Does Watermelon Cause Acne? Let’s Find Out How!

What you eat directly affects your health. And the healthier you are, the healthier your skin will be.

But for people with chronic or recurring acne, it can be a constant struggle trying to figure out which foods might trigger the condition. Many acne-inflicted people have also stopped consuming their most favorite delicious fruits, such as watermelons.

But what is the truth? Does watermelon cause acne in actuality?

Well, the answer varies. And a lot comes down to the root causes of acne, besides of course, your own treatment of your skin.

Read on to find out how watermelon affects acne-prone skin.

Does Watermelon Cause Acne?

The safe answer to this question is: yes. Although watermelon might not outright cause acne, it can certainly aggravate it because of its high sugar content and, consequently, high GI.

What Is High Gi and How Does It Affect Acne?

If you don’t already know, “GI” stands for glycemic index. This is a number between 0 and 100 assigned to food that measures the level of glucose in it. Foods with a high glycemic index are known to cause a quick spike in blood sugar, and give rise to the problems associated with high blood sugar.

One of the possible effects of consuming high GI foods is hormonal fluctuations. Particularly when the level of insulin in the blood is raised, it might lead to a higher production of sebum.

Sebum is a dreaded word for all acne patients. It is an oily substance produced by the skin, which blocks pores and leads to the development of a breakout.

In fact, it’s not just watermelon that can facilitate a breakout. Studies show that any fruit with high levels of natural sugar, such as bananas, mangoes, plums, tangerines, peaches, and pineapples, can lead to an increase in acne breakouts through a spike in blood sugar levels. And so can fruit juices and smoothies with lots of natural sugar in them. Of course, you should also steer clear of refined sugar.

Watermelon and Insulin Resistance

The main problem arises in people with insulin resistance. When your body is resistant to insulin, your muscles, liver, and fat have a hard time interacting with insulin, which leads to the pancreas making even more insulin to bring about the required blood sugar levels.

For people with an insulin resistance issue, it’s important to address the problem in order to enjoy sugary organic foods like watermelon more easily.

Read on to find out the healing properties of watermelon.

Skin Benefits of Eating Watermelon

Watermelon is actually one of the foods which promote skin health in many ways:

Watermelon Is Extremely Hydrating

Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits in existence (it’s even in the name). So the idea is, when you consume watermelon, your body is receiving an extra hydrating boost, and this can be a very positive thing for your skin. Many of the most popular skincare products today contain watermelon.

If you’ve suffered from having zits for a long time, you most likely have consistently oily skin. Many acne patients think that the solution is to dry out their skin, while others do it inadvertently by overusing drying skincare products and medications.

This is incorrect. Hydrated skin is actually much less prone to developing pimples than dry skin. Even if you don’t consume watermelon, try to choose skincare products that don’t have a drying effect and won’t cause acne breakouts.

Watermelon Is Highly Anti-Inflammatory

It’s not fair to blame watermelon entirely for its acne-instigating effects. This is because watermelon is one of the most nutrient-rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fruits you can consume. And given that acne is an inflammatory condition (a popular idea expounded in many recent studies), consuming watermelon, as well as other anti-inflammatory foods, might actually help you.

However, you might be more likely to see anti-inflammatory results if you actually apply the watermelon to your skin rather than consuming it. That way, your body’s hormone levels won’t be raised. So next time you break out, why not try a watermelon face pack?

Watermelon Consumption Aids Nitric Oxide Production

Watermelon is a great source of L citrulline, which is an amino acid that your body converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, is a molecule produced by your cells that inhibits inflammation. So, increasing nitric oxide levels in your body can be good news for fighting a breakout.

You can read more about the anti-inflammatory effects of nitric oxide here. Furthermore, here is a list of foods naturally containing nitric oxide.

Watermelon Is High in Vitamins

It comes with two vital vitamins: A and C. And studies show that both of these vitamins can greatly bolster the condition of your skin and help with a breakout.

In your body, vitamin A works to create and repair skin cells. Without adequate amounts of this vitamin, your skin is likely to dry out more easily. And as we know, having dry skin can worsen pimples, so your acne-prone skin might actually benefit from being repaired more easily and efficiently.

Meanwhile, vitamin C is known to help your body produce collagen, a protein that contributes to smooth, supple skin and strong hair. So stock up on those citrus fruits!

Watermelon Might Protect Your Skin from Sunburn

The naturally occurring chemicals that give this fruit its irresistible red coloring are called lycopene and beta-carotene. Foods with these chemicals are known to inhibit UV damage from excessive sun exposure.

Why should you care about this?

Because, some dermatologists say that the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays can make your acne a lot worse, in the long run, making it easier for you to breakout. You can read more about the skin benefits of consuming or applying watermelon here.

Should You Eat Watermelon?

As we’ve seen, there is no straight-cut answer to this question. While watermelon does in many cases contribute to a breakout, in other situations, it might actually help thanks to its long roster of nutrients.

If you have severe, chronic acne and breakout frequently, you should not consume this fruit nor any of the other high-sugar organic foods we’ve named above. You might, however, prevent acne flares by applying the fruit directly to your skin.

On the other hand, if your case of acne is not so bad, and if you’re otherwise healthy, you should be able to consume small amounts of watermelon without worrying about its sugar content. But be cautious.

Ultimately, it comes down to how well you know your own skin. We understand if you really don’t want to miss out on that delicious red juiciness. If you’re willing to proceed with caution, why not experiment and see how you end up? Perhaps you might even seek the opinion of dermatologists.

And remember, outside of building good dietary habits that suit your skin, you also need to learn which acne skincare products will help you.

In the meantime, you should aim to stock up on foods that actually help to keep acne at bay. We’ve included a list of acne-inhibiting foods below.

Final Words

The high sugar content of watermelon might make it unsafe for consumption by acne patients. However, its numerous nutrients can also improve your skin.

So does watermelon cause acne? Remember that a lot depends on your unique physical constitution and your dietary habits.

If you want to give watermelon a chance, proceed with caution. If you find that it causes a breakout, it might be better to use watermelon as a face pack instead.

Good luck!

Originally Published: August 30, 2021

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

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