Does spicy food cause acne?

If you have chronic acne, you start evaluating every aspect of your life, including your diet. So, does spicy food cause acne?

There isn’t any evidence that suggests that eating spicy items can cause the appearance of acne. However, it could due to other factors.

Acne is believed to affect 9.4 percent of adults worldwide and is considered the eighth most prevalent condition worldwide. The question is, what causes adult acne?

Acne is an ordinary skin condition due to myriad causes like hormones, genetics, and the environment. The two major risk factors for acne is hyperactive sebaceous glands (which generate oils) and dead skin cells stuck in pores and bacteria.

Therefore, any food that increases the likelihood to sweat (including spicy food items) or broadens the pores (from causing blackheads) can cause you to get acne.

Spicy foods could also cause acne because they’re usually loaded with lycopene, which can cause irritation to your skin, disrupt pH balance, and trigger acne breakouts. Everyone reacts differently, however, you may be able to reduce acne by removing foods with a spicy flavor.

Another factor is oily fried food. Greasy food items can cause inflammation, which may trigger acne breakouts.

Be extra aware of grease-based food items, since the grease of the food’s preparation on your hands and, later onto the skin (especially your face) can cause blockage of your pores, leading to breakouts.

There are many methods to treat acne, ranging from medical to natural treatments. Of course, prevention is better than treatment. This means that you should avoid certain foods, or eat them moderately. This way you may be able to reduce the effects of acne, or even prevent it in the first instance.

closeup of yellow scotch bonnet peppers

What is acne?

  • Acne can be a condition that affects close to 10% of the world’s population.
  • The people who eat foods with sugars added are 30% more likely to have acne. probability of getting acne.
  • The consumption of cake and sweets frequently increases the chance of developing skin problems by 20%.
  • Consuming only 25g of chocolate that’s 99% pure can significantly increase the chance of developing acne.
  • Girls and women often suffer from acne, due to hormonal changes that occur 2-7 days before menstruation.

So, how does eating spicy food cause acne?

The reason is found through sweating. Spicy foods create an inflammatory response within the body, leading to increased body temperature. This causes sweat, and also oil to escape from the skin, which is what holds the bacteria and dirt that causes acne.

A variety of spices, including peppers, have the ingredient known as capsaicin. The component provides hot peppers that are incredibly spicy. If you consume a very fiery pepper, you start sweating. The sweat drips across your face and could cause the pores to release oil. The excess oil production could cause blockage of the pores, leading to Acne appearing.

In addition, certain spicy foods can contain acidic lycopene, which could cause skin irritation or alter pH in the body. This can cause acne all over your face.

The same chemical could trigger our inflammatory response to become unstable, leading to the hormone that triggers inflammation and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). It’s not the only reason that spicy foods cause discomfort in the skin.

white bowl of ground cayenne pepper with whole peppers on white background

Other effects of spicy foods:

Many of us experience occasional instances of food-related issues, and we don’t realize that certain foods may cause harm to our skin, specifically acne. These foods can also affect us in different ways, such as:

Acid reflux:

The capsaicin found in spicy foods can slow digestion, and the amount of food that remains in the stomach can be longer. This means that the likelihood of food going back to the abdomen expands, increasing the risk of gastritis. The patient may experience occasional heartburn, stomach pain, and other symptoms. If the contents return towards the esophagus, the stomach could also cause bad breath.


The inflammation caused by spicy foods can cause stomach irritation and lead to gastritis. The patient experiences acute symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of abdominal fullness following a meal.


Spicy spice is among the most common causes of diarrhea caused by food. The capsaicin found in some spicy foods may irritate the lining of the stomach and intestine and may cause the effect of losing stool.


The position of a person lying down can make heartburn more intense as it’s more likely for acid to undergo a retrograde flow to the esophagus, resulting in a disturbed sleep cycle and sleeplessness. This is why it is suggested to avoid consuming spicy foods in the evening.

Hoarse voice:

While it’s not a common occurrence, spicy food may irritate and lead to inflammation of the vocal cords, and as a result, one could develop a hoarse voice.

dried chilis and ground chili on brown background

What foods help prevent acne?

Same as there are some items to avoid to minimize breakouts, there are also foods that you can consume to help ensure that you have a healthy face! Foods that are lower in glycemic, like complex carbohydrates, and several other ingredients within the food chain, may reduce the appearance of acne. The most frequent are:

Complex carbohydrates:

They are found in whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, quinoa, and brown rice, as well as in fruits and vegetables (not as juice) such as red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach, as well as legumes such as beans, dals, and peas.

Vitamins A, D, and E:

A study revealed that those deficient in Vitamin A and E experienced skin problems. Carrots, butternut squash, apricots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe are all rich in Vitamin A. Nuts like peanuts and almonds, and broccoli is all rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin supplements with high levels of fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, are not recommended without consulting a medical professional first.


These are the answers to over half all skin issues. Healthful digestion is crucial in reducing inflammation and consequently decreasing the visibility of acne. Probiotics supplements are beneficial, and yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc., are all foods high in probiotics.


This antioxidant has potential that is known for its capacity to lessen swelling. It regulates blood sugar levels and can help reduce the appearance of bacteria that cause acne. It is available as an oral supplement based on the recommendations of a physician or applied topically to reap the advantages.


Bean seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, shellfish, and even meat, are all great sources of zinc within the diet. People with low zinc levels in their bodies may be more prone to developing acne.

Acne and malnutrition:

A diet in which you don’t eat regularly is another reason that causes breakouts. Therefore, if you don’t consume food regularly, you can become deficient in the nutrients that make your skin appear radiant. Since your body needs specific nutrients to thrive, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet.

pile of african bird chilis on black background

Is spicy food anti-aging?

Chili peppers are a source of capsaicin; an active chemical found to fight cancer and protect against neurodegenerative disorders. According to research studies, capsaicin is also believed to help weight loss and reduce wrinkles.

More about vegan skincare:

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