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Diet changes to help acne


Hello All. I've been reading a lot recently about the yin yang diet theory and am wondering if some changes to my diet may help my acne problem. From what I've read I still have no idea if I have too much ying or yin...

I'll mention a few things I think might be relevant. Thank you very much in advance! I am at my wits end right now.

I am a 26 yr old female and have had acne on my face, chest and back since my teenage years. It's not horrible but I def don't have good skin. I drink one liter or more of water everyday. I workout 5 days a week (biking, running, hiking, etc.) and am not overweight. My diet is healthy I think and usually consists of cereal for breakfast, salad for lunch and a protein and vegetable for dinner. I drink coffee and love chocolate. I try to minimize dairy, wheat and meat. I rarely eat red meat. I have low blood pressure but high cholesterol which I think is genetic. My resting heart rate is also very low - norm 45-50. Not sure that matters. In the past I have always used harsh creams and have had decent results with antibacterial soaps. When I cut back on the dairy my acne got a little better but not cured and now I have a hard time eating ice cream. I switched to a gentle antibacterial face soap recently and that helps with the constant redness of my skin, esp in the T zone area. When the bar got old, apparently it lost its antibacterial effects bc I broke out like crazy and it has taken me two months to get it under control again. I'm still getting new pimple, esp around the chin area. My face is very greasy but can get dried out by the creams at the same time. I live in a dry climate now but used to live in a very hot humid one which was horrible for my skin.


Hi there... for acne of this type nay i suggest you use agnus castus for three months.. it serves to balance hormone production. Its by no means a complete picture but as a simple addition to your lifestyle i have found it to be very effective in treating acne especially in young women. A consultation with a local practitioner will be invaluable in helping find proper balance. Before starting a course please check with your practitioner as to suitability!!!


It would be best for you to consult with a practitioner directly so that they can properly diagnose you and make recommendations. Generally acupuncture, properly prescribed herbal medicine and appropriate dietary change can clear up these issues rather permanently. Dietary wise you are doing many things right, although both coffee and more commonly chocolate can contribute to breakouts. Generally underlying this is an hormonal imbalance of some type.

Yin and yang are relative imbalances so trying to make sense of them in a linear western model doesn&#39t always help. In a yang season you want more yin foods, in a yin season more yang foods and then all of this relative to what is happening with you internally.


FYI - Too much water at one time can exhaust your kidneys. Cold/iced water causes stress to the spleen. Strong coffee too, can be too much for the kidneys and yin-yang balance. Talk to your TCM Practitioner.

I&#39ve worked in the spa industry and can let you know as well that "anti-bacterial" foaming cleansers are really too harsh for delicate face skin.


A consultation from a practitioner is definitely the way forward... It&#39s too complex to give any specific recommendation here.

Having said that, a couple of simple things you could try.... In my exprience both coffee and dairy products can contribute massively to acne. To find out if they effect you, cut out one of them completely for a month or more, leaving everything else the same, and see if it helps. If not, you can reintroduce it, and try cutting out the other instead.

I sympathise, and hope you can get some help - I too had acne badly in my teens and twenties - for me, cutting out dairy was the answer (though it will not be the same for everyone)


I agree with the suggestion to consult a practitioner. In my personal experience, I had acne due to food allergies, which reduced after a practitioner I was seeing addressed my diet. Environmental issues, Food Allergies and Sensitivites as well as Internal Emotional States

(like stress) and Lifestyle can all affect skin and depending on the root, there are many approaches combining nutrition and herbs that can effectively reduce eliminate symptoms.


There can be several organ patterns that can cause acne. The area of the face affected can provide more detail. For example, acne on the forehead is connected with heat in the heart system and acne on the cheeks can be heat or damp-heat in either the stomach, lare intestine, liver or lung systems depending on which cheek and other factors. It&#39s best to get a diagnosis from a practitioner who can look at your tongue and pulse to confirm it for you, then you can get to the root of the problem. Food sensitivities can definitely play into this as offending foods produce an inflammatory reaction in the gut which translates as Heat in TCM.

Since a hot humid climate worsens your skin, it sounds like your acne is related to what&#39s called "Damp-Heat" in TCM. Dairy such as ice cream is also a cause of Damp-Heat so avoiding this makes sense. Jasmine green tea is cooling and excellent for Damp-Heat. It has a small amount of caffeine and could be used in place of coffee and chocolate. Some people find raw chocolate doesn&#39t trigger skin issues while regular "cooked" chocolate does.

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