For years, many skin care experts swore that diet didn’t cause acne, but a growing body of evidence suggests that foods which rank high on the glycemic index (GI), as well as milk – especially skim milk – may actually contribute to acne after all.
High GI foods – namely, white bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, pretzels, popcorn, and saltines – may trigger a breakout, says Eric Schweiger, MD, the medical director and founder of Schweiger Dermatology | Clear Clinic in New York City.
Instead, choose lower GI foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, rolled or steel-cut oatmeal, sweet potatoes, or legumes (pictured above), and see how your complexion fares, he says. “Low- or smart-carb diets may be reasonable way to decrease breakouts.” These types of diets include The Zone and South Beach.
Another potential acne culprit is milk – especially skim milk. “We don’t know exactly how milk is linked to acne, but hormones and growth factors in milk might play a role,” Schweiger says. “We never recommend diet therapy alone to treat acne,” he says. If you are going to try an acne-friendly elimination diet, give it a few weeks before deciding whether or not it is making a difference, he suggests.
June is acne awareness month.