Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.
We were always told that if you eat potato chips or chocolate at night you’d wake up with a zit in the morning. But is there actually a correlation between diet and acne? I reached out to the three of the nation’s leading dermatologists to find out!
“Yes, there is a correlation between acne and diet!” exclaims dermatologist Dr. Amy Spizuoco. “See, acne is an inflammatory skin condition. So, any foods that are inflammatory should be avoided. So, foods high in refined or added sugars such as fructose and glucose should be avoided. I also advise patients with acne concerns to avoid gluten containing products as other processed ingredients in gluten containing foods that add to inflammation. And lastly, dairy products can add to inflammation and worsen acne. So, eat wisely!”
“Diet can absolutely play a significant role in the development of acne,” says dermatologist Dr. Angie Koriakos. “Studies reveal that consumption of dairy products may lead to worsening of acne, including consuming large amounts of whey protein supplements which are dairy based. If taking a protein supplement, I typically recommend a vegan plant-based protein such as Orgain. If you’re looking to start eating something to help with your acne, some studies reveal omega 3 intake may be beneficial, too!”
“Diet plays a role in acne but not in the old-school way you may have been told in the past … it’s a little more complex than ‘greasy foods,'” explains dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. “The core of the theory here is surrounding inflammation – if you are eating foods your body is sensitive to, you will have higher levels of inflammation, which can fuel breakouts, specifically big, swollen lesions referred to as cystic or nodular acne. And even if you don’t have any food sensitivities, a diet high in refined sugar or foods high in glycemic index can cause hormone elevations in the blood which triggers inflammation and sebum production ultimately leading to acne!”