Debunking the Myth: Do Peanuts Really Cause Acne?

Debunking the Myth: Do Peanuts Really Cause Acne?
As someone who has struggled with acne for years, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to try to figure out what causes it. There are so many myths and misconceptions out there about what can trigger acne, and one of the most common ones I've come across is the idea that eating peanuts can cause breakouts. In this article, I'm going to explore this myth and take a closer look at the scientific evidence to determine whether or not there's any truth to it.


What causes acne?

Before we dive into the peanut-acne connection, let's start by reviewing what causes acne in the first place. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. The exact cause of acne is not fully understood, but it's believed to be a combination of factors, including:

  • Excess oil production
  • Dead skin cells
  • Bacteria
  • Inflammation

Hormones also play a role in acne development, which is why acne is most commonly associated with puberty and adolescence.

Peanuts and acne - the connection

So where does the idea that peanuts cause acne come from? The theory is that peanuts contain a high level of androgen, a hormone that can stimulate the production of oil in the skin. This excess oil production, in turn, can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

However, it's important to note that this theory is based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific research. While many people believe that eating peanuts can trigger acne, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this claim.

The scientific evidence behind peanuts and acne

To date, there have been very few studies conducted specifically on the link between peanuts and acne. In fact, I was only able to find one small study that investigated this connection. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, involved 20 male participants who were asked to consume peanuts for one week while their acne was monitored.

The results of the study were inconclusive. While some of the participants did experience an increase in acne during the week they were consuming peanuts, others did not. Additionally, the study was limited by its small sample size and the fact that it only included male participants.

Other factors that may contribute to acne

While it's possible that peanuts could play a role in acne development for some people, it's important to remember that there are many other factors that can contribute to acne as well. These include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Skincare routine
  • Medications

It's also worth noting that different people may be more or less susceptible to certain acne triggers based on their skin type and other individual factors.

Debunking the myth - peanuts do not cause acne

Based on the available scientific evidence, it's safe to say that there is no direct link between peanuts and acne. While some people may notice an increase in acne when they consume peanuts, this reaction is likely due to individual differences rather than any inherent property of peanuts themselves.

That being said, it's still a good idea to be mindful of your diet when it comes to managing acne. While peanuts may not cause breakouts directly, there are other foods that have been shown to worsen acne symptoms. These include:

  • Dairy products
  • Sugar and high-glycemic foods
  • Fried and greasy foods
  • Processed foods
  • Chocolate

If you're struggling with acne, it's a good idea to pay attention to how your diet impacts your skin and consider making changes if necessary.

How to manage acne

If you're dealing with acne, there are many steps you can take to manage your symptoms and prevent future breakouts. Some tips to keep in mind include:

  • Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser
  • Avoid picking or squeezing pimples
  • Use non-comedogenic skincare products
  • Limit your intake of acne-triggering foods
  • Keep your hair off your face
  • Try over-the-counter acne treatments or see a dermatologist for prescription options

Remember that everyone's skin is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. Don't be afraid to experiment and try different approaches until you find a routine that works for you.


The idea that peanuts can cause acne is a persistent myth that has been perpetuated by anecdotal evidence rather than scientific research. While there is some limited evidence that suggests a link between peanuts and acne, the available data is inconclusive and does not support the idea that peanuts are a direct cause of breakouts.

If you're dealing with acne, focusing on a healthy diet and skincare routine can go a long way in managing symptoms and preventing future breakouts. And if you're still struggling, don't hesitate to seek the advice of a dermatologist who can help you develop a tailored treatment plan.