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How Your Diet Can Cause or Prevent Breakouts

By: Olivia Plaza 


What most people do not know is that what you eat plays a significant role in the 

appearance of your skin. This summer I discovered a vegan, low-fat diet made all my acne 

disappear and stopped it from occurring as often. In the past I had cut out factors such as dairy, 

sugar, and animal products from my diet. However, I was still breaking out and wondered what I 

should and shouldn’t be eating. A vegan diet is crucial if you are trying to get rid of acne for 

good. Dairy is more well known as being a leading cause for acne. Dairy contains a hormone 

called IGF-1, which is known to cause breakouts. It is important to steer away from all dairy 

products including whey protein and always check the nutrition label to make sure it does not 

contain dairy. Foods that you would not expect may not always list dairy as an ingredient but 

may include “contains dairy” in the allergen warning below. All other animal products contain 

hormones that contribute to breakouts as well. Animal products also take longer to pass through 

your digestive system, which can cause stress and excess energy to be used on the body, when it 

could be used elsewhere. So what most people do not know is that a high fat diet can also 

contribute to acne. Foods you may think are healthy such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil, all 

cause breakouts. Consuming excess fat can cause an increase of sebum production, which clogs 

pores. When trying to clear your acne, it is important that you only consume foods that are low in 


So, what should you be eating? Focus on consuming a ton of vegetables, fruits, and 

whole grains. Fruits and vegetables are water soluble, which means they digest very fast and do 

not sit in the stomach for long. Your body will not be wasting energy on the digestive system 

trying to process this food, and the energy can be used elsewhere. Fruits, vegetables, and whole 

grains are high in fiber. A high fiber diet can help clear acne fast. Vegetables contain numerous 

vitamins that aid in the clearing of acne. It is important that vegetables make up 50% or more of 

every meal you consume for optimal digestion. Whole grains like quinoa, steel cut oatmeal, and 

brown rice, are very low in fat and high in fiber. Whole grains also do not contain added sugars 

and preservatives. 

As for liquids, I think everyone has heard the key to clear skin is to chug bottles of water 

throughout the day. However, what some people do not know is that caffeine is acidic for the 

body. When trying to clear your skin, cut our tea and coffee and see how your skin reacts. Once 

your skin is clear for awhile, slowly reintroduce it into your diet.

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