Breaking Out of Bad Habits: Acne Triggers to Avoid in the New Year

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While acne is often caused by uncontrollable factors, like hormones, genetic makeup, or excess oil secretion, certain lifestyle habits can trigger or worsen outbreaks as well.

As the new year begins, one of the resolutions people often make is to keep their skin healthy and clear. To help with this resolution, let’s take a look at some ways you can avoid certain acne triggers.


The food you consume can have a significant impact on your skin. Many dietary factors have been linked to acne flare-ups and breakouts. Some of the foods you’ll want to limit include the following:

Sugary Foods

Foods with high sugar content can lead to acne breakouts. Sugar causes a burst of inflammation, which spikes insulin levels – both of which are a nightmare to acne-prone skin.

High Glycemic Index Foods

High glycemic index foods, including pasta, rice, and white bread can cause spikes in blood sugar that can also trigger acne breakouts.

Fatty Foods

Diets high in fatty, fried foods, oily meats, and greasy takeout have also been associated with acne flare-ups. These foods can be difficult for the body to digest and result in spiking insulin levels and acne breakouts.

Tips: Go for those with low glycemic index, including barley, quinoa, and steel-cut oats. Instead of fatty foods, try steamed or grilled options.

Stressful Lifestyle

When you’re stressed, the body responds by secreting corticotropin and androgen hormones. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous gland to secrete excess oil, which can cause acne breakouts if it comes in contact with bacteria.

Tip: Managing stress can help alleviate acne. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep can help with stress and minimize the production of corticotropin and androgen hormones that trigger acne.

Poor Skin Care Routine

As much as makeup enhances beauty, it can also cause acne breakouts. Makeup is thick, can clog pores, and make your skin more susceptible to acne-inducing bacteria. Certain makeup can also irritate the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Tip: Use skin care products that don’t clog pores. Search for products with words like “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic.”

Certain Medications

Some medications, including anticonvulsants, hormonal contraceptives, and corticosteroids can contribute to acne breakouts. Talk to your doctor about medications that can treat acne.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re suffering from acne and need a quick solution, HMGS Dermatology is here to help. Our team of experts can offer specialized advice and treatment options based on your unique skin concerns. Schedule a consultation at one of our New Jersey locations by calling us at (856) 452-8586 or using our online scheduling form. We can’t wait to help you achieve beautiful, clear skin!