Clear Acne: Abandon Traditional Wisdom

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Dermatologists often claim that diet does not affect acne. While this claim is primarily based on one poorly conducted study, it still continues to mislead thousands of pimple-plagued individuals.

By throwing out this conventional wisdom in favor of the results of more sophisticated research, you can clear acne for good.

This article will discuss:

The Original Study

In 1969, Fulton et al performed a landmark study that claimed diet doesn’t effect acne.

The process:

  1. Researchers gave 65 teenage acne sufferers specially manufactured candy bars.
  2. One group received candy bars that contained high amounts of chocolate, and the control group received candy bars that contained high amounts of vegetable oils.
  3. Dermatologists observed both groups for a 30-day period and found the chocolate group did not exhibit more acne than the “control” group.

This study, however, was significantly flawed. The researchers did not account for the teenagers’ diets before and during the study. Also, the teens already had acne, so the study did not actually show what causes acne.

Most importantly, the sugar content, fat content, and glycemic index (GI) of the chocolate bars and the placebo bars barely differed.

More recently, properly conducted, extensive research has shown that poor diet causes inflammation and free radical damage, a destructive combination for skin.

Inflammation and Free Radical Damage

Inflammation causes cell damage and is worsened when free radicals attack and break down a cell’s ability to function. Free radicals are unstable molecules with a missing electron. They attempt to stabilize by taking an electron from a nearby molecule, setting off a chain reaction as each successive, unstable molecule attempts to stabilize itself. The final result is weakened cell structure that damages the body and skin.

Inflammation brought on by toxins, infections, or sunburn perpetuates further damage from free radicals and can cause a chain reaction in which a burst of free radicals attack the cell plasma membrane, which resulting in the production of more free radicals.

Because acne is a primarily inflammatory reaction, increased inflammation perpetuates the appearance of acne.

To prevent this cycle, avoid pro-inflammatory foods and build your diet around anti-inflammatory foods.

Proper Diet

Foods to avoid and why:

  • Simple sugars. They blood sugar spikes, which cause inflammation.
  • High-fat meats: They contain chemicals such as nitrites, which are associated with inflammation and chronic disease.
  • Fast food: It contains lots of oil, which decreases blood flow to organs.
  • Dairy products: They contain a fatty acid called arachidonic acid, an excess of which can worsen inflammation.

Protein is essential to cellular repair. Instead of high-fat meats and dairy, choose high quality proteins, such as:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

These high quality proteins also contain essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation, heal dry skin, and prohibit the body from producing inflammatory compounds.

The glycemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates according to how they cause blood glucose levels. Lower GI carbohydrates cause smaller fluctuations of blood glucose and insulin levels. Large quantities of insulin signals the body to store fat and increases inflammation.

Instead, choose low-glycemic carbohydrates like:

  • Colorful fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Water is also essential to the fight against inflammation because dehydration makes the body more susceptible to aging. Drink 8-10 glasses of pure spring water every day. In addition, drinking antioxidant-rich beverages such as green and black tea helps combat free radical damage and inflammation.

Forget outdated advice, and move toward a future of clearer skin by treating teenage and adult acne with a proper, anti-inflammatory diet.

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71 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Dear Dr Perricone

    December 3rd I turned 56. Looking and feeling young and healthy has always been important to me. I am seeing more discoloration on my face. My skin is much drier than usual. I’m taking an all natural hormone presribed by my doctor. In the beginning I could see and feel a big differnce in my skin including my face. My skin felt softer and had a plumness that i hadnt seen in several years. Lately I’ve noticed a change in my skin again. I would love becoming a tester for any of your products. My memory isnt as sharp, muscle tone is not as good and I do try to watch my diet . I’ve been caring for my elderly mother for over three years now , I know that adds stress and signs of aging. I am using tetronoin cream and I hate the feeling it leaves every day, I would love testing your products and would be a faithful and honest person in my comments.

    Shirley Reid

  2. I find that when I cut wheat (found in most breads and bread products) out of my diet, my skin clears up immensely!

  3. I am 30 years old and still have problems with acne. I would love to find something that actually works to get rid of it!

  4. My skin desperately needs this! I just turned 38, and instead of my skin being better I find that it has become worse than it use to be. I have never tried this product, but I would love the chance to. I am very loyal once I find a brand that works for me. Thanks for the chance.I would love to become a tester!

  5. I have suffered from acne and scarring all of my life. I have tried every cream, solution, mask, and prescribed oinment out there. This may be just what I need. I would love to have the opportunity to try it.


  6. I have a 14 year old son who has teenage acne severely… I have tried just about everything under the sun for him and have yet to find the “magic” pill for him.

    I feel sooo bad for him as he’s a Freshman and it just breaks my heart to see acne on his face and know that it bothers him very much!

  7. I am a professional writer/journalist & am beginning a review blog.
    I would love to try this product & write a review for it!
    Good skin care is extremely important to me, particularly because family members battle lupus, and being a family of fair-skinned redheads, we have searched for years for the best in skin care.

  8. Would love to try, sounds awesome.

  9. I would love to become a Perricone tester! I love trying new products.

  10. I’m always looking for the perfect skin care regamine and I’ve tried many brands. I’m almost 30 and find I have break-outs when I’m stressed or if my hormones are changing, but when I break out they tend to be deep. I have never tried Perricone MD, but I’ve read reviews and hear it’s great for a variety of issues (aging, acne, overall skin health). What product would help with my type of break-outs?

