Does Orange Juice Help to Clear Acne?

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A teenager drinking orange juice in the morning before school. (Image: rez-art/iStock/Getty Images)

Diet can be a significant factor in acne for some people. But the relationship between diet and this skin condition is complicated; while orange juice may help to clear acne for you, it may be a trigger of breakouts for someone else. More research is needed on the effects of orange juice on acne. Consult a dermatologist for more acne advice.

Potential Benefits of Orange Juice for Acne

Natural, 100-percent orange juice with pulp may be beneficial for acne. Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C, an essential ingredient in the building blocks of skin — collagen and elastin. This nutrient is also a potent antioxidant, helping to fight free radicals that cause damage and increase inflammation that can make acne worse. Vitamin C also inhibits formation of arachidonic acid, which is a major cause of inflammation in cells and tissue, according to Terry J. Dubrow, a skin specialist, plastic surgeon and co-author of “The Acne Cure.” The fiber in the pulp of orange juice also helps to keep blood glucose and insulin levels stable; insulin promotes inflammation in your body.

Reality Check

Despite the potential benefits of orange juice for acne, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends that adults consume no more than 8 to 12 ounces of 100-percent fruit juice daily as drinking too much juice can lead to weight gain. Eight ounces of raw orange juice yields 124 milligrams of vitamin C, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. This amount isn’t enough to maintain tissue levels of vitamin C, as explained by Nicholas Perricone, author of “The Acne Prescription.” He recommends taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of a vitamin C supplement in addition to getting the nutrient from foods such as orange juice.

Potential Negative Effects of Orange Juice for Acne

If you have an allergy to citrus fruits, such as oranges, drinking orange juice for acne may be harmful. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, food allergies may affect adult acne. A food allergy may cause symptoms such as itching and swelling in your mouth, hives or shortness of breath. If you’ve ever experienced any of these symptoms after eating oranges or drinking orange juice, you should consult an allergist for a proper diagnosis. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid drinking orange juice to get rid of your pimples if you have a citrus fruit allergy.

Considerations

The only way to tell how orange juice impacts your acne is to monitor your skin after drinking it. Also, making nutritional changes — such as adding orange juice to your diet, or eliminating it — should be only part of your acne treatment plan. The most effective way to get rid of those persistent pimples is to use remedies that tackle the various causes of acne. For instance, products with salicylic acid help to cleanse away excess dead skin cells and those with benzoyl peroxide are quite effective at killing acne-causing bacteria, notes Dubrow. Consult a dermatologist for recommendations on the best acne treatments for your skin.

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