Acne is a problem millions of teenagers and pre-teens are bothered with all around the world, something that is almost inevitable and lasts a few years, at least. However, for some people, acne is a condition that follows them well after their teenage years. More than 10% of the world population suffer from acne even as an adult, because of many reasons besides changing hormones. 

There are a lot of reasons behind acne, both as a teenager and as an adult. Stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance, living in a dirty environment, not cleaning our face often, our food habit – these are only some of the reasons people suffer from acne, sometimes, all their lives. 

Our diet habits are sometimes responsible for our acne conditions. Avoiding a few triggers can help reducing acne breakouts in some cases, both in teenagers and in adults. Below is a list of all the foods and drinks that are known to cause acne breakouts; avoiding or limiting them could help if you have a serious problem with acne or any other similar skin conditions. 

  • Fried Foods 

Teenagers usually loved fried foods and junk foods, but this is one of the most common reasons behind their acne. Anything that has been deep-fried in oil is loaded with saturated and trans fat, as well as salt. This includes French fries, burger patties, nuggets, and hot dogs, sausages and doughnuts, hush puppies, onion rings, etc. – everything that people crave and love to eat as snacks. 

Fried foods aren’t good for anyone’s health, but they are terrible for acne. If you are acne-prone, fried foods could be one of the main reasons and something to stop eating immediately. 

  • Sugary Drinks 

Another favourite snack of teenagers happens to be artificial and sugar-filled drinks, be it sodas, carbonated drinks, frothy coffees, milkshakes, sweetened and flavoured water, iced drinks, tea with added sugar, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, etc.  All these drinks are loaded with sugar or sugar alternatives, as well as artificial syrups and flavourings for taste, and are directly responsible for acne and other skin conditions. 

All of these drinks, with refined sugar, sugar alternatives or natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup needs to be avoided completely if you don’t want acne. 

  • Coffee 

Many of us can’t even begin to function without our morning coffee, but it could be a reason behind your acne breakouts. Early morning or late night coffee with fill your body with adrenaline and energy, but it will also raise your cortisol levels, a.k.a. your stress hormones. This hormone also causes your skin’s natural oil glands to surface so that your skin might end up looking shiny. At the same time, the pores on your skin become congested due to the excess oil, and pimples start to appear. 

If you are in the middle of a bad acne breakout, it is important that you limit your coffee intake or completely avoid them. If you need caffeine badly, you can try some herbal teas or decaf coffees that will give you the same levels of energy but without causing acne. 

  • Refined Grains 

Anything made from refined grains can cause a particularly bad acne breakout. Unfortunately, this includes almost everything that both teenagers and adults love to eat. Baked goods, sweets, chocolate bars, pastries and pies, breakfast cereals, pasta and pizza, croissants, bagels, donuts, cakes, and cookies – these are all foods made from white flour, white rice or white wheat. 

Refined grains aren’t healthy for our health or our skin. Almost everything in this list can be made from whole-wheat grains, which is the healthier option of the two. However, it is much better to avoid everything that contains carbohydrates, sugar, and starch – which are the main ingredients of refined grains. 

  • Milk and Dairy Products 

The calcium from milk can be extremely important for growing teenagers, but bad for acne. Cow’s milk is sometimes derived from pregnant cows which contains a high level of the female hormone, not unlike in female humans. These additional hormones can create havoc in teenage bodies, both male and female, and cause an outbreak of acne. 

At the same time, if you are even slightly lactose intolerant, any kind of milk or dairy products can cause bad acne breakouts in your skin. If you have an acne breakout immediately after you drink milk or eat anything that’s constituted with milk, you might be lactose intolerant when you didn’t even know it. 

  • Sugar  

Adding refined sugar, sugar alternatives, honey, maple syrup, molasses or Agave nectar to anything you eat or drink could cause acne if you are unfortunate to be acne-prone. At the same time, simple carbohydrates like white rice, white flour, white bread, and white pasta also contain a kind of natural sugar known as glucose, which should also be avoided by everyone. The glucose in simple carbohydrates can give your blood sugar a temporary high and also cause acne to appear on your skin, so it is better to stick to whole grains and complex carbs. 

  • Chicken 

Chicken meat is also sometimes loaded with the female hormone which can cause acne breakouts and other skin conditions. If you are prone to regular acne or if you are in the middle of a bad breakout, it is advisable that you avoid chicken and other game meat, and concentrate more on fruits and vegetables. 

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, as found in certain fish, nuts and seeds, and enriched eggs and milk, are good for us in a limited amount; but in some people, overconsumption can cause acne and inflammation. 

At the same time, Western cuisines and diets rely heavily on soybean oil and corn oil, which contains Omega-6, which is a similar kind of fatty acid and not very good for us. The imbalance caused in our body by the presence of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can sometimes cause an acne breakout. 

  • Chocolates 

While dark chocolates can be good for our heart, it is also considered to be an acne trigger. It is especially in men that dark chocolates, milk chocolates and any other kind of food with cocoa in them can trigger an acne breakout. If not actually a breakout, regular consumption of chocolate can actually worsen the severity of acne and other skin conditions in men. 

  • Whey Protein Powder 

Whey protein is a popular supplement among men and women who wants to gain weight, build muscles or be an athlete. However, these protein powders are also a source of leucine and glutamine – two amino acids that can cause acne breakouts. These amino acids can actually stimulate our body and produce a high amount of insulin, and that can be a reason behind acne breakouts. 

This is one of the reasons that male athletes often suffer from bad cases of acne, as they regularly drink whey protein powder to build up their bodies. 

Acne is a terrible inconvenience that most teenage boys and girls have to go through at one point in their lives; however, for some people who are acne-prone, this can be a lifelong problem to deal with. Knowing all the common acne triggers can help you stay away from acne breakouts and severe pimples.