Can I consume spicy foods if I have acne concerns?

 Can I consume spicy foods if I have acne concerns?

Many people wonder whether they can consume spicy foods such as chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, curry, and mustard when they have acne. The answer is yes. Consuming non-fried chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns does not promote acne. Currently, there are no documented reports suggesting that spices like curry, mustard, basil, etc., exacerbate acne.

Some literature reports even suggest that essential oils derived from Sichuan peppercorns and other spices have antimicrobial effects, inhibiting bacteria associated with severe skin conditions like acne Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Therefore, eating pickled chili peppers, dishes made with dried chili powder, and five-spice dishes cooked with Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, and bay leaves are generally safe.

However, after consuming highly flavorful foods, many individuals experience skin problems. It's important to note that the blame should not be solely attributed to the spices themselves, but rather to high-temperature frying and barbecuing, which are likely the culprits.

When ingredients are subjected to high-temperature frying or barbecuing, they produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and advanced glycation end products, both of which are potent pro-inflammatory substances. They can exacerbate skin inflammation, worsen acne, and accelerate skin aging.