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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.

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.


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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:


Answer 3 easy questions to get Clearly Basics' Toolkit to clear acne!


See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

@gabriela.akrapovi Absolutely so happy with this product! My cheeks were congested and had so many breakouts and redness I didn’t know what to do anymore. I tried everything. I kept seeing Clearly Basics showing up on my Facebook and Instagram and thought what the hell and decided to order the complete trio moisturizer pack. It came in cute packaging and the directions were clear. I started using it two months ago and my god there is a lot of improvement!! My cheeks are less congested and red. I have mostly dark spots but the Lighten Up is definitely helping with that! I rarely get any big breakouts and even if a pimple starts to show the Clear Out stops it in it’s track. The Protective Moisturizer is great for my sensitive skin and helps keep my skin feel moisturized but doesn’t make my skin go oily. I definitely would recommend this product and I can’t wait to see how my skin will be in the few months using Clearly Basics! Thanks Clearly Basics!!

@brittaneyshanae I swear the Power Duo (Clear Out and Lighten Up) are a GOD-send! I’ve been using both consistently for 3 months now and my skin has NEVER looked or felt better! I haven’t experienced a breakout since March and more than 80% of my hyperpigmentation is GONE!

I’m so grateful to have finally found a product that actually works for my skin!

If you’re dealing with acne breakouts and hyperpigmentation, you should def research Clearly Basics.

@beatlebarbs Hey guys! So I rarely write reviews, but I’m going make an exception, because it literally changed my life (what a cliche I know).

I’ve suffered from acne pretty much my whole life. I’m generally a happy and optimistic person, or at least I try to be, but acne made it impossible for me. It got to a point where I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without crying. I didn’t wanna go out or even meet my friends. My self confidence was nonexistent. I had severe anxieties and break downs. I sought the help of a GP and dermatologist but nothing worked. Antibiotics made it even worse.

Then I read about the Clear Out and the reviews were great. Still a bit skeptical, I decided to give it a shot and thank God I did. My skin improved drastically and even though I still get a pimple or two every now and then, I am overall very happy with the results.

@deannaskin Over the past month and a half I’ve noticed a massive change to the appearance and texture of my skin since using @clearlybasics. Honestly the most effective products (vegan of course) I’ve used all year. Not only has the redness of my spots reduced, but I rarely get painful under-the-skin bumps or huge whiteheads anymore. My scars have also faded so quickly 👀

If your skin is similar to mine I’d 100% recommend that you implement these products into your skincare routine.

I’m only a few weeks in using these products but the results have been so positive🔮🧚🏽‍♀️

@amynuramira I have been struggling with acne for 10 years. This is by far the best product. I started out with brown pigmentation (acne marks) and a lot of tiny bumps of acne on my forehead, cheek and nose (kind of like sand paper). As soon as I started the Clear Out and Lighten Up, my acne bumps got smaller and smaller. My brown pigmentation began turning lighter (reddish pinkish).
Initially, when I started using it, I didn’t really get a ‘purge’ it was just a small amount of break outs which went away in a few weeks. Now my hormonal break outs are not as terrible as before, they still appear but barely noticeable. My skin is acne-free, pigmentation are still there but they’ve improved tremendously!

@startingtolovemyself ✨Not a pimple in sight!!!✨

It’s been about 3 weeks since I started using @clearlybasics Clear Out, Lighten Up and the Protective Moisturizer (the Complete Trio) and my skin has improved so much and I definitely think it’s from the Clear Out formula most of all!

It really is a miracle in a bottle! I’m excited to see how my skin changes even more in the next few weeks and months using them!

Individual results may vary