Does Peanut Butter Cause Acne? – 8 Reasons Why Peanut Butter May Cause Acne

If you struggle with acne and you want to find the guilty factor, look on your plate right now. What’s in there?

Oh, you’re having a delicious crunchy peanut butter and jelly layered toast. Ahem, ahem… you might want to stop right there and toss it away. As irresistibly as it may taste, as damaging it can be for your skin. Wait, does peanut butter cause acne?

Even if you’re quite skeptic now, by the end of this article you’ll want to throw it out from your fridge and replace it with a healthier and equally tastier option. What is that? Read and find out.

What’s in Your Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter may be on top of your toast and your food preferences, but it’s not making it on top best foods for acne. Are peanuts THAT bad for your health and skin? Can they pop-up pimples on your face?

Probably you won’t see a warning like “Peanut butter may be hazardous to your skin” on the peanut butter label, but you’ll see pimples after you’ve eaten peanut butter. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see the link.

Peanut butter is made of peanuts, duh. Peanuts are one of the greatest sources of vegetable protein, generously offering you 8 grams in only 2 tablespoons. Also, they are an excellent source of vitamins (vitamin A, B3, B9, C, E), minerals (magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, sodium, selenium, zinc, potassium), phytonutrients, and saturated fats.

The mono-saturated fats in peanuts help lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. Polyphenolic antioxidants like p-coumaric acid have been shown to reduce the risk of stomach cancer and strokes, while resveratrol protects against cancer, heart diseases, degenerative diseases, Alzheimer, and infections.

So, how does such a healthy natural food can cause skin problems like acne?

Made only from peanuts, naturally, peanut butter is a healthy food, packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The problem is that many commercial peanut butter on the market are packed with lots of sugar and unhealthy fillers.

A natural food designed by nature to protect your health, support your heart and brain, and help you burn fat, has been artificially turned into an unhealthy food that stores fats, promotes inflammation, messes up with your guts, and triggers skin problems like acne.

The Ingredient List of Your Peanut Butter Jar

Have you read the label of a peanut butter jar? Did you have the curiosity to check what’s on the ingredients list? You might be surprised to find out that peanuts are NOT the only ingredient there.

Let’s see the ingredients, listed in the descending order, by weight:

Peanut Butter Brand #1: roasted peanuts, palm oil, sugar, salt.

Peanut Butter Brand #2: roasted peanuts, soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, sugar, hydrogenated oils (cottonseed and rapeseed oil), salt, mono- and diglycerides.

Peanut Butter Brand #3: roasted peanuts, sugar, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (soybean and rapeseed), mono and diglycerides, salt.

Peanut Butter Brand #4: peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, pea protein, salt, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, molasses, magnesium oxide, niacinamide, ferric orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

8 Reasons Why Peanut Butter May Cause Acne

It is rich in Omega-6 Fatty acids

Your body needs a balanced ratio of Omega-3 (anti-inflammatory properties) and Omega-6 (inflammatory properties) fatty acids. When you eat Omega-6 rich foods like peanut butter, this balance is shifting on the Omega-6 side, fact that causes inflammation in the body. This may trigger an acne breakout or it may worsen your acne.

Hydrogenated Oil (trans-fats)

The dangers of hydrogenated vegetable oils are very difficult to digest, of a waxy consistency, added in peanut butter to make it harder.


This protein from peanuts may cause digestive problems. It is so aggressive, that it cut through the lining of your intestines, going directly into your blood stream and being transported all over your body. It’s called leaky gut, and your body can’t absorb and assimilate the food nutrients properly.


It’s a toxin produced by fungi in crops like corn and nuts. If the peanut crop was contaminated with this mold, the peanut butter may cause trouble in your body. It is that toxic, that it was considered to have a high carcinogenic potential by the International Agency for Research on Cancer

Aflatoxin affects the reproduction of cells and the liver (hence the increased risk of liver cancer). When the liver is damaged, the metabolism is affected and allergic reactions to food may appear.

Aflatoxin may cause many health problems:

  • Inflammation
  • Food allergies
  • ​Autoimmune diseases
  • ​Liver and kidneys damage
  • High risk of cancer and hepatitis

The Salt problem

Peanut butter is mostly salted. With Iodized salt. Now, if you suffer from thyroid dysfunctions or have other problems with kidneys, for example, we have to warn you. Excess amounts of iodized salt mess up with your thyroid, triggering an excess sebum production and inflammation. Both are bad news for your skin. You know what that means, right? Acne breakout!

