Does Peanut Butter Cause Acne?


We all know peanuts are a favorite snack among many worldwide. Whether you are preparing peanut butter or making a new type of peanut-flavored snack, it is no surprise that peanuts have become essential in most diets.

But the question here is, do peanuts cause acne? The general idea is likely that a healthy diet helps clear up the skin from any pigmentation. But where does research categorize peanuts and peanut butter concerning your skin health? No studies have directly explored peanut butter’s relationship to acne.

But sugars in some peanut butter and other compounds in it, including omega-6 fatty acids, may cause some person’s acne to worsen.

Peanuts and Acne

Different factors can be responsible for exacerbating the skin’s production of sebum. One among many other factors involves fluctuations within the body’s natural hormones. This is the reason pregnant women and teenagers are more prone to develop acne. Their bodies are in transition states where hormone imbalances are notable.

Androgen, an important hormone, specifically within men, is responsible for changing men’s voice and body hair growth during puberty. Androgen-like materials are found in peanuts.

When there is an increase in the body’s presence of androgen or any material like it, the skin is more prone to create more oil. When there is more sebum production, more debris will be trapped, which leads to acne breakouts.

Aside from peanuts, other foods to take caution of if you don’t want more androgen are corn oil, shellfish, and wheat germ.

Does Peanut Butter Cause Acne?

With the prominence of androgen-like hormones in peanuts, it is more likely to cause acne. But the discussion may not end there. You might have heard of the importance of getting enough omega fatty acids within your diet. But it is pertinent to ensure you are getting the right kind. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.

Some good sources of this substance are herring, tuna, salmon, and other types of fish. Nevertheless, your body does not require as much omega-6 fatty acid. This substance is pro-inflammatory, which renders it bad for those prone to acne breakouts.

Diets containing too many omega-6 fatty acids can lead to chronic inflammation, which is the point where your immune system goes overactive. It treats every part of an acne infection as a major threat to the body. This stimulates severe swelling and redness around the pimples.

But do you know it is not just peanuts in peanut butter you should watch out for? Whether you know it or not, peanut butter is usually packed with added vegetable oils. Also, soybean oils, canola, and sunflower are very high in omega-6 fatty acids.

Thus it is basically like you are double-dipping in a material that has a fairly high link to skin issues.

Are Peanuts Good for the Skin?

Although there is research suggesting that peanuts can impact the skin negatively, it is also likely for peanuts to help your skin. There are many benefits to taking peanuts in terms of the health of your brain, heart, and possibly the skin.

They are a very good source of healthy protein and fats. Also, peanuts are packed with potassium, antioxidants, and magnesium, which help the body in many ways.

They make up a nutritional snack because they enrich you with energy and keep you fuller for a long time. Thus, you are less likely to consume sugary foods before your next full meal.

Antioxidants are good for removing blemishes from your skin, but you too should not disregard the presence of androgen-like substances. The science behind how peanuts and peanut butter interact with the skin is still out. And definitely, our bodies are different.

You may react differently to peanuts than another person will. One good thing you can do for the health of your skin is to keep a journal if you are likely to have acne breakouts.

It would be best to note everything you consume and observe whenever a pimple develops. Then, you can go back to check what you ate before the breakout.

You may discover that peanuts do not disturb your skin at all. Rather, your acne is the result of something else. Like other interesting things, peanuts are best enjoyed in moderation until you understand how your body reacts to them.

If peanuts do cause breakouts, you may have a sensitivity and require cutting back or quitting.

The Foods that Might Trigger Acne

Although further research is required to get a clearer relationship between peanuts and acne, other types of food have more clear links. One of these foods is dairy products.

Cow’s milk is well known to boost IGF-1 production within the liver, associated with a higher prominence of acne. Other foods to watch out for if you are likely to have acne outbreaks include:

  • Refined grains and sugars, including soda, rice noodles, cereals, white rice, sweeteners, and pasta.
  • Whey protein powder
  • Fast food such as hot dogs, French fries, milkshakes, and chicken nuggets.
  • Chocolate

Generally, it is a great idea to keep a balanced diet. Ensure to read the ingredient label of everything you purchase to avoid consuming a ton of hidden vegetable oils and sugar.

Eating your favorite snacks in moderation helps minimize the possibility of having skin problems.


Peanut butter is not likely to cause acne. While certain products contain added sugar, generally, the number of ingredients that could trigger acne is relatively low. Also, peanut butter is a good source of many important nutrients.

Nevertheless, if peanut butter is likely to be contributing to breakouts, you may need to cut it from your diet for a while to check if it helps. You might want to also try other strategies, including switching to a gentle soap. Many over-the-counter products and home care methods may be helpful with acne breakouts.

Kindly comment below if you have any questions or contributions!

Mary is the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Health Parrots. She brings her years of clinical and healthcare technology experience to help consistently create high quality, concise and engaging content and products that uphold the highest medical integrity. She is an M.D. recipient from Baylor College of Medicine and completed her residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX. After years of clinical practice, Dr. Le transitioned from clinical medicine to healthcare technology through her work at Epocrates, where she developed clinical news products and disease and drug content. With her wealth of experience, She has also helped create an EHR, secure messaging products, and clinical decision support tools for healthcare systems.


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