Mayonnaise & Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affects people of any age, especially during the teen and early adult years, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 1. This condition causes painful and unsightly bumps on the skin, which can take days or even weeks to heal, depending on the severity. While the ingestion of mayonnaise probably won't affect your acne, you may want to keep it away from your skin.


The main cause of acne is the overproduction of oil, known as sebum, that your body produces to keep your skin moist, according to 27. When sebum mixes with the dead skin cells your body sheds regularly, it can form a soft plug, which builds up in the pore of your skin, leading to a localized bacterial infection. This infection causes a pimple, white head, black head, cyst or nodule. Hormonal changes, especially during puberty or pregnancy, can trigger acne, as can certain medications or the use of makeup or other skin care products that contain ingredients that clog pores, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases 3.


Mayonnaise is a creamy spread, commonly used in sandwiches or as a base dressing in salads. It is considered an emulsion, containing 65 percent vegetable oil along with eggs, vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings, according to The Association for Dressings and Sauces. Ingesting greasy foods that contain oil, such as mayonnaise, has not been shown to cause acne, according to NIAMS. Direct skin contact with oils, such as the vegetable oils contained in mayonnaise is a different story. The Nemours Foundation website KidsHealth recommends that after skin contact with vegetable oils, you should wash these areas well to remove the potentially acne-causing oils 4.


According to a study in the March 2010 issue of "Skin Therapy Letter," dairy and high-glycemic-index foods can increase acne outbreaks 5. High-glycemic-index foods contain carbohydrates and have a higher potential to increase your blood sugar levels than other foods, according to 267. Because mayonnaise does not contain carbohydrates, it is not a high-glycemic-index food, nor does it contain dairy products, making it safe to eat for those suffering from acne. However, mayonnaise is mainly used in conjunction with carbohydrate-containing foods, such as bread products in sandwiches or with pasta in salads, which you may want to avoid.


If you notice a pattern of breaking out or your acne worsening, specifically after ingesting mayonnaise, you may have a food allergy to an ingredient it contains 7. Discontinue eating mayonnaise if this is the case. Consult with a dermatologist if you suffer from acne to see what treatments are available to you. Avoid picking at or squeezing acne lesions, as this can cause an infection or scarring, according to 27. Use noncomedogenic products, which contain ingredients that will not clog your pores and keep your skin clean of oils, dirt and sweat with a mild cleanser to prevent acne breakouts.