Skincare or the things you apply to your skin are not the only ones that can affect its quality and appearance. The foods you consume have an effect too and may even give you a dull or tired complexion. Certain types can promote inflammation and trigger breakouts or even increase the breakdown of collagen and elastin.

Limit These Foods for Clear, Healthy Skin

This only makes it important to mind your diet, especially if you’re dealing with breakouts, premature wrinkling, and other skin concerns. Here are some types of foods you may want to limit or take a look at in keeping your skin healthy, clear, and youthful.


A diet high in sugar can lead not only to weight gain, tooth decay, and increased risk of certain diseases. It can also speed up aging and lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the harmful compounds that increase the breakdown of collagen and elastin.  

Sugars, particularly refined and simple carbohydrates, offer no nutritional value and should be limited or avoided. They are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which then raises your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can increase insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which may contribute to acne development and boosted sebum production.

For further reading: Sweet Danger: How Sugar Affects Your Skin


There is no doubt that salt makes dishes better by enhancing flavors and bringing out aromas. The problem, of course, comes with too much sodium or high salt intake, which can negatively affect both your skin and overall health. It can dehydrate your body, trigger breakouts, and accelerate aging. 

One main issue with a salty diet is that it causes your body to retain water, which can result in puffiness or a bloated appearance. You may be able to see the effect on the area around the eyes or bags under the eyes. Too much salt consumption can also lead or contribute to:

  • Dehydration – excessive salt consumption causes the body to pull water from your skin and cells. This can result in dry skin with more visible lines and wrinkles, as well as a dull and tired appearance.
  • Aging – a high salt diet is related to the shortening of telomeres or the caps at the end of chromosomes that helps prevent cell damage. While telomeres shorten as we age, poor habits such as a high salt diet, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle can speed up telomeric shortening. Shorter telomeres are associated with aging and a higher risk of diseases.
  • Breakouts – as too much salt dries the skin, the body will then overcompensate by producing more oil or sebum. This can clog your pores and inflame the skin, making you more prone to whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It can also aggravate existing acne or breakouts. 

Foods with a high glycemic index 

Consuming foods with a high glycemic index or GI is said to contribute to acne and increase blood sugar levels. It causes your body to produce more insulin, which can stimulate the production of sebum in the skin. Excess sebum can clog the pores and lead to acne. 

It is also worth noting that a spike in insulin levels can also result in a “sugar crash”, which is used to describe a sudden feeling or tiredness after consuming lots of sugar.  This can make you feel sluggish and leave you looking drained. High GI foods include: 

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Potatoes
  • Sugary foods and beverages
  • Cookies
  • Chips 


Certain studies link milk and dairy products with acne skin conditions in some people. A 2012 and 2017 study found that regular consumption of milk or ice cream increased the likelihood of having acne among young adults. It is important to keep in mind, however, that milk does not necessarily cause acne but has demonstrated a correlation to the condition. 

One proposed theory as to why dairy products may contribute to the formation of acne is that they increase blood sugar levels, which can aggravate acne. It is also suggested that cow’s milk has amino acids that cause you more produce more IGF-1, which affects hormones in a way that contributes to the formation or worsening of acne. 

For further reading: The Dos and Don’ts of Tackling Your Acne

Let us be your beauty and skincare partner

Limiting the consumption of foods mentioned above does help, as well as undergoing non-surgical aesthetic procedures. At Cutis, we have a number of treatments that can help improve acne skin conditions and promote a younger-looking complexion. These include:

  • Microneedling with MG-Collection serums – in-office skin needling facilitates faster wound healing and stimulates collagen and elastin. You can pair it with an MG-CLR serum, which is ideal if you have acne, comedones, enlarged pores, and oily skin. 
  • Laser skin rejuvenation – gently heats the skin’s deeper layer to promote new collagen formation. It can help tighten and plump up the skin to reduce enlarged pores, as well as improve uneven texture, fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and facial redness.
  • Skin resurfacing – heats the deeper layers of the skin to stimulate collagen growth. It resurfaces the skin and causes it to form a protective dressing that will peel off after three to four days. This then reveals healthy skin with a pearly glow.
  • VI Peel Purify – is the VI Peel designed for active acne, oily skin, and other skin concerns caused by acne symptoms. It features a unique formula that can fight breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria, clearing pores, and soothing redness and inflammation. 

Learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your skincare goals. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which treatments or combination treatments are right for you.