Sugar and more sugar

Whether it’s plain refined white sugar, cane syrup, molasses, maltodextrin, it’s sweet in your mouth and bad in your body. Sugar (in any known or hidden form) is one nasty ingredient that triggers acne.


Is a sweetener extracted from corn, potato, rice, or wheat and used as a cheap filler. It mimics fats consistency in the product and it adds sweetness to it. It’s a cousin of high fructose corn syrup and crystalline fructose.

What’s the problem with maltodextrin and how can it contribute to acne breakouts? Let’s see:

GMO-corn crops – the majority of maltodextrin used in foods, vitamins, and supplements come from genetically modified corn. Needless to say, GMO corn contains toxic chemical and pesticides that can turn your digestive system, liver, kidneys, bladder, and lymphatic system upside down.

Health risks associated with GMO foods? We’ll list just a few: infertility, immunity problems, insulin problems, damage to vital organs and digestive system.

Gluten problem – maltodextrin can be made from corn, potato, rice, or wheat. People with gluten intolerance have a huuuuge problem. We mean, you need to take each ingredient in a product and read about it: what it’s made from, how it’s done, etc.

Increases energy levels – used by many energy supplements making companies, maltodextrin is meant to enhance workout performance and to help bodybuilders gain weight. How? By increasing and keeping the glucose levels high. Oops. Not good for acne.

Overgrowth of gut bacteria – causing flatulence and bloating, and messing up with your gastrointestinal tract.

Peanuts Allergy and Acne

Peanut allergy is becoming an unfortunately common thing these days. If you have it, know that it’s your immune system gone rogue (Tom Cruise doesn’t star in it).

Peanuts are actually good for your health. Greedy food companies add carbohydrates, sugars, fillers, and additives in it to improve flavor, texture and ahem, to make more bucks. All of those are on the no-no list of banished food to keep you away from acne.

They are high-glycemic ingredients that cause a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels. What does this mean? You already know: an increased androgen production. What does this hormone do to your skin? Yes, you got it: an increase in sebum production. From here, all is clear: more oil, means clogged pores, inflammation, and acne breakout!

Solution? Find an all-natural, organic peanut butter. Or even better: don’t buy it, make it at home. Is this even possible? Yes, if you have the right tools.

How to Make Peanut Butter at Home

You will need either a high-speed blender, food processor, or a peanut butter machine (nut grinder).

  • Roast the peanuts in the oven at 350 degrees F for 3-7 minutes, until they are lightly brown and smell deliciously nutty. Don’t let them sit more time in the oven, as they burn fast.
  • Let them cool at the room temperature
  • ​Put the roasted peanuts in a high-power food processor, a high-speed blender or, better, a special peanut butter machine.
  • You can add a little bit of cold pressed peanut oil to smooth the process if the paste is too thick.
  • ​Scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate and smoothen all the nut content.
  • ​You can make it as smooth as you want.
  • You can add salt, raw honey, or cocoa powder to add a kick.

Acne-prone Skin Friendly Alternatives for Peanut butter

Going nuts for the nutty butter? Be happy, there’s another way. Almonds, cashew, macadamia, pistachio, pecan, walnuts are different options for peanuts. Plus, their butter tastes delicious, too.

Other non-nutty alternatives?

Sunflower seed butter (you can make it at home just like the peanut butter)

Pumpkin seed butter

Sesame butter (Tahini)

Coconut butter


Let’s face it, peanut butter is unhealthy, the way you buy it from the supermarket. But it’s not the worst food that causes acne. Milk, dairy, refined sugar, oil, and gluten are far more dangerous.

But peanut butter has its fair share of bad effects on your body that can trigger breakouts after you eat it and the connection is hard to refute.

Does peanut butter cause acne? Yes and no. It depends on:

  • the list of ingredients in your peanut butter (if there are more than 2 – peanut and salt – you should be worried)
  • the quality of your peanut butter and its ingredients
  • ​your personal sensitivity to peanuts or nuts (a history of allergies)
  • ​the GMO factor – if there are genetically modified ingredients
  • the Gluten factor

As nobody knows your body better than yourself, you have to make the call. We’ve provided you with information. The peanut butter ball (or jar) is all yours now – to toss or catch.

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