Creating an Acne Diet Plan: Eating Food That Clears Acne

Nutrition | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 27 June 2024

A man with hormonal acne explores diverse food groups to craft a diet plan, focusing on incorporating yogurt, fish, fruits, zinc, and vegetables while reducing intake of chips, soda, alcohol, and sugar.

Designing an acne diet plan can help maintain clear and glowing skin. Our nutrition is key to keeping our body healthy, and this includes a balanced skin tone!

Acne isn’t just something that plagues teenagers. Many adults fight acne for most of their lives, though they may not be aware that the foods you eat directly affect your pores and skin.

Many adults experience acne breakouts and may feel embarrassed by pimples, clogged pores, or blackheads. These can occur anywhere on our body, and many adults can suffer for many years without help.

Making a dietary shift might just unlock the secret to harmonizing your hormones and attaining that coveted radiant complexion. Certain options may be better for treating your outbreaks than others.

Discover which foods can improve your blemishes and acne outbreaks. Explore simple adjustments to your diet that promote clear skin. Let’s learn about some easy changes together.

Increase Water and Green Tea Intake in Your Acne Diet Plan

You may have already heard that drinking more water is key to clearing skin and fighting acne, but teas also have valuable properties that can help you get rid of those pesky pimples.

Tea has many natural acne fighting properties, but the list continues in terms of its other benefits. This awesome beverage is known for being a:

  • Antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Cholesterol reducer
  • Cancer fighter
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory

And it’s a lovely source of caffeine to boot! But this tea has another special property that makes it stand out as an acne fighter: epigallocatechin gallate.

Essentially, it is a property found in this tea that helps reduce the oil produced by our skin, which means a reduction in acne!1 Reducing oil buildup is a popular form of eliminating acne, especially during times of breakouts.

While removing dead skin cells is another great way to help clear out acne (find an acne-fighting scrub, or make one yourself with your own unique recipe), changing your diet is one of the best things you can do to help your skin in the long run.

Given that this tea can be beneficial for acne when used internally or topically, there are many facial toners or scrubs that include this product in it. It is also a natural redness reducer, which can be valuable for those of you with red undertones.

While the link between this tea and clearing acne may still be under scrutiny, there are many other health benefits that can be gained through drinking a cup a day. The best part is you can use it internally or topically for bad days!

If you aren’t a fan of tea, drinking water and staying hydrated is another good place to start. There’s a range of opinions on the ideal water consumption, but many doctors advocate for a minimum of 65 ounces daily. You can even calculate your water intake by weight.2

While this may seem like a lot of water, your skin will thank you for the added hydration! Water consumption goes hand in hand with a diet plan for acnes. It truly opens the door to clearer skin.

Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods Helps Your Skin

Antioxidants are important for many parts of our health. They help you fight acne and clear your skin.

Antioxidants can be many things-research suggests that hundreds of different substances and vitamins qualify as antioxidants. They essentially produce electrons inside of the body, the substance that is craved by free radicals.

Free radicals are everywhere: in the air, the sunlight, what we eat. Antioxidants fight them off, and help our body thrive- especially our skin! With more antioxidants in your diet, you are forming a better defense against acne in the long run.

Some antioxidant rich foods include:

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard)
  • Berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries)
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Pecans
  • Potatoes
  • Beans (black, red, pinto)
  • Other fruits (plums, tomatoes, mango)

Just one cup fresh spinach per day can increase your antioxidants and help you fight acne! There are many unique and exciting meal plans that you can try to maximize your antioxidants and nutrition.

For example, there’s a very popular diet plan for acnes on Byrdie that has been circulating on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram- it could be a good place to start when thinking about antioxidant rich foods!3

Byrdie’s meal schedule is acne medically reviewed, as it should be. They have come up with a seven day schedule made by a nutritionist and a dermatologist to bring you the best foods for your skin. It may even help your gut too!

You of course don’t have to choose this option as the end all be all for your acne diet- there are plenty of options, as this isn’t anything new. However, opting for more fruits and leafy green veggies will go hand in hand with any other diets that you think about doing.

Select an Acne Diet Plan Rich in Zinc-Heavy Foods

There’s a lot to learn about this key vitamin, zinc, including its ability to fight acne and make your skin beautiful!

Zinc can be taken in supplement form, but there are also plenty of options with zinc found in them. The average adult only needs about 8-11mg of zinc per day, so it should not be very hard to incorporate into your diet. Some of those foods include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Oysters (the highest form of zinc!)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pork

Zinc may not be as obvious as you think when it comes to finding zinc heavy food. However, given that you don’t need much zinc to fight acne, any one of these many options are perfect additions. You may already be eating them!

Besides zinc, you may also consider foods with high amounts of dietary fiber in your acne diet plan. Not only will these foods help with weight loss, they may also be beneficial for clearer skin. Fiber is found in many foods, and it will be key to many diet options and plans.

Keep in mind that changing your diet to include more fiber can be a big adjustment for your body. Diet experts should tell you this, and you should be prepared for many bodily adjustments should you change your diet.

However, if you can have the chance for clearer skin and a healthier body, a change in your diet is always a good idea! Consuming lots of fiber is on many weight loss lists, and you may find yourself feeling healthier faster when consuming more fiber.

Eat Healthy and Banish Acne Today

Creating a diet plan for acnes can be simple. Starting with foods high in zinc and other vitamins is a great approach and can help you achieve your other diet goals too.

Keeping your body clear and washed will also be of assistance to you during this time. A change in your diet is part of it, but washing your face in the morning and before bed will also help you greatly.

No matter what, getting that glowing and healthy exterior is possible. Maintaining a proper diet alongside a consistent exercise schedule will certainly support your efforts in achieving clearer skin!

Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have questions when it comes to their diet and acne. If your skin just won’t clear, no matter the prescription or cleansing wash, now may be the time to change your diet and get clearer skin today!

Keep in mind that taking the time to wash your face both morning and evening is a good idea. You may also want to consider a reliable facial lotion, as your face should still be moisturized in order to accurately produce your body’s necessary oils.

If you are working out regularly, make sure you are taking showers after each workout to prevent grease and sweat buildup. Body acne is no fun! You should also consider a body moisturizer so that your skin does not get too dry from all the hot water showers.

Now, consider what questions might arise regarding your diet and the inquiries about different meals and choices that could aid in alleviating your acne. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions below.

What Foods Help Clear Acne?

There are no single miracle choices that clear acne all in one go. However, there are many options that can help over time to clear your bumps. Some of the best foods for no acne include:

  • Whole grain pastas and bread
  • Fruits
  • Turmeric
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Lentils and legumes
  • Pumpkin
  • Nuts
  • Turkey and chicken

A safe bet is to avoid anything that may activate grease in your skin. Greasy choices, such as red meat, fried food, and cheese are easy options to cut from your diet just to calm your skin down briefly.

There are plenty of meal options that can help clear acne, and some may surprise you. Adding seafood to your diet is a great idea, especially if you don’t consume many food choices from the sea at the moment.

Fish and other seafood is linked to many health benefits and clear skin, including tuna, salmon, oysters, and crab. While seafood can get expensive, choosing fish for a few meals a week can be a great place to start.

What Foods Should I Avoid for Acne?

Avoiding acne is a great place to start, and choosing foods and a diet to support this can be harder than you think. However, sometimes eliminating foods rather than adding foods can be an easy way to diet- make small changes to your diet, one food at a time!

There are some food options that are known to be bad for your acne and skin. Some of these foods include:

  • Processed foods (chips, crackers, fast food)
  • White bread
  • Starch
  • Bagels
  • Most dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream)
  • Sugary foods
  • Milk chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Energy drinks
  • Greasy take out or other greasy foods

Maintaining an all-natural diet could be a good idea to help fight acne and clear your skin. You can always do a hard reset or a type of diet cleanse if you are experiencing severe breakouts. Your skin will thank you for it!

A good rule of thumb is: if it seems greasy, avoid it during this time. Olive oil has been lauded for its many health benefits, including its ability to fight acne breakouts on your body.4

Just one tbsp of olive oil added to an exfoliating skin scrub can be beneficial in fighting acne. Many acne-fighting scrubs strip your dermis down to nothing. Your body will then overproduce the valuable oils that have been stripped away.

You may be surprised to hear that your skin needs some important oils in order to function properly. So many facial cleansers do you a disservice by removing so much oil from your skin.

This is where olive oil comes into play. Olive oil is full of valuable antioxidants and vitamins, so many that it can be a good oil to use in your daily cosmetic routine. This oil will keep your skin from losing too much of its important natural oils.

This does not mean every cooking oil is beneficial for your skin. If you currently cook with a different type of oil, especially a processed vegetable oil, switching to cooking only with olive oil during your acne breakouts could be a good idea.

Are Eggs Good for Acne?

Eggs are a wonderful source of many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, biotin, and zinc. Consuming eggs to help with acne is a good idea, though keep the oil content in your skin in mind. If you are able to hard boil or poach your eggs instead of fry them, do that.

Eggs also contain an astringent property that is capable of drawing out blackheads and shrinking your pores. This can happen if the egg is eaten, but using egg as part of a skin mask or cleanser may also prove valuable.

Egg whites can also be applied topically to tighten your pores and help your skin fight redness. While it may not be the most glamorous face mask to apply, getting egg on your face can actually be a good thing for once!

However, there is also evidence to suggest that eating eggs actually don’t help with acne at all. While all of the components of eggs seem to promote clear skin, some celebrities and people mention eggs not being useful to their own acne or diet journey.

It may just depend on individual bodies and their diet, so you may just have to try eggs out for yourself. Eggs are a wonderful source of low-calorie protein, so it can help to eat them if you are trying to do a low calorie or natural diet for weight loss.

There’s no harm in trying eggs as a way to help with your acne, especially if you haven’t had any negative reactions to eggs in the past. Keep in mind that there can always be too much of a good thing: eggs are high in cholesterol, so make sure you aren’t consuming eggs more than 3 times per week.

Are Bananas Bad for Acne?

You may be surprised to hear that bananas may be causing your acne breakouts. Eating bananas regularly as a part of your diet can be a bad thing and it has a lot to do with the glycemic index.

The glycemic index measures glucose in foods, from 0 to 100, and eating foods that are lower on the scale is always a good idea. Bananas, however, can be found at a whopping 62 on the glycemic index!

While this is within an average range, you may consider removing bananas from your diet during a time of oily skin. Bananas are very high in sugar and carbs, and, even though bananas are good fruits to eat, the high amount of sugar present should be avoided.

Bananas can be more valuable when used externally rather than internally. While you aren’t eating a delicious fruit, you may still benefit from banana’s high amount of vitamins.

Bananas are known to be anti-inflammatory and high in vitamin A- both of these things can naturally help your acne and skin during a breakout. Make a banana mash with some other face scrub ingredients and let it relax and cleanse your skin!


References

1Saric, Suzana. 29 December 2016. Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris. 21 October 2021. Web. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5384166/>

2Meinders, AJ. 2010. How much water do we really need to drink? 21 October 2021. Web. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20356431/>

3Metrus, Lindsey. 18 October 2021. The 7-Day Meal Plan to Banish Acne, According to a Nutritionist. Byrdie. 21 October 2021. Web. <https://www.byrdie.com/meal-plan-acne>

4Lin, Tzu-Kai. 27 December 2017. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. 21 October 2021. Web. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/>

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.