On the right side, a young woman with a towel wrapped around her head and acne on her face is looking into the camera. On the left, a bowl of walnuts is placed next to a walnut oil dispenser.

Can eating walnuts or walnut oil cause acne?

Walnuts nuts

Even though people enjoy eating various nuts and seeds, some cause problems while others don’t. As a result, we started investigating the possibility that consuming walnuts might contribute to acne.

For some people whom are affected by eating nuts and might experience breakouts, we recommend to keep away from nuts like peanuts and walnuts, which are high in omega-six fatty acids and low in omega-three fatty acids.

According to some research, high consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, which are relative to omega-3 fatty acids, may raise inflammation and the risk of long-term health problems. So, for example, instead of peanuts, opt for nuts strong in omega-3 fatty acids.

Walnuts may not cause acne if consumed in moderation

Everything should be consumed in moderation, as the adage goes. Nuts are often recommended in high quantities in diets, but your skin will suffer if you eat too much of them.

It’s great to have a diet high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but some nuts can raise the omega-6 acid ratio above the inflammatory threshold. Acne and inflammation can be exacerbated by consuming too many omega-6 acids, a common protein source in Western diets. Walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts are all high in omega-6, which are the main culprits here.

Walnuts are problematic for acne

Walnuts’ health benefits pale compared to the massive amount of omega-6 fats they contain, so be careful. This omega-6 amount in walnuts, in most people, is enough to cause inflammation and worsen acne. Even though walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, the high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids in them negates any anti-inflammatory effects. Walnuts are commonly found in trail and nut mixes, so carefully check the label before consuming.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the nutritional value per ounce:

  • 185 calories
  • 2g net carbs
  • 4.3g protein
  • Omega-6 (inflammatory) fatty acids: 10.78g
  • Omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids: 2.56
  • Omega Ratio: 4.2: 1
  • Phytic acid: 216mg


Phytic acid content is moderately low.


Inflammation-inducing omega-6 fatty acids make this product a no-no. Despite the fact that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in walnuts appears to be adequate, the high concentration of omega-6 renders the omega-3 content insignificant.

Other Side Effects of Walnuts to Consider 

Walnuts can cause allergic reactions in many people, especially those with autoimmune illnesses; thus, they should be avoided. Diarrhea and other digestive problems may arise due to the high fiber level in walnuts. If you’re using walnut oil, always do a patch test first. If after eating walnuts, you develop rashes or experience any other strange symptoms, you should see a doctor to determine what’s wrong.

What about Walnut oil? 

Obviously, juglans regia seed oil, the more formal name for walnut oil, is produced from the nuts themselves. The health benefits of walnuts are well known, and the benefits of walnut oil have even been shown to improve skin health in several studies. Walnut oil improves the skin considerably more when applied topically.

As an emollient, walnut oil has a smoothing and soothing effect on the skin, which is why it is so popular. Several studies show that it improves skin health, allowing wounds to heal more quickly and treating disorders like eczema. Thanks to its many uses, Walnut oil can be used by nearly everyone looking for moisture for their skin. 

But, you should avoid walnut oil if you have a history of nut allergy, though you should always check with your doctor first. Experts say that among walnut oil side effects, those with oily or acne-prone skin should proceed with caution. Using walnut oil on oily and acne-prone skin is discouraged since it contains high quantities of oleic acid that can clog pores and lead to outbreaks.


So, nuts high in omega-six fatty acids, such as peanuts and walnuts, can cause acne when consumed in large quantities. Acne can be avoided by eating almonds rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Remember that walnuts are only not suitable for people who have the above conditions. If you want to know about the benefits of walnuts for health, read our previously published blog post.

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