Can Eating Nuts Cause Acne? Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Macadamia, Peanuts

Last updated: June 2017

If you're like most people, you've probably heard all about how great nuts are for you and your diet.  They're considered "brain food" or "healthy snacks" and many people think that these are one of the few tasty, healthy, and SAFE foods that they can eat as much as they want and not have any problems...

... Not have any problems, especially the dreaded, ACNE problems.

Almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia, pecans, and peanuts... those were some of the nuts that I used to LOOOOVEEEE to munch on as a snack.

That was until I found out that nuts CAN cause acne.

It's true.

In general, eating the wrong foods (and wrong nuts) can lead to acne if you don't know how about what kind of diet is best to get rid of acne.  And anybody who has told you that food is not related to acne is WRONG.

That's right.  I said it.   And I'll say it again because it's SO important and it's something that's taken me more than 10 years to discover.

Eating the wrong foods (and wrong nuts) can lead to acne if you don't know how about what kind of diet is best to get rid of acne.

And I'm sure you've noticed something odd too, right?

You probably have noticed that sometimes, when you eat

And in just a moment, in my article, I'm going to tell you WHY nuts can cause acne and the trick to find WHICH nuts are more dangerous towards acne than other nuts because...

THAT'S RIGHT, there are even different effects within which nuts when it comes to your acne, believe it or not.

So keep reading below to find out:

Part I: Which nuts are the worst for acne?

Part II: The trick to finding out which nuts are the worst?

Part III: Which nuts are the best for acne?

Part IV: The trick to finding out which nuts are the best?

Part V: Why do nuts cause acne?


It's true, nuts do have many health benefits that may help your heart and mind, but if you have acne, which nuts should you eat?

Did you know that if you eat the wrong nuts, you can actually be worsening the acne on your skin?  Almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans... there's so many different kind of nuts, which one is which and which nuts are safe to eat if you have acne?


How many times in the past have you heard someone else talk about loving pecan pie, joking about almond milk, or make a reference to that animals "walnuts" but no mental image came into your head of what they actually looked like?  I'll be honest, I didn't know.

It turns out the average person doesn't really know much about the different type of nuts either.  It seems here, at least in America, that most people only know one kind of nut: peanuts.   I created this section after I Googled "types of nuts", "different types of nuts", "variety of nuts" and was surprised to find that there wasn't much out there for which nuts are what.  And if you're anything like the average American, you probably don't know the names, what they each look like, or types of different nuts either.

And because nuts are seem to be such a big part of our lives (especially if you're a health "nut"), I think it's about time we went over why you SHOULD NOT go "nuts" over nuts.  But before we do so, I think it's important that everybody make sure that they're familiar with what type of nut I'm talking about.  I want you to at least have somewhat of a mental image when I mention a particular type of nut so that eventually, you'll be able to recognize each nutty species and it's pros and cons.


Alright, so now that we've covered what seeds and nuts are what, we can move on to why you're really here: to find out about how nuts can affect your acne.

As you've probably noticed from above, whether you skimmed through the health benefits of variety of the nuts or read through the whole list, there are many health benefits to eating these brain, body, and heart healthy snacks. But there's one thing that you should be paying particular attention to among that list of health benefits and features: omega-3 or polyunsaturated fats.


So if you know all the different type of nuts and how much omega-3 and health benefits they contain, you're probably on the right track to understanding how nuts like cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, brazil nuts, and walnuts can affect your acne. If you're not aware of the health benefits and amount of that special "__________" in nuts, then I highly suggest you do find that out in my article HERE.

What is that special "_________?"

So why am I bringing up omega-3 essential fatty acids and nuts?  I'm bringing up omega-3, or polyunsaturated fats, because they are ESSENTIAL to having clear acne free skin.  Omega 3 ultimately are key elements that are most likely missing in an acne sufferer's diet thereby causing hormonal imbalance.

Just like pregnant women and growing teenagers, many times this  hormonal imbalance leads to an unstable environment where the body acts irregularly and affects the skin by producing what we DO NOT WANT: ACNE.

That's right.  Think about it.  What are two very common types of people that seem to get acne.  Teenagers and pregnant women, right?  Is that a coincidence or could it be possible that when teenagers are growing, their bodies are rampantly producing all sorts of chemicals and hormones to allow growth.  At the same time, when women become pregnant, their bodies change rapidly to support the birth of a new coming baby.

