Salty foods and food high in iodides 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.
For example, we had a client who was almost clear. She then came into our clinic all broken out and we couldn’t imagine what was going on – I asked her if she was eating a lot of seafood or seaweed. She said, “why yes, I’m sprinkling kelp on my food every day.” As you can see by the chart, kelp has the most iodide of any food. We got her off the kelp and helped her get rid of her acne again.
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 – they 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)
SALT SEAFOOD DAIRY
Iodized Salt ¼ tsp 100 Kelp 1020 Cheddar Cheese Spread 27
Seasoned Salt 40 Cod 3 oz 87 Milk 11
Sun Evaporated Salt 30 Squid 39 Butter 26
Uniodized Salt 19 Crab 33 Mozzarella Cheese 13
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