9 Foods That Cause Acne

By Andrea Stanley

Your diet may be to blame for your breakouts. While food isn’t the be-all and end-all cause of acne, it can exacerbate it, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and dermatologist practicing in Boston. If you’ve already tried every beauty product with “acne” on the label, it’s time to rethink the role these foods play in your diet.

Skim Milk

Got milk? Malaysian research revealed that those who regularly consumed milk were four times more likely to have acne drama than those who didn’t (the hormones in dairy are thought to make your skin go haywire). More surprising: Skim may be worse than whole or low-fat milk, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The exact reason why is still unclear, although it may have to do with the different proteins found in skim.

Ice Cream

Dealing with a rash of acne breakouts lately? Your go-to pint of ice cream may be to blame. (Sorry, cookie dough!) “Sugars can cause inflammation in the skin,” Hirsch says. And the not-so-sweet cherry on top? Ice cream contains dairy, too. So between the high sugar content and dairy, it may be time to cease those late-night freezer raids.

Potato Chips

Carbs, specifically those with a high glycemic index, cause inflammation, which can lead to breakouts, says Hirsch. In fact, when it comes to foods that cause acne, many dermatologists say high-GI foods are the biggest culprit. The next time you’re hankering for a handful of potato chips, reach for some peanuts instead (they have a low glycemic index).

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