Clearing Up Acne: Understanding the Causes and Foods That Trigger It


Dealing with acne is a common struggle for many individuals, and it can be frustrating to try to figure out what causes it. While genetics and hormones play a big role in the development of acne, diet and lifestyle choices can also contribute to its severity. In this blog post, we'll look at the primary causes of acne and explore the effects of different foods, drinks, and activities on the skin. We'll also highlight healthy and nutrient-dense options that can help reduce inflammation and clarify the complexion. Additionally, we'll discuss the importance of working with an Esthetician and using high-quality and natural skincare products tailored to each individual's unique skin type and concerns.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a common trigger for acne in some individuals because it can overstimulate the adrenal glands and increase cortisol production, which can cause inflammation and breakouts. If you're prone to acne, consider reducing your caffeine intake and switching to decaf or herbal tea. Similarly, energy drinks should be avoided, as they often contain high amounts of caffeine and sugar, which can further exacerbate acne symptoms.

Sugar: When we consume sugar, it can cause a spike in insulin levels, leading to inflammation and breakouts. Try to limit your sugar intake, particularly in processed foods and beverages like soda and candy. Swap out sugary snacks for fresh fruit, which contains natural sugars that are less likely to cause acne.

Fried food: Fried foods and fast food can be high in unhealthy fats and oils that contribute to inflammation and acne. Opt for baked or grilled options instead to help reduce your intake of unhealthy fats.

Dairy: Some people are sensitive to dairy and may experience acne breakouts after consuming milk, cheese, or other dairy products. If you notice an increase in acne after consuming dairy, try limiting your intake or switching to non-dairy alternatives like almond or oat milk.

Orange juice: Despite being a healthy source of Vitamin C, orange juice can also be a trigger for acne in some individuals due to its high sugar content. Instead, eat whole oranges or opt for an unsweetened and pulp-free juice option.

Hands on your face: Touching your face frequently can transfer oil, dirt, and bacteria onto your skin, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Avoid touching your face unless necessary and always wash your hands before applying skincare products.

Certain medications: Some medications like birth control pills, steroids, and anti-seizure medications can contribute to acne. Talk to your doctor if you notice an increase in acne symptoms after starting a new medication.

Hormones: Hormonal fluctuations can be a primary cause of acne in women, particularly during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Incorporating hormone-balancing foods like cruciferous vegetables, avocado, and fatty fish into your diet can help support hormonal balance and reduce acne symptoms.

Acne can be a frustrating and challenging skin condition, but understanding the primary causes and triggers allows you to make informed choices that can help alleviate symptoms. In addition to dietary changes, working with a knowledgeable Esthetician can help identify the root cause of acne and create a personalized skincare routine tailored to your unique skin concerns. With a combination of healthy lifestyle choices and high-quality skincare products, it's possible to achieve and maintain clear, bright, and healthy-looking skin.


If you are in the San Diego area and would like to learn more about our services or book an appointment today, click here. If you are new to Vasseur Skincare or needed help choosing the right skincare, click here. If you would like to talk with one of our Vasseur team members for a free consultation, click here and we will get back with you as soon as we can (please allow 1-3 business days for a response).

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