Is there an anti-acne diet?

Anti-acne diet tips from Defy Nature in New London

Is there an anti-acne diet?

Acne develops when pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, or both. There are many treatment options to prevent and help with adult acne, but can eating certain foods really help?

For years it was thought that many common skin conditions had no relationship to diet. However, recent studies have discovered that consuming more foods with omega-3 fatty acids, eating less dairy, and avoiding foods with a high glycemic index (sugar) can make a big difference in clearing up acne-prone skin. Eating these kinds of foods stimulate the production of hormones that can create excess oil which gets secreted by oil glands, increasing or worsening the symptoms of acne on the skin.

Studies reveal that the Western diet (which is high in calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates) is a leading cause of acne. Interestingly enough, acne is absent in native non-Westernized populations, such as in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay.

Foods you may want to consider putting in your diet:

Berries. This specific food group is often known as an antioxidant powerhouse, which can be great for reducing oxidative stress on the skin. Berries also have a low glycemic index, which can help keep acne from coming back.

Omega-3. Often found in fatty fish, omega-3 goes back to having a balanced diet of healthy fats. Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, and sardines in particular) have been shown to heal the skin from within, which can help in reducing acne marks and scars. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with acne symptoms. Other foods that are high in omega-3s include pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, spinach, flaxseed, and soybeans to name a few.

Turmeric. This magical ingredient has numerous benefits for the skin including anti-inflammatory benefits, improving insulin sensitivity and inhibiting the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

Complex carbohydrates. These foods, including whole grains, legumes, and unprocessed fruits and vegetables, can all help in reducing symptoms of acne due to the low-glycemic index that they possess.

Green tea: Green tea contains polyphenols that are associated with reduced inflammation and lowered sebum production. Green tea extracts have been found to reduce acne severity when applied to the skin.


Dairy products. Examples of dairy products include milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. Some people with acne may benefit from avoiding these foods.

Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) and a high glycemic load (GL). As a very general rule, more processed foods tend to have higher GIs and GLs.

Refined carbs. Also known as simple carbs or processed carbs, the main dietary sources of refined carbs are white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, white pasta, breakfast cereals and added sugars.

Fast food items. Foods such as burgers, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes, are mainstays of a typical Western diet and may increase acne risk.

The Bottom Line

Some studies suggest that eating certain foods can get rid of acne and improve your skin health, but there is no magic pill. The best diet advice for great skin is to eat a well-balanced, wholesome diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains. Furthermore, what you put on your skin makes a huge difference. At Defy Nature in New London, we offer only FDA-approved quality skin care products for healthy, beautiful skin. Along with our many medical spa anti-aging treatments, every product is specifically selected and formulated to provide each of our clients the best possible outcome for glowing skin.

If you struggle with acne and facial blemishes, you might also be interested in receiving a chemical peel treatment. At Defy Nature in New London, we specialize in Vi Aesthetics chemical peels. Vi Aesthetic peels are different from other chemical peels in that they require no skin preconditioning, are almost painless, and have a minimal downtime after the procedure. Vi Aesthetic peels are also made with vitamins and minerals which nourish the skin long after the procedure is over. Many patients report seeing results in as little as one week, but 2 to 3 treatments are recommended for full effect.

If you are plagued by acne scarring, Bellafill, another treatment offered by Defy Nature, may be a good option for you. Bellafill is a 5-year filler and is FDA approved. Unlike other fillers that can fade over time, Bellafill creates a platform in your body to help improve the body’s natural collagen production and absorption at the injection site.

Call Defy Nature at (860) 442-5347 for your complimentary consultation with Kristin Kenny RN, an experienced certified injector.