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.


    Clear Out

    $49.90 USD

    Be it red, inflamed pimples or stubborn blackheads, all acne starts with clogged pores. Clear Out goes in deep to continuously flush out these clogs before they turn into acne. This means skin stays clear for good.

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:


Power Duo

$83.80 USD $76.90 USD (save 8%)

The perfect starter kit for your journey from acne to clear, healthy skin. Packed with medical-grade ingredients, this set is what you need to clear clogs that cause acne and reduce the appearance of red post-acne marks.

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See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

Based on 2549 reviews
Skin Type: Combination
All I can say is wow

Got all the acne products on a whim and they did not disappoint! I have noticed such a difference in the texture of my skin. I have tried so many acne products and felt like nothing was working. The clearly basics range has lasted me soooooo long and I saw results in just 3 weeks! Really happy with my experience, I would highly recommend those with acne to try this brand. Love it!

Power Duo*
Chuan Ling T.

Adult acne is a new thing for me- I’ve had clear skin growing up so the outbreaks were very stressful! I did everything and anything I could, from watching YouTube reviews, trying out cult products to professional advice, but nothing quite did the job. So how the power duo panned out for me was definitely a pleasant (-ly hugeeee) surprise. I do acknowledge that my acne challenges are not on the extremely severe end, but I must say, emotionally the positive outcome of using both the power duo encouraged me to wear my skin as it is again. It’s really worthwhile trying as it is also a no fuss duo; hence the currently gild of my staple skincare products.

Calm Down*
Kimberly C.

The entire Clearly Basics product line is the only one that has cleared my skin. I tried any product you can think of including doctor prescribed medication and ointment and nothing worked. After having acne for over 15 years I am so happy to have clear, radiant skin!

I have maybe seen some improvement but nothing amazing yet. Have used the product as instructed, religiously. Will try another bottle and stick to it for a few more months.

I love all of clearly basics! They made my confidence rise because I finally feel comfortable without makeup.
This cleanser is amazing 👏
My skin doesn't feel tight afterwards and now I don't get that mid day shine near as bad.

I love everything from clearly basics! It totally changed my life by clearing my acne. Now they have a new sunscreen and it's great.
It doesn't have a smell or leave your face white or greasy. Best of all it doesn't cause breakouts!

The products are just amazing!! My results in 4 months of using clear out extra strength!!

Clear Out*
Sophie C.

Love this product 👏🏽

Works really well! Enjoy using this face wash, never stings or dries out my acne prone skin !

Clear Out*
Emma S.

Worked really well in quite a short amount of time! I now see long lasting results, my skin is healthy and my acne is finally under control! The first product I have tried which works and is actually affordable!

I struggled with lots of painful cystic acne so tried the clear out product. Found by the end of the first bottle a lot of the smaller spots were not coming back and the more painful larger ones were coming back less inflamed. I was happy with the results from the first bottle so I ordered another, this is halfway through the second bottle and can see most of the acne on my cheeks has gone! I still get cystic acne in the T area but it is much less painful than before. Definitely recommend, but takes time to see real results.

Clearly Basics has been an absolute life saver! Not an over night miracle, be patient and stick with it, amazing products

I saw a huge reduction in new pimples and any new pimples scars healed and disappeared a lot quicker

Power Duo*
Anne F.

I have struggled with acne since I was 12 years old. All through my teenage and adult life my skin has been unpredictable and the breakouts have been constant and so frustrating. I’ve tried everything you could imagine but nothing worked reliably. Clear Out and lighten up have been a total game changer for me and I couldn’t be happier with the results

Acne Care Kit*
Sinead C.

I started using clearly basics at the beginning of the year. I have struggled with acne most of my adult life and when I saw a video from a customer on instagram, everything she described is exactly what I had done…had hormonal acne on chin and jaw line in particular. I had been to the doctor, was referred to a dermatologist and had been on medication, tried all sorts of creams and gels with no success.

I cannot believe this actually worked. I would say I saw results within the first month and probably took around 4 months so really clear up. I have continued with using it and now only get the odd spot at that time of the month but use the calm down on it. It has given me my confidence back and now I’m working on reducing the scaring. I use clear out each evening, the TLC in the morning, lighten up twice a day (but that is a small bottle so doesn’t last long) and then have tried both the so fresh and balancing cleansers. For me it really worked so would highly recommend.

Tightens pores and brightens and smoothes skin. This was my first bottle but I will continue to purchase. I use day and night.

I already use CB balancing cleanser and clear out extra strength, two years ago my skin was spotty, blackheads, raw and very visible. I wondered if the TLC would make a difference in my routine but it has, a glow and radiance I didn’t expect. This is no filter I’ve just woke up. I turned 50 this year the clearly basics range is also an amazing anti ageing tool!

Power Duo*
Mamtha J.

Tried every product out there from proactiv to slurp! None worked, they infact aggravated the condition! Tried clearlybasics as last resort and oh boy it works! Worth every penny! First time in 20 years, stepped out without wearing base makeup! Never thought this day would come!

I suffered with acne for years, and when I finally learned to stop the acne I was left with red and brown scars and hyperpigmentation. But I started using the clearly basics Lighten up cream and Dark mark defends, followed by the moisturiser, and I saw a dramatic difference within days! My scars have lightened so much and most of them are gone. I find this moisturiser is also very hydrating but not greasy, it is absorbed into my skin effortlessly, and it wears beautifully under my makeup. I've now been using the products for 6 months and will continue to use it!

Power Duo*
Laura S.

This stuff changed my life!!!!
After reading the reviews I never thought it would work for me in the same way as it had for other people, as my skin was so bad and cystic. But after just a few months of using this and cutting down on dairy, my skin was 10 times better!
I’m still religiously using the Power Duo and don’t think I’ll ever stop 😊

Clear Out*
Leah N.

It's such a relief to finally have found something that works. I've had acne since I was around 11 and like most people, I tried so many different products and 'hacks' to try and get rid of the spots but nothing really helped.
I was hesitant to try clear out because of the price but I was reassured by the money back guarantee.
To be honest, the purging process they warn about was pretty severe for me. Mine lasted for the entire first bottle and I was so ready to give up. I contacted customer service and they offered me a refund or 50% off my next bottle, reassuring me it would be worth sticking with it. I agreed to persevere and I'm so glad I did! About half way through the next bottle I really noticed improvements and by the end, my skin was the clearest it had ever been. I've completely stopped having breakouts and only occasionally get a spot or two during my cycle. Overall my skin is smoother and I have much less redness and a more even skin tone. I keep using clear out nightly to maintain my nice new skin and I'll happily keep buying it knowing how well it works for me!

Clear Out*
Mandy R.

After a few weeks the results were already visible (right photo). Now the red spots are also less visible!!

Acne Care Kit*
Keiwing W.

My son has serious acene problem and the acene comes back when he stopped taking the anti- biotics. After trying the products, the acene starts to dry up. The result is amazing after one month. Now, trying to apply the product to lighten up the marks.

Calm Down*
Cara W.

This works amazing. As soon as you see a bump, put a small amount on. I’ve used many acne spot treatments and this is by far the best !!

Clear Out
Veronica Ilenya Ranieri

"My skin has changed in better after using these products, they are practical and are not aggressive towards the skin.
I was ashamed of going out in public because everyone was pointing out my acne and scars, but since I started using clearly basic, I found a new me. Thank you changing my life!!"

Individual results may vary

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