Both teenagers and pregnant women often times have acne because their bodies are changing and things don't always go smoothly when there's change.

This unstable and imbalance in hormones often translates into acne as a way of your body telling that something is wrong and imbalanced in your body.


Have you ever heard of people taking fish oil?

If yes, then you probably already know a little bit about omega-3.

If no, well... I'm telling you right now.  There are a lot of people out there who take fish oil because they think it's healthy.  In fact, most people don't even know why they're taking fish oil.  They just think it's gross.  And their mom probably made them do it.  Which means when their  mom's not looking, they probably stopped.  Anddd... cue the scary music.

The reason why people take fish oil is because fish oil is very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Omega-3 gives people's bodies, especially if you're living in today's American society which I'll cover more later, what they need in order to function optimally.  In our case, with acne, we want omega-3 because it will give you body the necessary resources to balance your hormones and heal your skin properly.


Other than nuts containing nutrients and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, or vitamin E, nuts also contain essential fatty acids like I just justed mentioned above.  But here's the kicker: there's more than one type of essential fatty acid.

There are various amounts of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in each of these types of nuts that you may eat on a day to day basis.

And even MORE IMPORTANT than HOW MUCH omega-3 you eat, it's about the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids that you eat OVERALL because this is the first step to clearing your acne. Click Here tTo read more about how The Importance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is the First Step to Clearing Your Acne.


How much omega 3 essential fatty acids and how much omega 6 fatty acids should you be taking? Remember, while the amount is very important, the ratio is even more crucial to clear skin.  The importance of the EFA ratio and its relation to acne we were talking about in my earlier articles? If not, you can visit this article for a recap.


What I'm NOT saying is that you should never touch cashews or peanuts or [insert whatever seeds and nuts you like here] again.  The message is:

Nuts don't cause acne directly.

However, if you already have acne, it's most likely you're hormones are out of balance on top of the fact that you're body is producing various forms of toxins leading to clogged pores and infection of those clogged pores.  And if you already have acne, the further imbalance of your hormones by eating the WRONG EFAs will definitely aggravate your acne.

And when I say wrong EFAs, I just mean the wrong EFAs that your body may NOT need from these particular nuts that you may be eating.  So pay attention to your intake of omega 6 in relation to omega 3. You should be having the proper ratio in order to give your body the proper nutrient balance it needs for clear skin.


That's just a funny question...

So given 4 choices, which should you choose for hormonal balance and acne free skin:

A.) Nuts that are HIGH in omega-6, but LOW in omega-3

B.) Nuts that are HIGH in omega-6, and HIGH in omega-3

C.) Nuts that are LOW in omega-6, and LOW in omega-3

D.) Nuts that are LOW in omega-6, and HIGH in omega-3

You should be choosing Answer D.

And you should have chosen option D because, chances are if live in the United States of America or have acne, you're hormones are probably imbalanced and you're most likely eating a lot more omega-6 than omega-3.  So choose nuts that are high in omega-3 and low in omega-6 if possible.


So the goal is to be aware of which nuts have too much omega-6 essential fatty acids and which nuts are the ones that have what you want: omega-3.

The following charts are courtesy of Anne Collins.   I like the table that this site has documenting approximately the amount of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids contained in different kinds of seeds and nuts.

Just be aware that if you're eating certain foods with a lot of omega 6 EFAs, make sure to counter it by some how taking in the right amount of omega-3 EFAs too. Whether it be through eating fish, ingesting fish oil, taking flaxseed, or supplementation, you need to restore the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.  Having too much of omega-6 and not enough of omega-3 can really aggravate your acne.

Hormonal balance via proper EFA ratio is VERY CRUCIAL to having clear skin.

So pay attention to these charts. You don't have to memorize the exact amounts, there's no need to go that far. But be aware of the EFA content and be smart about it.

