Acne Safe Grocery List

by Emily Linehan on July 14, 2022

As discussed in my recent blog ‘Are These Foods Triggering Your Acne’, some foods we consume have the power to significantly trigger acne breakouts. Although there is no one-size-fits-all diet to clear acne as each person is different, eating a whole-foods based, Paleo-style diet is a great place to start as you can easily search for recipes and inspiration based on these diets. There are also apps based on the nutrition plan you choose to follow, like AIP or Paleo, that are great resources for helping you get started! 

It may sound a bit overwhelming so I’ve created this Acne Safe Grocery List and have included some of my favorite recipes to help you navigate your next trip to the supermarket. In addition, you may find that utilizing an app like AnyList (this is the one I use) can help with getting your acne-safe list organized to make your next trip to the supermarket a breeze! 

**Please click HERE to download the printable, PDF version**


  • Aim for 5-6 servings of vegetables daily
  • Buy enough to have a vegetable with each meal
  • If it doesn’t have a peel, buy organic
  • Eat foods from every color of the rainbow
  • Try a new vegetable every week
  • Here are some of our favorites to keep on rotation: 

- Asparagus
- Broccoli
- Cauliflower
- Brussel Sprouts
- Cabbage
- Celery
- Cucumber
- Collards
- Swiss Chard
- Kale
- Spinach
- Lettuce: romaine, spring mix, butter lettuce, etc.
- Bitter Greens: arugula, endive, radicchio, fennel, dandelion greens
- Herbs: parsley, cilantro, etc.
- Jicama
- Carrots
- Zucchini and Summer Squash
- Green Beans
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Peppers
- Radishes
- Artichoke
- Beets
- Avocado
- Tomatoes
- Ginger Root
- Bean Sprouts

  • Be sure to add alliums: onions, green onions, leeks, scallions, shallots, garlic
  • Mushrooms: shiitake mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, white mushrooms, oyster mushrooms
  • Skip the “super greens” (Spirulina, Chlorella, Algae, Seaweed, Kelp, all sea-based greens)

Vegetable Carbs

  • Sweet potatoes, Yams
  • White potatoes (in moderation)
  • Plantains
  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Kabocha Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Pumpkin


  • Fish (wild or organic salmon, cold water fish like anchovies, sardines, or herring at 2-3 times a week)
  • Organic/Free-Range Chicken & Turkey
  • Grass-fed Beef & Bison
  • Natural, Organic Lamb & Pork
  • Organ Meats, liverwurst 
  • Chickpea Tofu (Here is a recipe my vegan clients love!)


  • Aim for 2-3 servings of fruit daily
  • If it doesn’t have a peel, buy organic
  • Eat organic berries when in season
  • Include fresh lemon juice and organic lemon peel in dressings/marinades
  • Avocados are a fruit and they also qualify as healthy fats
  • Here are some of our favorites to keep on rotation: 

- Strawberries
- Blueberries
- Raspberries
- Blackberries
- Kiwi
- Cherries
- Pears
- Apples
- Nectarines
- Peaches
- Plums
- Papaya
- Bananas
- Lemons
- Limes
- Grapefruit
- Oranges
- Coconut
- Mangos
- Grapes

  • Minimize consumption of: 

- Pineapple
- Melons
- Dried Fruits

Whole Grains

  • Brown rice, wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled or Steel-Cut Oats (make sure the label says gluten-free)
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Gluten Free Bread (My favs are Bread SRLY, Barely Bread, Schar) 
  • Soba Noodles


  • Lentils (all colors)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • White Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Aduki Beans


  • Brown rice crackers
  • Nut crackers 
  • Blue corn chips in small amounts (with sea salt) 
  • Brown rice chips
  • Grain free chips/snacks (like Siete brand)

Fats, Oils, and Butters

  • Avocado
  • Extra virgin olive oil (organic/cold-pressed) 
  • Flaxseed oil (cold-pressed/dark container) 
  • Avocado oil (cold-pressed)
  • Walnut oil (cold-pressed)
  • Coconut oil (cold-pressed)
  • Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter
  • Kite Hill Plant Based Butter

Seasonings, Spices/Herbs

  • Uniodized, Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Caraway
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Vanilla
  • Saffron
  • Bay Leaf
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Fennel


  • Salsa
  • Natural Organic Mustard
  • Mayonnaise, made with olive oil or avocado oil (not canola oil) 
  • Ketchup, low sugar
  • Vinegar: apple cider, rice and red wine; unfiltered
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Raw Hummus, made with olive oil (not canola oil) 
  • Pesto, dairy free
  • Tahini
  • Horseradish
  • Sauerkraut
  • Coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
  • Tamari (GF soy sauce)
  • Olives

Dairy Substitutes

Here are some of my favorite acne safe dairy alternatives! This is not an exhaustive list, however please be sure that whatever alternative you choose does not contain soy!

  • Malk Organics (almond & oat milk) 
  • Califia Farms Plant Milks (almond, coconut & oat)
  • Forager Project Plant Milks (cashew, coconut & oat)
  • Three Trees (almond & pistachio)
  • Milkadamia Macadamia Milk 
  • Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
  • Kirkland Almond Milk
Coffee Creamers
  • NutPods
  • Oatly Barista Edition Oatmilk Creamer
  • Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Plant Based Creamers (almond, coconut & oat)
  • Califia Farms Creamers (all types)
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Creamers (oat & coconut)
  • Culina Yogurt
  • Coconut Cult Yogurt
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Yogurt (oat & coconut)
  • Chobani Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • Kite Hill Almond, Greek & Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • CoYo Coconut Yogurt
  • Forager Cashew Milk Yogurt
  • Trader Joe's Cashew Yogurt
Ice Cream
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Ice Cream (cashew, oat, almond & coconut)
  • Halo Top Dairy Free
  • Cado Ice Cream
  • Oatly Frozen Desserts
  • Haagen Dazs Non-Dairy Ice Cream
  • NadaMoo! Ice Cream
  • CoolHaus Dairy Free
  • Parmela Creamery Cheese
  • Daiya Cheese
  • Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta
  • Violife Cheeses
  • Siete Blanco Cashew Queso
  • Nooch It! Grated "Parm" Cashew Cheeze
  • Miyoko's Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella
  • Trader Joe’s non-dairy cheeses
  • Milkadamia Buttery Spread
  • WayFare Dairy-Free Butter
  • Melt Organic Butter

Nuts, Seeds & Nut Butters

  • Raw and preferably sprouted (no peanuts) 
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pistachios 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds (ground only)
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Pecan Butter
  • Walnut Butter

Be sure to check out my recipe for my favorite seed cycling smoothie here!


  • Stevia (Sweet Leaf Drops is my personal favorite!)
  • Raw Honey, local is best
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Monk Fruit
  • Dates
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B)
  • Dark Chocolate (80% Cacao & up)
  • Cacao Powder or Nibs


  • Filtered water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Lightly flavored sparkling water, like Spindrift
  • Unsweetened Coconut Water
  • Kombucha
  • Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea
  • Matcha, with dairy/soy free milk
  • Herbal Teas, such as Chamomile, Peppermint, etc.
  • Dandelion Root Tea
  • Coffee, in moderation and with acne safe sweeteners/creamers

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, however I hope it provides some guidance for creating your acne safe nutrition plan! If you were surprised to see that some of your favorites didn’t make the list, I suggest you reference my recent blog where we dive into some of the most triggering foods for acne… you may be surprised by what you find! 

xoxo, Emme

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