3 Acne Food Myths You Should Stop Believing

Our users often ask if their diet affects acne and the answer is YES.  What you eat can increase or decrease sebum production.  However, it isn’t what you’d expect … so let’s first start off by debunking some long-held, myths spread by our well-meaning grandmas:

  • Eating oily foods does not cause more oily skin:

    There are a number of studies that have shown that consuming greasy foods does not result in more oily skin.  Let’s put this one right alongside the old wives tale that every grain of rice that you don’t finish in your rice bowl will turn into a pimple.

  • There is no evidence that “heaty” foods cause acne:

    There are no credible studies that we’ve seen that link the “heaty-ness” of foods to acne.  However, we do recognize that the body is a complex system and concur that we should all eat a balanced diet which includes fresh fruits and vegetables (see below).

  • Little evidence that Chinese herbal medicines reduce acne:

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have claimed that drinking/eating a variety of herbs can treat acne. However, there is little evidence or studies shown to prove these claims.

    The issue with herbal medications is that it’s hard to know what you are getting since there is little regulation regarding the contents and concentration of active ingredients in these herbs. At Clearly, we focus on medications that have a strong track record of stopping acne. Our Clear Out formulation uses retinol, AZA and Amazonian tea tree oil which have been well documented to stop acne and foster scar repair.


A. Foods That Increase Oily Skin:

Here are the foods which boost sebum production and therefore trigger more breakouts on acne prone skin.

  • French fries, instant noodles:

    Wait, didn’t we just write that greasy foods have no relation to acne? The issue with fries and instant noodles is not the grease but rather the starch. Refined starches boost up blood sugar, insulin and ultimately the production of androgen hormones.

    Why does this matter? Harken back to those wonderful teenage years when hormones would kick sebum production into overdrive and cause a wave of breakouts. A binge of refined carbs may create a similar effect, so moderation is key. Cut back on white rice and white noodles and opt for whole grains instead.

  • Soda:

    A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar … over 9 teaspoons.

    Similar to refined carbs, the sugar in soda will quickly boost up blood sugar, insulin and ultimately the production of sebum.

  • Milk:

    Reconsider drinking that glass of milk. Approximately 90% of Asian adults are lactose intolerant.

    Every individual’s response to lactose may be different but increased sebum and mucous production are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.

B. Foods to Make Your Skin Happy:

Your skin is a reflection of your total body health so we cannot stress the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking enough water.  We should be consuming 4-5 fist-sized portions of fruits and veg every day and drinking 8 to 12 cups of water. The key is to maintain long-term healthy habits.  Below are some easy ways to get started:

  • Drink water before you drink another beverage:

    Start your day with a glass of water before you eat or drink anything else.  Repeat again right before you're about to have a cup of coffee or any other drink.  This fills you up on the good stuff so you drink less of the junky stuff.

  • Add fruit to your snack routine:

    Let your mid-day snack start or end with  a few pieces of whole fruits.  Nab a few good-looking pieces from a fruit stall or bring something easy from home.  Having snacks on hand that's perishable forces us to eat it more often.

  • Color Code Your Veg:

    Veggies not your thing?  Make it fun by picking a food color a day to eat, just to keep it exciting.  How?  Have a green day, focused on dark greens (ie:  spinach, long beans, avocados, etc...), then a red day (tomatoes, bells peppers, beets), etc...

C. Hitting Close to Home:

In 2010, a study was done on 1,285 Koreans where those who ate a healthy diet of fish and vegetables were compared against a group which ate instant noodles, carbonated drinks, processed cheese and junk food.

The study showed that “a high glycemic load diet, processed cheese, a high-fat diet, and iodine play a role in the exacerbation of acne in Koreans.”

In another study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers found that following a low-glycemic, high-protein diet for 12 weeks improved acne in men.

Clearly has developed a line of over-the-counter products that you can easily integrate into your routine to keep acne away.

The Clear Out combines three active ingredients in order to hit acne from multiple angles. Use the Lighten Up to fade the redness from post-acne marks once the Clear Out does its work. Save 8% by ordering both items together in a Duo set:


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See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

Based on 26 reviews
Skin Type: Normal
Comments: Any ideas on how to get rid of brown skin damage
Skin defence

Marks of sun damage are still there they haven't faded much after using twice a day for 60 days. . I will continue until product is finished. I'm a bit disappointed

Skin Type: Combination

I am so happy that I stumbled upon clearly basics on instagram. I was skeptical at first but decided to give it a try and bought clear out clarifying lotion. It's been 2 months and my skin has improved a lot. I can see significant reduction in pores and acne.

Skin Type: Combination

After years of medication and products, I decided to try clearly basics. In just 6 weeks my skin has calmed and I am now able to treat scarring.

So glad to have found these products!

Finding products that helped to control my acne without irritating my sensitive skin has always been a huge challenge. The clearly basics products have been my saviour, I can't recommend them enough ☺️

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Excellent and actually works

I am so incredibly impressed with the TLC for pore minimising - it 💯 works and has transformed my skin.