Essential Fatty Acids in OILS
Fig 1. Content of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids in Oils
Approximate EFA content in grams per 100 grams
Omega-3s (100g) (g) Omega-6s (100g) (g)
Flax / Linseed oil 58 Safflower oil 74
Flax / Linseeds 15-30 Grapeseed oil 68
Walnut oil 11.5 Sunflower oil 63
Canola / Rapeseed oil 7 Walnut oil 58
Soybean oil 7 Soybean oil 51
Wheatgerm oil 5 Corn oil 50
Essential Fatty Acids in NUTS
Fig 2. Content of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids in Nuts
Approximate EFA content in grams per 100 grams
Omega-3s (100g) (g) Omega-6s (100g) (g)
Walnuts 5.5 Walnuts 28
Hazelnuts trace Hazelnuts 4
Cashews trace Cashews 8
Almonds trace Almonds 10
Brazils trace Brazils 23
Essential Fatty Acids in SEEDS
Fig 3. Content of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids in Seeds
Approximate EFA content in grams per 100 grams
Omega-3s (100g) (g) Omega-6s (100g) (g)
Flax / Linseeds 15-25 Flax / Linseeds 6
Pumpkin seeds 10-Jul Pumpkin seeds 20
Sunflower seeds trace Sunflower seeds 30
Sesame seeds trace Sesame seeds 25
Pine nuts 1 Pine nuts 25

*Trace means a very tiny amount.

And the reason I bring this up is because for the longest time I heard from a lot of people that walnuts were high in omega 3 so they were safe for the EFA ratio. I looked it up and saw that, indeed, the omega 3 content was much higher. It wasn't until months later that I found out that it's omega 6 content is a little more than 5 TIMES it's omega 3 amount!!!

This pretty much ruined that positive effect I was going for. Although eating walnuts didn't end up making or breaking having clear skin for me because I was already eating other foods that allowed me a solid EFA ratio, I knew that I shouldn't have been walking around eating walnuts being misinformed and thinking that they were high in omega 3 and low in omega 6.

That's actually what trigged me to decide to create this article to inform people and allow them to see and identify which nuts and seeds were more beneficial to their diet if they had acne.

Hope this helps!


For those of you who don't have acne, you probably don't have to worry too much about this.  Your body can handle your hormones, and whether you're getting adequate amounts of omega-3, you're body is figuring out a way to make sure you skin is under control.  This isn't to say that you may still need to pay attention to omega-3 intake because it has tons of other health benefits, but then again, if you don't have acne, it's probably odd that you're on a site like this anyway.

For those of us who are suffering from acne and who wish to one day have beautiful acne free skin, eating the wrong kind of nuts can definitely cause acne.  Eating nuts that are high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 will further throw off your hormonal imbalance, which you probably already have if you have acne, and therefore cause more pimples, zits, and acne.

Nuts do cause acne.  Just not directly.

Again, I'm not saying never to eat nuts.  However, I am saying that before you have your body in balance and your hormones are properly regulated to the point where your body and skin is performing as you want it to be (i.e. clear skin), you may want to stay away from certain types of nuts.


These days, I eat mixed nuts all the time.  They really are a healthy and heart healing snacks.

Cashews don't cause acne for me

Pecans don't cause acne for me

Peanuts don't cause acne for me

Walnuts don't cause acne for me

Macadamia nuts don't cause acne for me

Almonds don't cause acne for me

NUTS, in general, don't cause acne for me anymore.   (Sorry, just wanted to drive that one home... =)

But that's only because I've put in the work to get my body to a place where I can handle certain foods and not have nuts cause acne on my skin.  It wasn't always like this before.  Before, it didn't matter what kind of foods I put in my body, I was getting acne.  And I formed all SORTS of misconceptions about acne, zits, pimples, and what caused them.

But now I've learned.  And I'm going to teach you... EVERYTHING.

You'll never need to buy another acne product, treatment, or antibiotic again.


The bigger picture is something that you want to focus on.  It's not about those one or two alcoholic drinks that will make you break out.  The bigger picture is getting your body to a place where you're not breaking out anymore and you don't suffer from acne.  Then, at this point, your body will be able to handle a few drinks here and there without having it aggravate your acne.

You're going to need to really clear your acne though, I'm not talking about just washing your face or eating healthy.  It's about eating the RIGHT kind of foods, the kind of foods that will really help your acne.  You're going to have to learn about your body and really be in it for the long haul.  You can't just pop in a pill to be acne free, because that's not really a solution to acne anyway.  And if you've ever tried acne antibiotics, you probably already know that the results don't last very long.  On top of that, at the very end of those acne antibiotics, you've probably done your body more harm than good.

