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The affect of diet on disease is a notoriously difficult thing to study. For this reason, we do not know for sure whether diet directly affects acne, and if so, to what degree. However, it remains a distinct possibility that moving toward a healthier diet may reduce symptoms of acne, at least to some degree. From the science produced thus far, we have early hints that it may be best to:

  • Eat a low-glycemic diet rich in whole grains, meat/poultry/fish, vegetables & fruits, nuts, eggs, and oils, and cut down on high-glycemic processed foods and drinks like white bread, candy, and soda. 
  • Take up to 6 regular fish oil pills per day, or up to 3 "concentrated" fish oil pills to get the omega-3 fats your body needs to combat inflammation. Remember: Acne is an inflammatory disease.
  • Eat lots of colorful vegetables & fruits. Nature makes food colorful when it contains high amounts of antioxidants, and these plant-based antioxidants may help calm the skin. 
  • Take 30mg of zinc gluconate per day: People with acne tend to be low in zinc, and multiple studies support a link between low levels of zinc and acne. 


  • Dairy gets a lot of press when it comes to acne, but the evidence we have thus far is tenuous at best.
  • Consider calories: A rapid increase in calories can cause the body to increase hormone production, which could hypothetically increase symptoms of acne. This may be why most "acne diets" tend to work in the short term as calories are limited.

Latest in Diet

Diet Glycemic Load Diet and Acne The area of research on diet and acne that has the most compelling evidence is the possible connection between high-glycemic (high-sugar) diets and increased acne symptoms. Eating a diet low in sugar and rich in whole grains, fish, meat, oils, fruits, and vegetables could prove beneficial. May 30, 2020
Diet How Fatty Foods Affect Acne It may be the calorie content in fatty food more than the fat itself that might lead to more acne. However, there is simply not enough evidence for us to conclude anything about fatty food and acne until we see randomized controlled studies on the subject. May 29, 2020
Diet Do Probiotics Clear Acne? A healthy gut may help keep inflammation in check. Since acne is an inflammatory disease, it makes sense to do what we can to keep the gut healthy. Probiotics may help to restore or keep a balance of gut bacteria, particularly during or after taking oral antibiotics. May 11, 2020
Diet Chocolate and Acne Because of one flawed 1969 study, a rumor started that chocolate had no effect on acne, and this rumor was perpetuated until 2011 when several... May 05, 2020
Diet Tips on How to Eat Low Glycemic Eat more whole foods like meat, veggies, eggs, nuts, beans, and oils, and less processed and high-sugar foods like white bread, candy, and soda. April 26, 2020
Diet The Role of Good Bacteria in the Gut We have trillions of good bacteria in our guts that keep us healthy. Oral antibiotics, which are sometimes prescribed for acne, kill both bad bacteria and good bacteria, and can negatively affect our immune system and health. April 26, 2020