“You are what you eat.” We've all heard this expression over the years. When it comes to your skin, this is often the case as well. Did you know that the foods you consume can have a great impact on the appearance of your skin? Let’s take a look several foods that can wreak havoc on your skin. Is your favorite food on the list?
Hold the salt shaker! Before you think to add extra salt to your food, know that too much sodium is a big no-no for healthy looking skin. Salt is usually the main cause of puffiness, so if you have bags under your eyes and a puffy face, try cutting back on sodium and you may just see a difference.
White flour products
Eating white bread, pasta, and baked goods made with white flour are bad for the skin. They are known as high glycemic foods and they can contribute to acne flare-ups. If you’re experiencing pimples, try to cut these products out of your diet as much as possible.
The next time you’re craving something sweet, grab some antioxidant-rich berries and nix the sugary candies. Sugar can actually damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, causing them to deteriorate more quickly. The result? Lines and wrinkles. Do you still love sweet flavors? Try honey instead of sugar, as it actually can help the skin.
Before you say, “Pour me another,” think of what you are drinking. Consuming more than the occasional glass of wine or having a cocktail on a special occasion may be the culprit if your skin is looking less than stellar. When we have a glass of water, it hydrates our skin. The opposite is true when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing it to look dull and sallow. For those who suffer from Rosacea, alcohol is a known trigger for flare-ups and should be avoided.
No one said the occasional burger is out of the question, but a diet high in red meat can cause inflammation. In fact, red meat contains something called arachadonic acid, which can trigger inflammation. If you already have a skin condition such as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, red meat may make the condition worse.
Cookies. Chips. Cheese in a jar… you know the foods to which I am referring. These foods contain many preservatives to increase shelf life. Unfortunately, these include things such as sulfites and sodium nitrate. These ingredients can cause many different reactions in the skin, from itchiness and redness to rashes. Not only are processed foods lacking in nutritional value, they may be hurting your skin.
I know I am not alone in this. I simply cannot function without my morning (and mid-morning… and late morning) cups of coffee. Did you know, though, that coffee can actually age the skin? Coffee behaves like a diuretic and can dehydrate the skin, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. To help combat this problem, be sure to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee you consume to stay properly hydrated.
Moderation is key
No one is saying that you need to eliminate the above foods for good. In fact, research suggests that those who allow themselves the occasional food splurge are more likely to make healthy choices the rest of the time. You can make some better choices, though. Instead of having a third cup of caffeinated coffee, try a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea. Rather than salting your food, try using fresh herbs and spices for added flavor. Small changes for the better can have a positive impact on your complexion.