If you still have break outs or suffer from acne, I know that all you want to do is clear your acne so that you can move on with this part of your life.  So I'm not going to try to settle with you with something that's less than satisfying.

Let's do it, let's clear your acne.  I've been through all the products, the gels, the creams, the surgeries, the antibiotics, the pain, and the heartache.  As a previous acne sufferer, just like you, I've tried ALL the stuff whether it was cheap or ... EXPENSIVE.  And I've finally found what works.

I'm warning you though, this isn't just a cream that you put on your face.  You're going to actually have to learn about your skin and your acne.  But if you're not the kind of person that's ready for that yet, you might want to go on to something else... like ProActiv.  However, if you're ready to really clear your acne, I highly suggest you keep reading.

THE ACNE FREE DIET is designed to clear your acne quickly and naturally for long lasting and PERMANENT results so that you can look that girl in the eye and know that she finds you attractive and that she thinks you're good looking TOO.  The best part is, I don't focus on the external, short term solutions like pills or the next face wash like ProActiv.  My program is about clearing your acne naturally from the inside through the Acne Free Diet.

Best of all, it's FREE for you to learn about.


The solution to curing your acne is to not focus on improving your health in the commonly accepted way.   Now, what I'm NOT saying is to not work out, not eat healthy, and not wash your skin.  That is NOT what I'm saying.  However, what I am saying is that what we believe now to be "taking care" of our bodies needs to be tweaked a little bit, especially if you have acne.  And that "tweak" that you're looking for is exactly what How To Clear Your Acne is about.

What every acne sufferer must learn, especially the ones that are really fit and health conscious yet still can't figure out why they still have acne, is that there is a DIFFERENT KIND OF TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY ROUTINE for us.  Our bodies are different than the "average" person who eats whatever they want and just gains weight.  Sometimes our bodies, which you've probably already noticed, doesn't even gain weight.  Sometimes, when we neglect our bodies, we just end up breaking out instead.  And it sucks.

It doesn't make any sense that we're working out, getting a good sweat, going to a sauna, washing our face, and then doing a facial mask yet we STILL breakout.  WHY?!

So whatever you do, don't just keep working out and trying to eat "healthy" thinking that something's going to change and that your acne is suddenly going to start clearing up if you just try harder.

I know this doesn't work.  Because that's what I used to do.  I would just redouble my efforts thinking that I wasn't trying hard enough.  But that's not the answer and it's not going to cure your acne.

You need to stop and think.  Reformulate a new plan.  Really try and understand what's going on.  Figure out the WHY.

It's questions just like these that I racked my brain for years!   I've been in your shoes before and it's hard to really know what works and what doesn't.  It just seems like there are so many acne products out there, it's hard to really find out with ones are telling the truth and which ones are lying. I've bought a lot of them too, Clearasil, Murad, ProActiv, those are just to name a few that I've tried.  I used to have use a lot of acne products such as aloe vera, benzoyl peroxide, face creams, masks, etc... But these days, I barely even wash my face once a day sometimes, and I'm still clear. I'm proof that clearing your acne the healthy and natural way works. And it's permanent too, I still have clear skin and I have no problems maintaining acne free, clear skin.

And I finally figured out the perfect routine and way to care for our bodies and our skin if you have acne.  The true causes of acne are really dirty blood and an overwhelmed system. And I talk a lot about these two causes in my website and more in detail about how to deal with them in my products.

For anybody reading this article, if you're serious about clearing your acne for good, the logical next step for you would be to learn about your body. It doesn't matter if you choose me or someone else, I would highly recommend you to start learning about how to clear your acne from the inside instead of concentrating on the outside. Make sure you know that outside acne treatments are only short term, and that you really want to focus on clearing acne from the inside out.

I don't hold back in this program, I'm telling you all of my experience, my stories, what I went through, what I learned, how I cleared my acne, and I'm teaching you exactly as if I were standing right next to you coaching you through the way. I WISH that I had something like this when I had acne. It would've saved me so much TIME, MONEY, and ENERGY.

I, and thousands of other people, have spent years of our lives suffering from acne.  And I mean REALLY SUFFERING from having acne.  And it's just a handful of us that finally found the secret to be able to free ourselves from those dark days when we hated the reflections of ourselves in the mirror.

