Does Pizza Cause Acne?

February 9th is National Pizza Day, but pause before you dial Domino’s. Our Acne Mythbusters (a.k.a. Acne Specialists) confirm the myth that pizza can trigger a breakout.

Sorry to break it to you. But we’d rather break bad news than let you break out.

Acne is caused by inflammation in the body. According to MindBodyGreen, “Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten.”

Guess what has both those ingredients? Yep, that cheesy slice of pizza.

Here’s how it works. Milk contains the growth hormone IGF-1 intended to grow baby cows. That growth hormone reacts with your body’s testosterone and triggers breakouts of red, swollen acne.

Your body also reacts to the insulin spike caused by milk and dairy products. That insulin spike makes the liver produce even more IGF-1, leading to painful breakouts.

Are we done yet? Nope.

Dairy also causes your skin to produce excess sebum oil, causing more clogged pores and an environment for Propionibacterium acnesbacteria. That bacteria feeds on your sebum and causes more inflammation.

And even if you don’t have the cheese, your body might react to the gluten — another inflammatory ingredient that causes your insulin to spike.

Unfortunately, the hurtful term “pizza face” has a nugget of truth. So does this mean you’ll never eat pizza again? Hopefully not. From cashew puree to cauliflower crust, you can experiment with ingredients to find a pizza that’s friendlier for your body. Check out our Acne Mythbusters Pinterest for recipes.

If you can tolerate gluten, try the spicy tomato pizza at Gather in Berkeley, CA. It’s so delicious that you won’t feel FOMO on National Pizza Day!

pizza oil and cheese causing acne myth


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