Before I found out that there are five golden foods to avoid for clearer skin, I fought many battles with my acne and sadly lost each time. In high school, as I blotted my face with spot treatment on a daily basis, I would look myself in the eyes and say, "This is not forever. This is only hormones.  You WILL have clearer skin as soon as you're out of high school." 

That was the biggest lie I ever told myself.  

Samantha Sontag

As my 21st birthday crept around the corner, my acne had somehow gotten worse?! Yes. Worse. 

So this past summer I took my red-spotted face into my own hands, and I began researching ways to control acne.

As I continued to research and talked to my doctors, all signs pointed to the same thing: there are tons of foods we eat regularly that don't seem like a threat to our pores, but they're actually well-disguised pore murders.  

I've always heard that greasy foods can affect your skin, but I never knew the foods listed below would actually be the reason for my acne. Nonetheless, these foods were indeed the culprit, and as soon as I changed my diet, my skin changed, too.

I have compiled a list of five foods to avoid for clearer skin. I cut most of these foods out of my diet and not only do I have better skin, but I feel healthier, have more energy, and also lost a little weight.      

This list of foods that affect acne includes but is not limited to: 

Milk/dairy in general: Milk contains ingredients that are related to testosterone, which can activate the oil glands in your face. It's also an inflammatory food, meaning it can aggravate your skin when you eat it.  I went diary-free for an article in the spring, and my body changed a lot just in one week!  (Going dairy-free helps more than just clearing your face).

Samantha Sontag

Chips: The internet tells us that chips have the potential to aggravate your skin, but doctors will tell you that technically they don't cause acne from a medical standpoint. However, many people see increased acne symptoms when eating this fatty snack. If you touch your face with oily hands or the oil from the chips makes its way onto your face, it can cause clogged pores. 

Chocolate: Chocolate is high in sugar and dairy.  For this reason, it is linked to increased acne. In general, people who have high sugar and/or dairy diets tend to have worse skin. (Sadly, I love both chocolate and milk so my skin suffered greatly). But many studies linking acne to chocolate are conducted with patients who binge eat chocolate, so as long as you keep it in moderation, a little piece here or there never killed nobody.  

Soda: Soda, known for its high sugar content, typically contains about 20 grams per can—which is equivalent to 20 tablespoons per can.  Having high amounts of sugar in your body leads to increased blood sugar and fat levels, which can trigger hormones, doctors say, which in turn triggers acne.  Again, drinking one soda every so often will not cause a horrible breakout, but if soda is your #1 favorite beverage then your body might suffer.

Bread: Bread. Why?! We all LOVE to love bread, but it really does take a toll on your skin. Like milk, if you intake a large amount of bread your body gets a surge of insulin, which stimulates testosterone in your body. This excess testosterone triggers the oil glands in your face, and BOOM acne sprouts up like weeds in a garden. Not to mention, the ingredients that go into bread also affect your gut. This can cause your bowels to get backed up, which creates body inflammation. This inflammation can affect every part of you, including your face.

Samantha Sontag

Just because these foods can negatively affect your skin doesn't mean you should give them up completely. I believe that everything can be kept in moderation. I started slowly this summer, beginning with eliminating dessert every night and limiting dairy to once a day. And though these changes were little, I saw a big difference in my breakouts.