Two cartoon woman drinking wine

Hormonal Acne Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Two cartoon woman drinking wine

Hormonal Acne Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Acne is the most common skin concern adolescents and adults deal with. While there may be no definitive cure for acne, there are products and lifestyle changes you can make in order to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing and prevent breakouts, including your diet.


Our hormones play a huge part in the severity of our acne. Specifically, a hormone called insulin-like growth factor IGF-1 that contributes to the production levels of sebum (oil) in your skin that can worsen acne.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of foods that can help prevent hormonal acne breakouts and foods that can trigger them.


Foods That Can Help

Fruits & Vegetables

Nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables and packed with fibre and other sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Foods like kale, lemon, sweet potato, berries (and others) have benefits like reducing hyperpigmentation, promoting collagen production to repair acne scarring, regulating your skin’s oil production, and more!

Healthy Fats & Fatty Acids

If you’re dealing with hormonal acne breakouts, you’ll want to consider integrating more essential fatty acids into your diet. These are foods with high amounts of Omega 3, 6, and 9 like olive oil, avocado, salmon, spinach, flaxseeds… the list goes on. Their benefits go beyond reducing symptoms of acne that your body will love.

High-Quality Protein

Studies have shown that people who follow a low-glycemic, high-protein diet have significantly improved the look of their skin and symptoms of acne. Chicken, turkey, shellfish—or tofu and eggs if you’re vegetarian—can help maintain the health and integrity of your skin, helping to reduce inflammation and increasing collagen production.

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs & Spices

Turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne, parsley and other anti-inflammatory foods can have a significant impact on your hormonal acne. Mix it up in the kitchen and try these herbs and spices in your next meal!

Foods to Avoid

Dairy Products

Despite how delicious dairy products like cheese, butter, and creamy pasta sauces are, they aren’t very friendly for our skin. Consuming dairy increases the production of oil in our skin, blocking our pores and leading to acne or hormonal breakouts. Try removing dairy from your diet for 30 days to see if you notice any differences!

Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

You’re probably not surprised to see this one on this list. Sugar is definitely a food you’ll want to avoid when dealing with hormonal acne. In addition to spiking our insulin levels and triggering excessive oil production, our bodies will eliminate artificial sweeteners that can’t be digested and used as energy through sweat—meaning more clogged pores!

Refined Carbohydrates

The process of refining carbs strips them of all their good vitamins, fibre, and minerals—turning them into our favourite “empty calorie” foods like pastries, cereal, pasta, white bread, and more. Once we consume these refined foods, our bodies experience a rapid spike in glucose production, making our skin oily and causing breakouts.

However, just because you see a food group appear on this list, that doesn’t mean you have to cut it from your diet completely. It’s all about knowing what works best for your body and eating in moderation



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