High-glycemic foods like sugary sweets and simple carbs cause your blood sugar to spike. When that happens, it triggers oil production in your skin, and voila: Clogged pores galore.

Swap out processed foods for things like nuts and whole grains—a low-glycemic diet. In one study, a group of men were put on a low-glycemic diet and their acne started to clear up after 12 weeks. But clogged pores are just part of the equation.

Those red, cancel-my-date pimples are caused by inflammation and bacteria. So in those cases, zinc might be your new BFF. People with acne may be mildly zinc deficient—especially vegetarians, since the body doesn’t absorb veggie-sourced zinc easily—so increase your intake with lentils, pumpkins seeds and kidney beans. Beware mega doses of zinc supplements—too much of a good thing can be toxic, even in the name of clear skin!

QUIZ: Are You Eating For Better Skin?