There are those people out there that look at their old pictures and remember the days when they USED TO HAVE acne.

Some of them now have moved on with their lives and forgotten about the nights that they were ashamed of meeting new people because of their acne.

The question I have for you is...


Or are you going to just be another one of the dozens and hundreds and thousands of guys that just stand and wait… or hopes that whatever you're doing now will somehow magically start working?

If you want to know all the steps, top to bottom and front to back for how to clear your acne once in for all, then I have a hint for you …

Go get my eBook "10 Things Every Acne Sufferer Must Know for Clear Skin", which can you can download and be reading in just a few minutes…

It's time for you to stop sitting on the sidelines and missing out on the acne free life you should be living. I'll show you how.

Get My eBook

10 Steps to Cure Acne

Regular Price: $110 | YOUR PRICE: $19.97

10 Things Every Acne Sufferer Must Know for Clear Skin. A must have basic foundation for any beginner.

  • 10 Acne Free Principles
  • Magic Formula for Clear Skin
  • Every Acne Sufferer Needs This

About Ray

Ray was an ex-acne sufferer for more than 10+ years and spent over $10,000 on acne products, creams, dermatologists, laser surgeries, ProActiv, you name it, he's tried it. After finally curing himself through diet, he became a believer that the right formula of food can truly heal all. While starting My Acne Coach, he finished his Masters degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and became a Certified Alternative Nutritionist.


  • kami says:

    You are awesome Ray! Thanks so much for everything you do for us. 🙂

  • Thank you for posting that. Nicely done

  • This article raises some good points and I’m going to have to email it to my friends to see what they think. I’m usually getting stuff in my email from them, so I may as well share some cool things I uncover.

  • Ann says:

    Thank you a million times! I love cashews, but I always seemed to get acne after I consumed a lot of them. I thought it was just me at first. I also had this problem with eggs. When I eat salmon daily, my skin is clear, but when I eliminate salmon, the acne comes back with a vengeance. My grandmother said I needed fish oil. She’s been right about nearly everything. Thank you for this.

  • RM says:

    Thanks so much for all the valuable info u provided us..but after reading this article I am left utterly confused. It seems like that u were about to mention the nuts us acne sufferers should stay AWAY from but u did not…?

  • I love the picture of the heart made out of nuts. Very creative. This might explain my acne.

  • Ray says:

    Yeah? You’re probably the first person I’ve ever heard to like Brazilian nuts.

  • Tyler says:

    Hello Ray,
    First off I think you are amazing and a real “person for the people” that we need more of today. Good work man. I have a question. As a snack or with my lunch perhaps I was wondering if eating a serving of Flax seeds (higher is omega 3’s) with a serving of Almonds (higher in Omega 6’s) would be a good balance for EFA. Would they cancel the hormonal imbalance out and be a safer choice then eating one alone? Thanks

    • Ray says:

      Preferably, if you have the option of flaxseed withOUT almonds, it’s a good idea to just have the omega 3 for now. In the future, if you’re skin ends up being better, you can adjust to accommodate almonds.

  • Tyler says:

    Perfect, Thanks!

  • Ron says:

    I thought that the cause of acne was that the sebaceous glands in the skin got clogged.

    Saturated fats have a higher melting point, so a diet high in saturated fats will cause the sebaceous glands to get clogged.

  • luke says:

    this was really helpful. Thanks.

  • Lada says:

    Hi ray! This is my first time on your page and I think it is fabulous! It’s the most valuable and usefull page on acne issues!
    Anyway, nuts are on my black list of food…
    I did not notice that you mentioned coconuts anywhere on the site, but you wrote much about coconut oil as it has positive effects.
    However, I can see that coconuts cause acne on my face as well as other nuts. Because of this I have doubts regarding coconut oil. Can you explain this?

    • Ron says:

      Coconut is very high in saturated fat, so it will clog your sebaceous glands.

      The body stores the different types of fats (trans, saturated, mono unsaturated, poly unsaturated) in the same proportion that we eat them, but it takes a long time to change the fat balance, so any symptoms noticed in less than a month after changing diet are probably due to other causes.

    • Lada says:


  • Sk8er says:

    “And because nuts are seem to be such a big part of our lives (especially if you’re a health “nut”)”