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Foods That Can Make Acne Worse

Salty foods and food high in iodides that are the culprit in making acne worse. Below is a list of foods typically high in iodides. We tell people to not go crazy around eliminating these foods, just be aware of eating too much of them.

Milk (and cheese) is another BIG culprit – not only does it have iodides, it also has hormones in it that contribute to acne. Many teenage boys love to drink gallons of milk which is contributing to their cystic acne.

Health foods and supplements are not immune – vitamins almost always contain some form of iodide – it could be in the form of iodine, iodide, potassium iodide or kelp. Also, vitamins contain biotin and B-12 both of which make acne worse. Be careful with protein bars – the often have potassium iodides in them. Whey and soy protein powders for smoothies can be bad for problem skin – try hemp or pea protein powder instead.

We want you to be informed what could be making your acne worse – these foods are not the “cause” of acne. The cause needs to be addressed by using the right products in the right way. But it’s good to know what can contribute to your breakouts.

  • Iodide Contents in Food (parts per million of iodide)


  • Iodized Salt ¼ tsp 100
  • Seasoned Salt 40
  • Sun Evaporated Salt 30
  • Uniodized Salt 19


  • Kelp 1020
  • Cod 3 oz 87
  • Squid 39
  • Crab 33


  • Cheddar Cheese Spread 27
  • Milk 11
  • Butter 26
  • Mozzarella Cheese 13