You're doing exactly the right thing. Avoiding foods that trigger acne. It can be a minefield. These acne safe food switches will have you sorted - because guess what - even healthy foods can cause acne.

7 Snack Foods That Trigger Acne: Start these snack switches now

In Acne by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

Oodles. Oodles I tell you… there are oodles of foods that trigger acne. You wouldn’t believe how many. If I start counting now, I might just about be done before Christmas 😂

So please, please don’t feel bad or responsible for your breakouts. They don’t teach you this stuff at school.

In fact, you should feel the opposite – you deserve to feel the opposite – happy, confident and comfortable in your own skin.

I’m here to help you feel this way my friend. 

And we start today.

We start by avoiding a super common acne trigger – snacks.

I see this mistake over and over. You’ve got a clear skin diet sorted but snacks are where it falls down.

Snacks are a major acne trigger. Especially for cystic acne.

So take my hand… we’re about to get you sorted with acne-safe snacks which do not trigger breakouts 😀, sounds pretty great eh.

You're doing exactly the right thing. Avoiding foods that trigger acne. It can be a minefield. These acne safe food switches will have you sorted - because guess what - even healthy foods can cause acne.

This post is sponsored and made possible by Ocado – opinions are 100% my own and supported by science. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors who support Honesty For Your Skin, they allow me to be by your side always. 

1. Snack foods that trigger acne: granola bars

Granola bars. Yikes. They’re a huge ‘health food’ that can cause you big breakouts. But they look oh so full of goodness. Full of raw nuts and seeds and fruit.

Fact is granola bars are packed with sugar.

Sugar from dried fruit.

Sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates like processed oats.

And then there’s usually honey and syrup and even added artificial sweeteners like glucose (psst – that’s pure blood sugar).

Granola bars can trigger acne because they;

  1. spike your blood sugar
  2. which your body responds to by releasing insulin hormones

Psst – an insulin hormone known as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is linked in published papers as a cause of oily skin and acne.

Take a peek at this study quote below and don’t worry if it sounds gooky, I’m explaining everything down below 🙂

Plasma IGF-1 levels positively correlate with severity of acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Oct;75(4):768-773

This study published back in 2016 shows us that higher blood levels (that’s all plasma means :)) of IGF-1 are linked with acne symptoms.

And guess what… granola bars make you release way more IGF-1 than is normal. Way more.

Bottom line: avoid granola bars – they’re a food that can trigger acne.

Replace with: a no sugar keto bar – like – Fatt Coconut & Macadamia Ketogenic Nut Bar

Foods that trigger acne. Boom - replace granola bars with keto bars like Fatt.

2. Snack foods that trigger acne: rice cakes

My partner loves rice cakes. He sneaks them into our Ocado shop whenever I’m not looking… which considering Ocado’s online only, I almost feel proud of him for 😂

The thing is – do you remember those insulin hormones we talked about just before?

And how the more insulin hormones you’re releasing, the greater your risk of acne is?

Well, simple carbs like rice can kick off the exact same acne biology in your body.

Rice doesn’t look like sugar but your body breaks it down to sugar at super speed. It’s like the whole food version of a Red Bull.

These types of food increase sebum production which therefore increases your risk of acne.

Bottom line: avoid rice cakes, they’re high in simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugars – switch for roasted chickpeas – they’re a complex carb that can satisfy your cravings without you having to ride The Carb-Coaster.

Replace with: roasted chickpeas – like – BRAVE Roasted Chickpeas Sea Salt

Rice cakes are a big food that triggers acne. Switch for these roasted chickpeas from Brave.These roasted chickpeas from Brave at Ocado are an acne safe treat food.

3. Snack foods that trigger acne: crisps

Replace with: Guacamole and crunchy carrot sticks – like – Holy Moly Guacamole – psst they also do mini on-the go tubs here

Heck this is delicious. And acne safe too. Ditch those foods that trigger acne - you don't need them - get your yumminess elsewhere (from Ocado). Heck this is delicious, acne safe Guacamole from Holy Moly..

I love this Ocado replacement for crisps. It contains only 100% natural ingredients 😀

Which also means there’s no vegetable oil in sight.

Crisps get fried in vegetable oil at high heat.

And vegetable oils are really high in a type of fat known as omega 6.

Our western diets are super high in omega 6 – and here’s the deal – omega 6 can be inflammatory.

Especially when we don’t have enough omega 3 to balance it out with.

Psst – that’s pretty much every western diet.

Take a peek at this science quote;

High levels of omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with increase of acne in contrast to omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2017 Oct 23;43(256):186-189

Us scientists are finding the more omega-6 you eat, the greater your risk of acne.

Bottom line: skip the crips 😉 go for some natural Guacamole and crunchy carrot sticks instead. Delish.

4. Snack foods that trigger acne: apples/fruit

Yes my friend. If you’ve been on my newsletter list for a while you’ll have heard me say this time and time again. Not all ‘healthy foods’ are healthy for acne-prone skin.

