We've all been there — the day before your big job interview, prom, formal, or, dare we say it, wedding day, and that sore spot on your face turns in to a giant zit. Immediately, you begin to backtrack every one of your actions from the past few days: “What did I eat,” “Where did I go,” “How did this happen?”

Given acne’s dominance in our preadolescent, teenage and even grown-up lives, it is no wonder so many myths have surfaced around the cause of the condition. In this age of information, though, it is time to stop putting acne in the hands of the myths and take charge. Dr. Ariel Ostad, a board certified dermatologist and cosmetic dermatologic surgeon, weighs in on the most common myths about foods that cause acne.


Fried foods don’t cause acne, either. There is no little pipeline that carries oil from your intestines to your skin. Oily foods have nothing to do with the skin’s oiliness, and oil isn’t the cause of acne anyway. Some oily foods can even be good for your skin. Acne occurs when testosterone and other hormones stimulate the growth of skin over pores so that sebum (the oil that keeps the skin flexible and wrinkle-free) gets trapped inside. When bacteria degrade this oil, your skin can develop whiteheads, blackheads, and other types of inflammation.

Junk Food and Dark Colas

Pizza and soda are often cited as two of the worst foods that cause acne. But experts agree that there is no evidence to support the claim that gorging on these college staples leads to acne. However, if you notice that your acne flares up significantly after consuming certain foods or beverages, eliminate those items and watch your skin. You may have stumbled onto your own free brand of treatment and prevention.

Vitamin A Prevents Acne

Vitamin A is an important part of skin health. Basically, if you don’t have enough vitamin A in your system, your sebaceous glands produce excess lipids, causing pimples, but if you have too much vitamin A, other parts of your body, like your liver, may be negatively affected. The optimal daily intake with food and supplementation is about 15,000 IU. It's always good to note that the body works together in a synchronized system, and no one knows your body better than you. If you notice certain foods that cause acne to flare up, cut back, and if you notice eating something helps to prevent it, indulge. Always remember, though, that too much of a good thing can turn negative, fast. After all, while you might be what you eat, your pimples aren’t.