Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

Hormonal Acne Diet
Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

Already an adult yet still suffering from acne?

Well, you are not alone.

This condition is called hormonal acne and in women, menstrual cycle is one to be blamed. In a 2001 study, at least 50% of participants reported breakouts before their period.

And you know what’s even more frustrating?

When hormones start acting up, topical products alone won’t be enough.

Diet plays a big role in controlling acne. And on this list, I’ll be listing the foods you should and shouldn’t include in your hormonal acne diet to achieve clear skin.


You’ve probably heard that fish is a better alternative to red meat. Aside from being good for the body, did you know it also works wonders for your complexion?

But, what if you don’t like the taste of fish?

There are tons of foods rich in Omega-3 you can try. Examples are garlic, olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Now, you might be wondering how omega fatty acids can help you.

Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation while Omega-6 does the complete opposite. So, if you want to keep acne away, you need to make sure your diet has a good balance of these acids.

A word of caution:

A report shows that a standard American diet contains up to 25 times more Omega-6 fatty acids compared to Omega-3. This can make adjustment a bit tricky.

If you’re having a hard time, you can try taking supplements. Taking fish oil can help, but acne patients have divided opinions when it comes to this.

While some experienced positive changes in their skin, others experienced more breakouts.

So, what do you do?

First is to observe how your skin will behave after starting the supplement. If you suddenly experience more breakouts, stop taking it.

Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which protect the skin from free radicals. It is also known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Green tea can help reduce the production of excess sebum, too. Thanks to its high EGCG content.

Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

You might ask: What makes EGCG crucial for my fight against acne?

EGCG reduces the size of oil glands as well as those of comedones.

It interferes with IGF-I signals that stimulate oil production.

Now, to reap these benefits, drink your cup of green tea daily. You can have as much as 5 cups per day but it will still depend on your tolerance and your overall health.


Too much of a good thing can still be a bad thing.


Or if you hate oysters, any food rich in Zinc will do.

Zinc is one of the many minerals that can benefit those with acne. This mineral is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and even helps fight yeast.


It turns out that the yeast pityrosporum goes deep into the hair follicles, multiply and develop a condition called Pityrosporum folliculitis. It is an example of an overgrowth and not an infection per se.

This yeast feeds on excess sebum. So it makes sense that this condition is more common among those with oilier skin types.

It’s best to have your daily dose of zinc from foods though you can also get it from supplements.

Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

If you decide to take supplements, keep this in mind:

Most supplements contain huge amounts of this mineral and having too much may lead to negative side effects. The list includes vomiting and nausea.

Fruit and Vegetable Juice

Drinking (or eating) them is an effective way to reduce those zits.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in beta-carotene which is a natural antioxidant. They are crucial for your skin’s overall health since they help fight free radicals.

Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

Citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C which reduces inflammation and boosts collagen production. They can help keep your skin supple and elastic.

Some are even called super fruits, like raspberries, blueberries, and acai and goji berries.

What makes them super?

Well, blueberry has flavonoids which reduce glycation (sugar damage) to the cells. Raspberry, on the other hand, has rutinosides to reduce skin inflammation.

Acai and goji berries both promote healthier skin.


Did you know that having acne is a sign that there’s something wrong with your gut?

While healthy gut flora is essential for digestive health, the bad ones can lead to inflammation and thus, cause acne.

This is where yogurt, or any food rich in probiotics, helps.

Probiotics help reduce inflammation which then helps prevent future zits. These organisms help restore the health of your digestive system to ultimately stop acne from developing.

Consuming foods rich in probiotics also help if you’re using antibiotics to treat acne. In a foreign study, the respondents who took probiotic supplements showed better tolerance to antibiotics compared to those who didn’t take the said pills.

Now that I’ve listed the foods you should eat for clearer skin, which ones should be avoided? You’re probably familiar with these, but I’ll say it again in case you forgot.

Junk Foods

Yes, I’m talking about those fries, burgers, and potato chips.

There are two main ways junk food can cause acne.

For one, they have a high glycemic index which makes the body produce more insulin. The second is they have high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids which encourage inflammation.

Hormonal Acne Diet: What You Should Eat (And Shouldn’t Eat) For Clearer Skin

Junk foods are foods that have a high sugar content and offer little to no nutrition. Some foods that claim to be “healthy” can also be considered junk, especially those with “low-fat” or “fat-free” on their labels.

Salad dressings and milk are common examples of this.

And the soda you pair your greasy meal with is no exemption.

Sodas, which are high in sugar, cause acne because they make the body produce more insulin. More insulin means an increase in the production of oils.

When mixed with sweat or dead skin cells, it contributes to clogged pores, too.


Adult life is a period of a lot of stress—it can be related to your career, relationships, etc. But if you think pimples aren’t one of them, think again.

Hormonal acne, much like teenage acne, is something we can’t escape from. Luckily, there are a few simple diet changes we can make to prevent and get rid of it.

What other foods did you include and eliminate from your diet to get hormonal acne under control?

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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