Here’s where you can go really, really wrong. It can feel like you’re doing ‘all the things’, eating super healthily, eating raw food, eating only natural and yet you’re still breaking out like crazy.

Fruit snacks are one big culprit.

A fruit snack is nature’s dessert. And psst – most of the fruit you can get your hands on now is hyper-bred to be extra sugary. It’s a double whammy.

And guess what – even natural sugars cause your blood sugar to skyrocket.

Next, you get a mass release of insulin hormones.

And now you’re extremely likely to break out in a flare-up of acne.

Bottom line: many fruits are not your friend when you have acne-prone skin, consider it a treat only and replace it with a blood sugar balancing fruit snack like olives – yes olives are a fruit too 😀

Replace with: Olives – like – an Ocado snack pack of olives

Ditch snack foods that trigger acne. Even fruit can be an acne trigger. Olives are a better acne safe fruit.

This is an acne safe fruit.

5. Snack foods that trigger acne: dried fruit and nut mix

Dried fruit and nut mixes are like deconstructed granola bars. Sometimes the fruit in these mixes even gets pumped up with extra added sugar – crazy right.

And you now know my friend, granola bars make your body release hormones linked with acne. Yikes right.

The same’s true of dried fruit and nut mixes.

Take a peek at this science quote;

Insulin induces hepatic IGF-1 secretion, and both hormones amplify the stimulatory effect of growth hormone on sebocytes… Acne is proposed to be an IGF-1-mediated disease. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Oct;18(10):833-41

De-gooking time 😀

What fancy words eh. All hepatic means is your liver – and here this science study tells us that insulin makes your liver release more IGF-1, both insulin and IGF-1 cause your skin’s oil-making glands aka your sebum-making glands to be extra sensitive to growth hormone. Therefore they start growing like Jack’s Beanstalk.

And oily skin is a major risk factor for acne breakouts.

Bottom line: avoid all kinds of dried fruit.

Replace with: flavoured nut mix – like – Graze Nutty Protein Power Snack Mix Punchy Chilli & Lime

This is what a safe acne snack looks like. Psst - these Graze nut mixes from Ocado still taste yummy.

Psst – get your free copy of my 1-page acne diet cheat sheet here. It’s a list of science-proven yes, no, sometimes foods so you can start on an acne diet which works.

6. Snack foods that trigger acne: cereal

Replace with: keto granola like The Paleo Foods Co Pecan & Almond Grain-Free Granola

Most cereals trigger acne - this cereal from Ocado can help you get clear. Thank you The Paleo Foods Co. this pecan almond granola is delicous.

If you didn’t know I was a Brit, you do now 😂 yes – cereal counts as a snack too.

When I look back at my old breakfast it’s no wonder I went on to get acne.  I used to love nothing more than waking up to a giant bowl of cocoa pops followed by two slices of chocolate spread on toast. Getting breakfast right has been a humongous part of my acne puzzle. It’s something I’ll be explaining to you in-depth (and with examples!) inside Acne Warrior.

This is one replacement you can make now. Skip the cereal and opt for a keto-type blood sugar-balancing granola instead.

Because when your blood sugars are stable your body isn’t releasing as many insulin hormones. 😅

Bottom line: put cereal on your foods which trigger acne list now. Instead, I recommend trying out an acne-safe alternative like The Paleo Foods Co Pecan & Almond Grain-Free Granola.

7. Snack foods that trigger acne: chocolate bars

Replace with: you can still have a treat! Try low sugar keto treats like – Boostball Keto Raw Choc Brownie Ball

Its' not true. Not all yummy tasting foods trigger acne. These brownie balls from Ocado are an acne safe snack.

You don’t have to eat a boring diet to get clear skin 😀

Your diet also doesn’t have to be super restrictive. You just need to know how to indulge the right way. In a way that keeps your skin clear.

These raw keto brownie balls you can get at Ocado are just the thing.

Its' not true. Not all yummy tasting foods trigger acne. These brownie balls from Ocado are an acne safe snack.Its' not true. Not all yummy tasting foods trigger acne. These brownie balls from Ocado are an acne safe snack.

Being low in carbs and sugars means they can help to keep your blood sugar stable. This means your body isn’t releasing as many insulin hormones. Which means your skin can get clear. Wahoo.

Of course, there’s a little more to it than this (which I explain inside Acne Warrior) but aiming to keep your blood sugar levels as steady as a rock is a number one step.

Bottom line: foods that make you break out cause you blood sugar swings. Chocolate bars are a culprit. Switch them out for a chocolaty keto snack 😀

There you have it my friend. 7 snack foods that trigger acne and 7 snack switches you can safely have instead. Which one are you trying first?

Oh and psst – if you have a friend struggling with acne, will you use that big green sharing button below to forward her these 7 acne-safe snack switches? 🥰