13 Foods to Eat or Avoid During an Acne Breakout

Acne is something that we often associate with puberty and teenagers. However, this isn’t always the case. Even as people go through later stages in life, acne can still breakout after our teenage years. It can often be an embarrassing problem, no matter what your age. But luckily, it’s a problem that can be solved.

Food and drink don’t necessarily cause acne breakouts, but some foods can cause inflammatory reactions and overproduction of sebum in some people. Because of this, some foods may help to reduce acne breakouts in the skin, and some will be best to be avoided.

Foods to avoid


Chocolate is a food item that can be a satisfying sugar high for many, however, it’s this sugar and fat spike that some believe can cause inflammatory reactions in many people. These reactions can cause acne breakouts and even a sore throat in some cases. Because of this, it’s a food to try and avoid, or at least, keep to a minimum.


It may seem like a strange item to need to avoid, but the hormones found in milk have been linked to a spike in a person’s hormone levels. This increase in hormones can lead to an acne outbreak in some people. Reducing your milk intake, or changing to a milk alternative such as almond milk, may be a good option.

Soya bean milk and other soya bean products

There is a certain level of estrogen in soya bean products, which for some people, may cause acne outbreaks. For those who already have higher levels of estrogen, this added estrogen may cause problems.

White rice

Because of the high-starch level in white rice, this can lead to an increase in your insulin levels, which can make your body produce more sebum. Sebum is often the cause of clogged pores, leading to excessive oily bumps and pimples on the face. Changing to a diet with brown rice can be a healthier alternative.


When you have too much salt in your diet, this can lead to dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your body retains water in order to survive. When this happens in combination with not drinking enough water, your body may retain toxins which can eventually lead to breakouts. Watch your sodium intake in the foods you eat, avoid salty foods, and increase your water intake.


Some types of shellfish such as oysters and clams are said to be high in iodine. Excessive amounts of iodine can lead to breakouts for many people. Other foods that have high levels of iodine include milk, dried seaweed, cod, shrimp, canned tuna and boiled eggs.

Bread (and other high carb snacks)

Bread, potato chips and as mentioned, white rice, are all high in carbohydrates. Wheat has been known to cause inflammation. As well as being high in carbs, many of these foods are also high in sugar, also known for its inflammatory reactions in many people. Instead, choose items that are low-carbohydrate alternatives and as a sugar alternative, choose honey.

Foods to eat


Avocado is not only a delicious food, it’s a great source of vitamin C, E, K, B-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The fat content in avocados isn’t something to be afraid of. These fats are healthy fats that can aid in heart health, reduce depression and keep your cholesterol levels in check. To add avocado to your diet, try and use avocado instead of butter on your morning toast. Avocado is also great in smoothies and salads.

Green tea

Not only is green tea delicious and soothing, it is known for its high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants can help to protect you from environmental stress that you face each day. Instead of grabbing a coffee during the workday, opt for a green tea instead.


When looking at juice in the supermarket, it is best to avoid fruit juices that are pre-packaged in your store. These juices can often be filled with added sugars. A vegetable juice that you juice yourself (or at a juice bar) is a much better alternative. Fresh fruit and vegetables are important in a diet and a good way to boost your vegetable intake is with a juice. Dark, leafy greens such as spinach are great for adding to smoothies and can help clear up impurities in the skin. Dark-coloured berries, such as raspberries and blackberries, contain phytonutrients, which are great for your skin.


To reduce inflammation in the digestive system and boost good bacteria, having daily probiotics can be good for overall health and any acne breakouts you may be experiencing. You can either choose to have probiotics with tablets from a pharmacy or a fermented drink intake such as Yakult. Alternatively, eating foods with natural probiotics will help, these include yoghurt, kefir, miso soup, dark chocolate, pickles, kimchi, and tempeh.


Just like avocados, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient is known for reducing inflammation, reducing your risk of certain cancers and lowering your blood pressure. It is also a source of protein which will help with the ageing process, bone health, and helping muscles to repair after stress and injury. A small study also looked at the effects of fish oil on participants with acne and saw a general improvement in the severity of their acne.


70% of our bodies are made up of water. Therefore, making sure we are getting enough water each day will help our bodies to flush out toxins and waste products. This includes bacteria that has built up in our system and organs. Because our skin is the largest organ we have, drinking sufficient water will help to keep your skin clear.

Clearer, healthier skin

One of the easiest ways to help improve the look and feel of your skin due to acne breakouts is to avoid foods and drinks that are known for their inflammatory properties and instead opt for healthier options. For some people, a change in diet may be enough to help alleviate and relieve acne altogether. Getting the right nutrients can help your body to renew and remove toxins naturally.

While eating well will help to improve your skin from the inside to the outside, it is also important to understand how to care for your skin from the outside in. Using high-quality specially formulated skincare products will help to keep your face cleansed, moisturised, and nourished.

Skincare tips and products for acne breakouts

Before starting a skincare regime to manage acne breakouts, consult your dermatologist or doctor to determine an acne treatment plan. Then you should consider gentler products to control the symptoms such as non-abrasive cleansers and non-irritating creams such as the products from The History of Whoo.

For gentle cleansing, consider trying The History of Whoo Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Cleansing Foam, which contains wood-cultivated ginseng oil and gold to help keep your skin feeling supple and nourished as you clean. After you cleanse, your skin will be moist and may even glow.

To achieve a brighter and clearer complexion, consider using a skin lightening product like The History of Whoo Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Balancer, a rich yet light lotion designed for anti-aging and lightening. It contains ginseng extract, jade mixture, powdered deer antlers, and gold, to support your skin’s appearance. It can be used morning and night.  

For those suffering from acne breakouts, try using The History of Whoo Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Cream. It is easily absorbed into the skin and designed to reverse aging skin. It is made from only premium ingredients such as ginseng, powdered jade mixture, powdered deer antlers, and powdered gold and tree extracts. If you desire a rich moisturising product to combat inflammation and redness, try The History of Whoo Cheongidan Wild Ginseng Ampoule Oil. It combines the potent benefits of wild ginseng in a non-greasy herbal oil formula to give superior hydration without irritation. This quality facial oil is formulated to balance your natural pH and nourish your skin.

Finally, when dealing with acne breakouts, it is essential to control oil imbalance. Apply The History of Whoo Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Essence after using the Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Balancer by dabbing it into key areas like forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. It is ideal for those that find it challenging to achieve a natural and balanced skin tone as it makes your skin fresher and brighter.   

Having acne breakouts can be frustrating but with the right diet and skincare you can achieve a better complexion. With premium Eastern medicinal herbs based on ancient Korean royalty beauty regimes, The History of WHOO is a luxury skincare range that could help acne sufferers with achieving better, healthier skin. To discover more about which premium skincare products from The History of Whoo best suit your skin, visit our counter at TANGS Plaza, TANGS VivoCity, Takashimaya Department Store or the TANGS online store.