I’m in my 50’s and always had hormonal flare ups with larger pores as I age - this is a game changer and have just reordered my 3rd bottle !


not bad but I thought the formula has changed since what it was previously (i had it maybe 2 years ago) and I found it less effective now

Skin Type: Combination
This is the stuff.

So, long time sufferer of acne. Started when I was 12 and I'm 28 now still battling it. I've tried all kinds of different things to try and get it under control and besides birth control, nothing has helped long term. I never want to take birth control ever again and I just happened upon this brand and decided well, why not try? To my amazement, it has helped more than anything else I've tried, I'd say it has improved my skin to the level it was at when I took BC. Of course I still get pimples every now and then, and tiny flare ups during PMS but my skin is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I highly recommend this company. To those who are considering trying this out, be aware that during the first week or so your skin will go through a purge and your acne will appear to get worse at first. Stick with it! Once that phase is over is when your skin will begin improving. I do need to use it every night for it to be fully effective, but even when I do forget, the pimples don't get too out of control. I just can't say enough good things about this product. It has helped my confidence improve immensely and I definitely recommend trying it to those who have skin as finicky as mine.

Skin Type: Sensitive / Dry
The only moisturiser I trust

I am super sensitive and this is the only moisturiser that I trust honestly incredible.

Skin Type: Combination

I use this product and with the clear out and it has really helped my hormonal acne.

Skin Type: Sensitive / Dry
Here one day, gone the next!

After success with Clearly Basics for my acne scars, I stocked up with all of the active acne products to prepare myself for how angry my acne would get when going off hormonal birth control. I have tried and failed twice as my acne comes back so bad that I just start taking it again. This time I have been using clearly basics without fail every day (lighten up and clear out). I have had 3 pimples start to form and I use ‘Stop Spot’ and the next day instead of a much redder, much angrier pimple with a big white head - the pimple is gone! I have been very happy with this product. I’m one month down (typically when acne gets the worst) - let’s do this!

I love that these products are gentle on my daughter skin.

This skin care routine is the o lay one that has helped clear up my daughters skin.

My daughters skin is really starting to look better!

Skin Type: Oily
So far so good

Bought this for my daughter that has struggled with acne for years. She has seen improvement and less frequent breakouts.

Best moisturizer I have found!

Lighten Up Redness Rescue Cream
Veronica Ilenya Ranieri
Skin Type: Sensitive / Dry

Has changed my skin from acne pro to almost perfect 😍😍

Skin Type: Combination
Obsessed !!

Obsessed with this cleanser!! It left me feeling fresh and prevented break outs. It is incredible . Loved this product so much

My skin feels so soft after using this moisturiser!

My skin feels so soft after using this moisturiser!

Skin Type: Combination
Fresh and clean!

My face is filled with energy and feels so fresh and clean!

Skin Type: Normal
excellent item!

have been using this for years! so good for my skin :)

So Fresh pH Balancing Cleanser
Carmelinda Di Manno
Skin Type: Combination
Fresh Feeling

My skin feels so clean and still hydrated when I use this cleanser. It’s balancing and refreshing. My skin has responded really well to it and at times my skin can be sensitive. I highly recommend this product to anyone with relatively oily t-zone area

Skin Type: Combination
Very happy!

Love the texture, the minty scent and the lather.
I wish the bottles were a bit bigger HOWEVER they are just small enough to fly with.

Skin Type: Normal
Comments: The only thing I now need to use to keep my skin clear.
The holy grail for clearing hormonal acne.

This is the only product that I have needed to keep my skin clear since discovering it about 2 years ago, after suddenly developing cystic hormonal acne at the age of 25. I now only need to use it every second night, so it's incredibly affordable. It has also never irritated my sensitive skin and it has faded previous acne marks to truly clear my skin. After years of trying expensive supplements/products/harsh prescription creams, Clear Out was the only thing that gave me long-lasting results.

Skin Type: Oily
Clearly Basics is the only product that has helped my Adult Acne

I have always struggled with dehydrated acne prone skin. Every month like clockwork I would get a new breakout on my chin or cheek area. These included large cystic acne that by the time they came to a head would take me months to clear. With new breakouts each month this created more & more spots before the first could heal leaving more hyper pigmentation spots that never have time to clear. Clearly basics changed all that for me. It gave my skin a chance to heal and reduced the number of breakouts each month. When I do get a new breakout it resolves itself quickly with less scarring and redness. Now that the acne is under control the products are helping to eliminate the remaining hyper pigmentation spots left from years of acne. I have not been using the product for long but I will continuing relying on this product and look forward to the day I can happily look in the mirror at a smooth clear & even complexion some day soon.

Skin Type: Combination
Comments: Product consistency in terms of smoothness/coarseness/stickiness/ is sometimes a miss, don't believe it affects the result provided.
Great Combo

Have seen great improvements by using these 2 items concurrently, hard to fault and wil continue purchasing.

Individual results may vary

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