How Sugar Causes Acne and How Not To Let It?

does sugar cause acne
Verified by Doctors Verified by Doctors
Updated On - November 19, 2020 Chaitra K
Read Time : 4 Mins

Yummy, chocolatey, delicious dessert! Sure, it’s tough to say NO to sweets. Studies prove that the food you eat can significantly affect your skin. Unfortunately, sugary food has never been skin-friendly. Foods with high sugars may sometimes be the primary cause behind your adult acne. It is found that sugars can increase your acne by as much as 10%. Stats says more than 10% of men and women above 25 years of age experience adult acne throughout life. So this isn’t just a teenage problem. That’s something to think about!

Of course, a little sugar in moderation may not result in constant acne breakouts, but it is good to be aware of certain acne-causing foods that are best to avoid! Here’s how sugar affects your skin- and what you can do about it.

What Sugar Does To Your Skin

“People who eat sugar are often more likely to get recurring acne throughout life”, says Dermatologists.

How Sugar Causes Acne and How Not To Let It?

Well, sugar by itself does not cause acne, but eating foods with high sugar causes your insulin levels to rise. 

Any food with the main ingredient as sugar has a high GI (glycemic index). Once eaten, they quickly turn into glucose and cause your body’s insulin levels to rise rapidly.

Here’s what increased insulin level does to your skin: 

sweets cause acne images

✔ Insulin spike leads to increased production of oils in the skin, which eventually clogs follicles and pores, causing acne.  

✔ In response to insulin spikes, your body produces androgen hormones, which further aggravate acne.

✔ Also, excess insulin triggers inflammations creating an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria to multiply, causing repeated acne breakouts.

✔ High insulin levels in your bloodstream lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells that degrades your skin quality.

acne from sugar

But, sugar is just one of the many culprits behind your acne.

Besides acne, too much sugar in your diet can cause many more skin problems with include:

  • ✔ Dull skin, tired skin tone
  • ✔ Excessive hair growth on body and face
  • ✔ Dark circles under your eyes
  • ✔ Puffy, loose skin
  • ✔ Deeper notable wrinkles, fine lines, and the early ageing signs.
  • ✔ Skin inflammations 
  • ✔ Degraded skin cells – not to mention other serious health issues, such as diabetes.

There’s no doubt that the lower your intake of sweets, the better your skin and body will look and feel. 

But, sugar is not always the culprit behind your acne.

Yes, acne has many possible culprits; Hormonal fluctuations, lifestyles, stress etc.

It is a must to see a dermatologist to assess your acne as well as skin type and recommend a specific skincare regimen personalised just for you. It is a sure way to promote healthy skin. 

Get Skin Treatment Kit prescribed by Dermatologist
for your Skin Type and Conditions

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Diet Tips To Get Rid Of Sugar induced Acne

Skincare starts from within. There’s a strong connection between the foods you eat and your skin’s health. Making healthier dietary choices and reducing your sugar intake comes a long way to maintain beautiful, healthy-looking skin from the inside out. It doesn’t mean cutting everything that you enjoy, but having a little moderation. Healthy eating also complements the acne-treatments and medications that you already use for maintaining healthy skin.

Here are some dermatologist-given tips to control acne through diet: 

  1. Eat foods with a lower GI such as vegetables, or foods with natural sweetness like fruit.
  2. Sip more water, try green tea or lemon water as a replacement to sweets. Your skin will soon start showing your efforts in sugar reduction. 
  3. Avoid salty afternoon snacks too, it’s still going to have the same effect. That’s because simple carbohydrates in salty snacks like potato chips also cause the insulin rise and inflammation that sugar does. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
  4. Shift your sugar intake during mornings rather than evenings. Sweets have real harmful effects during the night than the day because of the change in your metabolic activities.
  5. Balance sweets with foods rich in fibres such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, peas, beans pulses etc. Fibres help in sugar control and restrict the ill-effects it has on the skin.

Cutting down sugar from your diet is much easier said than done. Life might become a little less sweet by reducing the amount of sugar you consume. But the benefits it has on your skin and health – are worth it!

Follow Skin Care Suggested By Dermatologist
(Ditch everything else!)

Just one more tip that’s missing in the above list- follow the right skincare. 

Healthy, clear and damage-free is a life-long process. Choose a regimen like the CureSkin Skin Treatment Kit that can help your skin heal and become the best version it can ever be.

download cureskin app

Content References:

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2765025
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17628912/
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/393279
  4. https://www.thedermspecs.com/blog/5-foods-that-cause-acne/#:~:text=Sugar%20and%20Acne&text=Essentially%2C%20foods%20with%20high%20sugar,with%20sebum%20%E2%80%93%20as%20mentioned%20earlier.
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/01/20/does-eating-sugar-really-cause-acne/?sh=23bad7295af4
  6. https://averraglow.com/blogs/news/sugar-causes-acne
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361048/

About Author

Chaitra K
I’m a Skin Care Enthusiast from Bangalore, a writer here @CureSkin teamed up with Expert Dermatologists to spread awareness on the right kind of skin and hair care for men and women. Inspiring people to explore the skin and hair care that suits their need and help them look and feel beautiful is my full-time job. Skin & hair problems affect every person's self-esteem and confidence. Hence I love helping people by giving them the best information about skin and hair health with my writing, driven by the BEST Dermatologists.