the country.

Acne is caused when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This could trigger a bacterial response and is what leads to inflammation and infection in severe acne. Acne can present itself as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and more. It commonly appears on the face, forehead, chest, shoulders, and upper back.

Acne can also be triggered by hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, and diet. Certain risk factors of acne include age, family history, pressure on your skin, and oily substances. For example, if you use an oily lotion or are constantly on the phone with it pushed to your face, it can cause acne flare-ups.

Foods to Avoid if You Have Acne

Acne might be caused by irritated pores, but it starts with diet. If you are not eating a healthy, balanced diet, your skin could suffer. Here are the top foods to avoid if you are prone to acne:

Refined Grains and Sugars

Those who consume high amounts of refined carbs tend to have more acne. These types of foods include anything made with white flour, sodas, and other sugary beverages or foods. Those who regularly consume added sugars have a 30% greater risk of developing acne. This is because refined carbohydrates present in sugar spike blood sugar levels and insulin. High levels of insulin are not good for those who have acne-prone skin.


Studies have shown that dairy is a trigger food. Research suggests that young adults who consume dairy were four times more likely to have acne. 

One of the biggest dairy culprits is milk. Although researchers don’t know exactly how milk triggers acne, there are substantial theories. Some suggest that milk causes acne because drinking milk increases insulin levels. Others say that cow milk contains certain amino acids that stimulate our liver to produce IFG-1, which has been linked to acne.

Fast Food

The reason why fast food should be avoided if you are prone to acne is that it contains every trigger ingredient for acne. Fast food is high in refined grains, refined sugars, and grease—and all of these ingredients can have a negative impact on your skin. Studies have shown that those who consume fast food have an increased risk of developing acne.

What to Eat to Help Clear Your Skin Up

To help avoid acne, you need to have a healthy diet. But what exactly does that mean? Nutritionists say that your diet should be focused on high-quality lean proteins, raw fruits and veggies, fiber, spices, and healthy oils, like omega-3. This means eating a diet that includes foods like:

  • Salmon
  • Oatmeal
  • Miso
  • Artichokes
  • Wild rice
  • Spinach and kale
  • Nuts

Additionally, drinking sufficient water is important to help clear up skin. When you don’t drink enough water, dehydration causes dry skin to produce excess oil, which then can contribute to acne. To help stay hydrated, make drinking water enjoyable. Infuse it with fruit or add powder packets to it. A88CBD™ Powder Packs are a great option to add to water because they give you a CBD-powered boost and they are free of acne-triggering sugar.

When creating your anti-acne diet, remember that it is not one size fits all. Some foods might work for some people and not for others. A good rule of thumb is to keep a journal and log what you eat every day along with the acne symptoms of that day. This can help you see what foods work and which ones don’t. And although a diet can help, it is important to assess all factors that increase the risk of acne in your life, such as stress and hormones.