  11. I work outside in all types of weather – would love to test and find some products hat can both protect and rejuvenate my skin!

  12. I would love to become a tester.

  13. Always looking to try new things and let others know how well they worked or did not work. Need a new skin care regimen

  14. I am in my 30′s and thie is my first time really breaking out with acne. This sounds like a product that would help me

  15. I am 51 years old and would love to how your products could help with my aging skin. I can not wait to try your products.

  16. Hello

    I would like the opportunity to test the products.

  17. now i know why i keep getting pimples- i love fatty and sugary foods. I do drink lots of fluids but I still break out

  18. This sounds like exactly the product I need to tackle my skin issues. Acne has been a part of my life for several years and I would like to see the beautiful skin that lies beneath.

  19. Try good product that really work, why not. Just let me give them a try

  20. Im want to look my best, and age gracefully!

  21. I am just turning 30 and I would love to make sure my skin stays young and fresh….

  22. It’s a new year, new goals are set and you could help me accomplish one by helping to slow those wrinkles down.Just because the economy is downhill does not mean my face needs to go in that direction,too. I’m like Uncle Sam….I want you

  23. have been in laser clinical studies before and would love to be apart of your clinical research….thank you

  24. I would love to try these product. I have read the Perricone Perscription for Acne, and will be following the diet religiously after the holidays are over (too many temptations at the moment…). I’m currently taking antibiotics that only barely keep my acne in check, and I’m eager to achieve clear skin naturally as well as to slow the aging process as much as possible (I’m 42).

  25. I am 56 years old (where did the time go?) and have always taken care of my skin. I hear that Dr. Perricone is the best on the market, and I would love to be one of the testimonials for your products.

  26. Both my brother and I have always had problems with acne and have both tried just about everything. We too have been told that there is no link between acne and what we eat. After looking over your study I am eager to try your product.

  27. I would love to become a perricone tester, I have never used your product which would be good for you to expose your products to someone who has never used them. In fact I just within the last month heard about your products and wrote to you about sending out some free samples which I was informed samples are only given with orders so I see this as a great opportunity for both myself and your company. I can promise you I will be completely honest because I have no previous experience with your series of products!!

  28. I would love to be a tester

  29. I would like to try this product

  30. I use a variety of skin and hair products. Having the chance to try and review products is a fun and rewarding hobby for me. I would appreciate being a part of this online community and be able to share valueable information about new products. Thank You.


  32. I feel the same way as others who are going to be 40 this year. We need Perricone products in order to help us look as good as we can. We as Moyers want to be proud of how far we have come. We need to definitely abandon that which is antiquated and in the past as far as advice and go with much more updated 2010-2011 concepts and even further in helping our skin and
    in moisturizing our entire being.

  33. i would like to become a product tester

  34. i am in my early 50′s an experience dry skin and wrinkles and would love a chance to try new item and share my opinion

  35. i’m approaching the dread 3-0, and have started to notice fine lines around my eyes and mouth. too much laughing and smiling i guess! would love to try ur skin care products and see if i can find something that works.

  36. being 43 im very lucky not to look it however i do see theventual signs that my skin is aging and id love to try these products

  37. I would love to become a product tester. I could REALLY use it!

  38. I would love to become a tester.

  39. As another poster, now at 30 I have become more aware of my skin than ever. I have struggled with acne, uneven skin tone, redness and enlarged pores my entire life it seems. I’d like to fix it instead of trying to cover it up every day.

  40. I have used this product and loved it. Would appreciate very much the opportunity to test your other products.

  41. I am 30 and as I have recently become aware of the importance of products would love to become a tester.

  42. I’ve used the active tinted moisterize for years and it’s the best. It has kept my skin healthy and evens out the skin tones…highy recommended.

  43. I’m in my early 30′s and have started having trouble with breakouts and fine lines. I would love to test your products.

  44. I was born to be a Perricone tester!
    My skin says so :)

  45. I would love to become a product tester!

  46. My skin is in love with Dr. Perricone’s products! I do want to be the tester!

  47. I have been a fan of Dr Perricone’s anti inflammation/anti aging programs for over 6 years. His books have served as a bible for both my mother and I; I am 46 and she is 72. I have tried several of the products in his skin care line. Most memorable was the skin clear cleanser. Mild leaving my skin with some moisture—unlike strong cleansers that leave your skin tight and stripped……I am a fan of his philosophy on skin care. I am also a life time vegetarian who limits sugar, white flours and other inflammation causing foods… a perfect world….we could all just wash with olive oil!!!

  48. there is no one size fits ll fix for acne as this product shows. i had measureable improvemnt, but i followed the guidelines to the letter

  49. As a teenager i never really had trouble with acne, and i ate alot of chocolate back then.., I was a but now that i am older, i dont eat chocolate anymore.. it just dont taste as good as it used to. The past few years I have been having alot of trouble with acne, I have tried just about everything. I would really like to try your products out and review them for you, so please consider me..

  50. I am in my 40′s and can see the different signs of aging. I would love to try your product and give my opinion.
    thank you