Back before going fully vegan, there was nothing better than spending a Saturday night with my favorite Netflix show, a glass of red wine and a pizza from the local pizzeria.
Whether you’re in for a relaxing night alone or hosting a party for friends, pizza is a def go-to for many. And yes, you can make DELICIOUS pizza without either cheese or meat.
But the question is… does pizza cause acne?
Since you’re here right now, you’re probably curious to know the real answer. So to please the burning curiosity. To come up with a proper answer… I did what I always do.. Slid on my imaginary research coat and did some research.
What I found kinda made me wish I didn’t ask in the first place.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news, after all. Well, brace yourself for this. Eating pizza can cause acne.
I'm guessing it wasn't the biggest shocker, right?
Question is… How does pizza cause acne? And does it mean you need to give up your pizza from now on? If so, are there any delicious replacements?
If you want answers, I invite you, natural beauty Queen to read on as we uncover the answers to all these questions. Let’s take-apart the beloved pizza.
Taking Your Pizza Apart: What’s in that Slice?
Hands up! Put that slice away from your mouth.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if you actually had a pizza hanging out of your mouth while reading this?
Let’s take your pizza apart and find out what’s in that slice.
First off, which pizza are we talking about? Well, I won’t even begin to list the variations in existence for this beloved food. From the traditional Italian variants of pizza to the New York-style pizza, the list can go on and on. For our purposes, we’ll look at a common type of pizza: pepperoni pizza.
So what’s in your slice of pepperoni pizza?
Here’s a little breakdown of ingredients (from Cooking Classy):
1. The Crust
- Dry yeast
- Granulated sugar
- Warm water
- Olive oil
- White vinegar
- Bread flour
2. The Sauce
- Canned tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh oregano
- Fresh basil
- Dried thyme
- Fresh ground pepper
3. The Toppings
- Olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh oregano
I bet you didn’t realize how many ingredients some pizza’s contain.
From looking at the ingredients, it’ll be easier for us to understand how pizza can possibly cause acne.
Pizza and Acne: Which One is the Culprit?
From what we’ve seen above, it’s hard to pinpoint right away which ingredients in pizza cause acne.
But fear not, natural beauty Queen.
Determining which ingredients are culprits is what I’m here for. As I dug for info on pizza and acne, I narrowed the acne-triggering ingredients down to three:
1. Dairy in Pizza
Unless your pizza is dairy-free and vegan, most pizzas will have cheese. The round cooked dough won’t be pizza unless it has cheese. A lot of people even drown their pizza crusts in cheese. But what if I tell you that cheese may be causing your acne?
Experts have found evidence that dairy can trigger acne. Dairy products contain a hormone (IGF-1) that clogs pores. To make matters worse, dairy products prompt a large insulin response from your body. High insulin levels mean bad news for acne as it contributes to overproduction of oil.
Clogged pores plus excess oil equals an awful time for your skin.
2. Sugar in Pizza
Sugar and acne do not mix. Like at all.
Studies show that a high glycemic-load diet have negative effects on acne. This type of diet involves eating food loaded with sugar. The rise in blood sugar causes more frequent and severe acne.
To be fair, pizza scores low in the glycemic index. For 2 slices or 260g of pizza, the rise in sugar it contributes is scored at 30. But do you really stop eating after 2 slices of pizza? I don’t!
3. Oils in Pizza
You’ve probably heard of the advice, “Stay away from greasy food! They’ll give you acne.” This common statement is closer to myth than fact. Little to no research backs-up the subject.
For pizza, the “grease” is not to blame for acne. Rather, it’s the oils in pizza.
Certain oils are capable of triggering skin inflammation
This happens when the ratio of essential fatty acids in our body is thrown off balance. And when our skin is inflamed, existing simple pimples that should be simple enough to treat turn into angry red spots.
Though, if you’ll notice from the ingredient’s breakdown, the only oil used is olive oil.
In an ideal world, every pizza recipe uses olive oil because it contains balanced amounts of fatty acids. So it won’t tip the ratio so much or even at all.
But the thing is, olive oil is expensive. That’s why most fast food chains and easy cook pizzas use vegetable oils instead. These vegetable oils, like sunflower and canola, can tip the ratio so bad. You bet that inflammation for your skin will just be around the corner.
Healthy Alternatives When You’re Craving Pizza
The facts stack up well when it comes to linking pizza to causing acne. So if you’re fond of clear skin, it might be time to keep your pizza intake in check. You can also find healthy alternatives to satisfy your pizza craving!
But where to start? Don’t worry, I got you covered!
A good alternative to start with is vegan pizza. Vegan pizza is already healthier for your skin considering that it’s dairy-free. Plus, you can load toppings with leafy greens and veggies that’ll nourish your skin from inside. Consider this as an option the next time you eat out or have pizza delivery. You can also try making pizza at home! Here are some simple recipes you can try:
- Easy Veggie Vegan Pizza with 20-minute Crust – Vegan Richa
- Easy Vegan Pepperoni Pizza – Vegan Huggs
- Simple Vegan Pizza with Sautéed Veggies – Minimalist Baker
To Wrap It Up
There’s no escaping the truth. Our diet impacts our skin. Even if you invest in the finest skin care products. Even if you make the grandest DIY skin care products. If your diet consists of unhealthy food, your effort may simple be in vain.
So the next time you find yourself reaching for a slice of pizza, slap that hand! Remind yourself that to have healthy skin and a healthier lifestyle, you need to watch what you eat.
Do you breakout from eating pizza? Drop a comment below!
Stay tuned and take skin care!