Eating foods with a high Glycaemic Index (GI) like white rice and drinking milk not only aggravates acne but in some cases triggers it too, claims a landmark overview of study carried out over 50 years.
The painful skin condition affects millions of teens and increasingly adults causing their skin to develop unsightly spots on the face, neck, chest and back.
Caused by a combination of the skin producing too much sebum and a build-up of dead cells which clogs the pores, acne causes a localized infection or spot and can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
Since the late 19th century, researchers have linked diet to acne, with chocolate, sugar and fat singled out as the main culprits.
However, studies carried out from the 1960s onwards have disassociated diet from the development of the condition.
"This change (in attitude) occurred largely because of the two important studies that are repeatedly cited in the literature and popular culture as evidence to refute the association between diet and acne," said Dr Jennifer Burris from the New York University.
Eating High GI foods causes a spike in hormone levels including insulin which is thought to instigate sebum production, researchers said.
According to a 2007 Australian study, young males who were put on a strict low GI diet noticed a significant improvement in the severity of their acne.
Milk is thought to affect acne because of the hormones it contains. The earlier study carried out by Harvard School of Public Health found that there was a clear link between those who drank milk regularly and suffered with acne.
Interestingly, those who drank skimmed milk suffered with the worst breakouts, with a 44 percent increase in the likelihood of developing blemishes. It is thought that processing the milk increases the levels of hormones in the drink, the report said.
"This research is necessary to fully understand the underlying mechanisms linking diet and acne," added Burris.