Anti-Acne Diet: Get Rid of Acne by Eating Healthier

Do any studies show that these foods help your skin?

Low-glycemic diets

Several recent studies suggest that following a low-glycemic diet, or one that is low in simple sugars, can prevent and improve acne. Researchers in one study of Korean patients found that following a low-glycemic load for 10 weeks can lead to significant improvements in acne.

In another study published in the Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyTrusted Source, researchers found that following a low-glycemic, high-protein diet for 12 weeks improved acne in men, and also led to weight loss.

Zinc

Studies also suggest that eating foods rich in zinc may be useful in preventing and treating acne. Foods that are rich in zinc include:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • cashews
  • beef
  • turkey
  • quinoa
  • lentils
  • seafood such as oysters and crab

In one study published in the BioMed Research International JournalTrusted Source, researchers looked at the relationship between the levels of zinc in the blood and acne severity. Zinc is a dietary mineral important in skin development as well as regulating metabolism and hormone levels.

The researchers found that low levels of zinc were linked to more severe cases of acne. They suggest increasing the amount of zinc in the diet to 40 mg of zinc per day to treat people with severe cases of acne. Studies suggest that same amount of zinc even for people without acne.

Vitamins A and E

In a study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Ocular ToxicologyTrusted Source, researchers found that low levels of vitamins A and E also seem to be linked to severe cases of acne.

They suggest that people with acne may be able to lessen the severity of their acne by increasing their intake of foods containing these vitamins. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A toxicity can cause permanent damage to your major organs.

Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3s are a type of fat found in certain plants and animal-protein sources, such as fish and eggs. Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize damaging toxins in the body. Together, omega-3s and antioxidants are thought to reduce inflammation.

Studies largely support the connection between an increase in consumption of omega-3s and Antioxidants and a decrease in acne.

A study published in the Lipids in Health and DiseaseTrusted Source found that people who took a daily omega-3 and antioxidant supplement were able to both reduce their acne and improve their mental health.

Since acne often causes emotional distress, omega-3 and antioxidant consumption may be very beneficial for people with the condition.

The bottom line

Some studies suggest certain foods can help get rid of acne and improve skin health, but there is no definitive food “cure.” Before modifying your diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor to make sure any changes you make won’t harm your health.

The best diet advice in dealing with acne appears to be eating a wholesome, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources, and whole grains.