If there is one thing the phrase “you are what you eat” suggests, we are pretty sure it involves a compelling allegation that beautiful skin requires an inside job. And rightly so. While the underlying causes of skin conditions vary for each person, there is one common denominator for everyone, and that is your diet.
Your diet affects your complexion — what you place in your mouth will impact your skin positively or negatively. Certain foods can ruin your skin. Try keeping these offenders off your plate for better complexion:
Don’t we all love sugar and spice, and everything nice! Guess what? Acne loves them too! Sugary foods are not only bad for your waistline, it wreaks havoc on your skin as well. Foods that are high in sugar end up glycating the collagen in your skin, and as a result, stiffen and age it. Redness and inflammation will continue and be constant factors if sugar is not removed, or reduced, from the diet.
If you are desperately looking for a sugar kick, try opting for fruits that contain natural sugars and the added bonus of antioxidants that help battle signs of aging. Also, pay extra attention to food labels — you may be surprised by how much sugar is present certain products.
Remember how you thoroughly enjoyed that glass of chocolate milk or a bowl of cereal with full cream milk every morning before heading to school? And somehow your body subliminally programmed itself to that same routine into adulthood? Well, we got news for you, buddy. All that dairy is not doing your body good entirely.
Dairy products contain certain hormonal components that can stimulate oil production. The more oil your body produces, the more likely it is to clog up your pores. So if you develop cystic breakouts — those hard, painful and underground blemishes that linger for weeks on the chin, jawline and neck area — it might be a sign that you are getting more dairy in your diet than your body can tolerate.
Your skin acts as an excretory system to get rid of things that your body does not agree with. Therefore, when you consume too much dairy, it comes out in the form of cystic blemishes on your face. If you are not able to cut dairy off completely, try substituting regular milk with soy or almond milk.
Ever notice how fat burners are loaded with high amounts of caffeine? This is because caffeine acts a diuretic, which means coffee and caffeinated drinks dehydrate you and do a number on your skin’s elasticity and collagen — your skin will be more prone to sagging and wrinkles.
If you are someone who needs a cuppa to get your day moving, it will be wise to balance out your morning coffee or your fancy espresso by chugging down a glass of water and ensure that you drink the recommended eight glasses of water daily to keep your body and skin hydrated.
As long as you add back the hydration, drinking coffee offers plenty of benefits too: The polyphenols in coffee could mean younger-looking skin in the long run.
While salt may not directly cause acne, too much of it may lead to other unfavourable outcomes for your skin. Salt can cause an increase in water retention in certain individuals and make them appear puffy. The puffiness is especially noticeable in areas with thin skin, such as your under-eyes. If you cannot omit salt completely from your food equation, add some omega-3 fatty acids to your diet to better hydrate your skin and decrease inflammation.
5. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbs or processed foods made with additives and preservatives, such as white bread, chips, French fries, soda and candy, have no nutritional value. And if that is not enough, certain processed food, like refined sugar, causes your blood sugar levels to spike. These rapid insulin spikes can trigger production of sebum (natural skin oil), which clogs pores and forms pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.
In addition, processed sugar ages your skin. When you digest refined carbohydrates, the sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins, such as collagen. When sugar molecules latch onto collagen molecules, they form new compounds that are unbreakable. Hence, those collagen proteins that form smooth, youthful skin become lost forever.
Save Your Skin
Your skin is your true testament — it signifies the kind of lifestyle you lead. Nutrition is not only important for your skin, but for your overall health as well. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain and even hurt organs, such as your heart and liver.
As it gets increasingly harder to keep your skin supple with age, make sure your diet is not making things any worse. So, take control of your plate and achieve better health and radiant skin.