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Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin
A variety of nutrient-rich foods may help reduce acne symptoms. Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images


Acne, or acne vulgaris, is an inflammatory skin condition that causes pimples, white heads and blackheads. Contrary to popular beliefs, particular foods do not cause acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Certain foods and nutrients may, however, may help prevent or reduce your acne symptoms. Additional forms of treatment include topical ointments, oral medications and preventive measures, such as proper facial hygiene. For best results, seek specified guidance from your dermatologist or dietitian.

Zinc-Rich Foods

Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin
Zinc can be found in swiss cheese. Photo Credit anna liebiedieva/iStock/Getty Images

Zinc is a mineral found in numerous foods that supports immune system function, normal physical development and wound healing. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, zinc may also help reduce symptoms of acne. Since excessive zinc in supplement form can pose toxic effects, incorporate food sources of zinc into your diet regularly. Valuable amounts of zinc can be reaped from oysters, chicken, beef, crab, pork shoulder, lobster, baked beans and fortified breakfast cereals. Cashews, yogurt, garbanzo beans, swiss cheese, almonds and milk provide modest amounts of zinc.

Vitamin A-Rich Foods (Carotenoids)

Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin
Fresh and canned peaches provide modest amounts of carotenoids. Photo Credit Jandee Jones/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin A contributes to vision, reproduction, bone health and healthy bodily tissues. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the form of vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables, known as carotenoids, may provide benefits similar to those provided by retinoid drugs -- medications to treat acne. Rich sources of carotenoids include carrot juice, carrots, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, vegetable soup, mangos, papaya, instant fortified oatmeal, frozen peas and tomato juice. Fresh and canned peaches and red bell peppers provide modest amounts of carotenoids.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin
Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Photo Credit Ulrich Schade/iStock/Getty Images

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats known to enhance cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. Though research findings are limited, according a report published on Skin Therapy Letter.com, omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent or reduce the occurrence of acne. Valuable sources of omega-3 fats include fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, halibut, herring, flounder and lake trout, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts and walnut oil.

Whole Grains

Good Foods to Eat for Acne-Prone Skin
Whole grains provide rich amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Photo Credit Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Whole grains provide rich amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Whole grains are also low-glycemic, meaning they have a mild impact on blood sugar levels. According to Skin Therapy Letter.com, low-glycemic foods may enhance healthy hormonal balance and lead to reduced acne symptoms. Consume a variety of whole grains, such as oats, spelt, millet, bulgur, whole wheat, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa and popcorn, regularly for best potential results.

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