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3 Diet Changes For Clear Skin


Diets For Acne Are So Confusing!

Many of our readers tell me how there’s so much information on the internet about different diets and products for clearing up acne, but it’s so confusing, contradictory, overwhelming, and can end up being just a waste of time and money.

I get it. I totally get it! I understand how confusing it all is, and you certainly don’t want to waste your time needlessly following something that doesn’t work.

Let’s simplify what you need to take out of your diet right now to start clearing up your skin

I want to simplify things for you. If you’re feeling confused with all the choices and information out there, I suggest putting all that aside for now, and start with a few straight forward dietary guidelines that will get you results.

I’m going to outline 3 things to take out of your diet now.

I want you to be diligent about taking all three of these things out of your diet consistently for at least 2-4 weeks (minimum). You can either take them all out at once, or one at a time, whatever works best for you (it’s not a race, and if you know you’ll be able to stick to the diet changes by making more gradual improvements, by all means, please honour that).

3 diet changes to help clear up breakouts and acne

Diet Changes For Clear Skin: 3 Worst Foods For Acne

Dairy Products

At least 80% of acne sufferers notice an improvement or complete clearing of acne and breakouts when they eliminate dairy products from their diet. That’s huge!

Cutting out dairy from your diet for a few weeks is worth trying.

Does this mean you have to be a vegan? No! You can go ahead and eat other animal products, meats, fish, eggs, etc., just take a break from all dairy products (all food that contain cow’s milk).

If you have a sensitivity or allergy to dairy products, they can be inflammatory, mucous-forming, and some can even be hormone disrupting. I believe the majority of acne sufferers have some sort of dairy sensitivity or allergy, mainly because of the high rate of people clearing up their acne from omitting it from their diet. There’s something to be said about that, and perhaps in one way or another, the acne and breakouts could actually be a reaction to dairy.

It very important that when you omit dairy products from your diet that you take out ALL forms of dairy from your diet. When you think of dairy, you think of milk, cheese and ice cream, but don’t forget that dairy can be found in almost all processed foods likes coffee/tea drinks, chips and crisps, baked goods, desserts, puddings, protein powders, ghee, butter, spreads, candy, creamers, pre-made sauces, dips, and salad dressings, etc. Sometimes you think you’ve taken out all the dairy, but it’s hiding somewhere!

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Adult acne is connected to your hormones, and consuming sugar is not doing you any favours.

The more sugar you consume (especially concentrated sugars like high fructose corn syrup), the more your hormones and cortisol levels are adversely affected, which in turn can be causing your breakouts, pimples, and even skin rashes and irritation.

There’s so many different types and forms of sugar, and not all sugars affects people the same way.

When it comes to acne, some types of sugars are much worse than others. Out of all the sugars used as sweeteners, or naturally occurring in fresh food; high fructose corn syrup is the absolute worst. It’s commonly linked to hormone, cortisol, and insulin disruption, plus inflammation in the body. If you were to take one step in omitting or decreasing sweeteners and sugars in your diet, the most important step would be to take out all foods containing high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup is commonly found in most processed and pre-made foods. There’s absolutely nothing beneficial about high fructose corn syrup, and not only can it be causing acne, breakouts, inflammation and rashes, but it can be prematurely aging your skin as well (yikes!)

Like dairy products, high fructose corn syrup is slipped into a lot of processed foods (including some pre-made/processed foods sold at some health food stores). Always read food labels, and watch out for baked goods, pasta sauces, salad dressing, yogurts, dips, candy and chocolate bars, crisps and chips, crackers, condiments, drinks and juices, etc.

Hydrogenated Oils, Shortening & Vegetable Oils

Hydrogenated oils and majority of cooking oils are terrible for most acne sufferers. Unfortunately, most pre-made and processed foods are made with the lowest quality oils, which in turn can be causing inflammation, clogging your pores, and causing bad skin breakouts.

I know this might sounds a little drastic, but if you can eliminate the low quality oils from your diet, you’ll be amazed at how well your skin will respond.

I suggest getting started with cutting out all processed food that contains hydrogenated oils, trans fats, shortenings, and vegetable oils (canola oil, soy bean oil, cotton seed oil, sunflower oil, etc.). Majority of oils used in pre-made processed foods are the lowest quality oils that are chemically modified for longer shelf life (like trans fats and hydrogenated oils), chemically extracted with solvents, stale or rancid, and void of health benefits.

Not only should you watch out for snack foods, fried foods, and processed foods made with these oils; but make sure to read the labels of foods you’re buying from the health food store as well. Always make sure to read the food labels, especially in unsuspecting foods (like baked goods, breads, pasta sauces, dips, spreads, salad dressings, and drinks). You might be surprised to see just how many foods are made with these low grade oils.

When it comes to your own home cooking, it’s best invest in highest quality pure cold pressed oils you can find.  Oils I suggest cooking with are coconut oil, avocado oil, animal fats, or if you can find a 100% pure olive oil (most on the market are not!).

Making the switch of getting rid of foods containing hydrogenated oils, shortening, and vegetable oils you’ll notice a marked difference not only in the acne and breakouts on your face, but also any breakouts you may have on your back or chest as well.

Before ending, I do want to be clear on one detail – even though I’m telling you to eliminate hydrogenated oils, shortening, and most vegetable oils, that doesn’t mean you need to eliminate fats from your diet or go on a low-fat diet. There’s a big difference between the two, and eating foods containing healthy fats is crucial for good skin health (and anti-aging as well!).

So please eat foods containing naturally occurring fats (like avocado, coconut meat, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, meats, etc.). Cooking oils on the other hand, are not essential for your health, and you’re better off keeping them to a minimum (even in your own cooking) and when using them, only use the freshest, best quality oils you can find.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

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