Sneaky Skin Sabotages
In some ways, you are what you eat
We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” but the ratio of carbs to waistline (gulp!) may not be its only meaning. And no, we’re not talking about our old boyfriend eating a lot of meatballs (get it?).
While not all doctors believe that diet directly relates to skin blemishes, certain studies show that some foods in your daily diet could be the reason your sexy skin glow has been sapped. As you check out the skin-emies listed below, just know that we aren’t here to scare you, we just want you to feel one step closer to your HD close up!
Consuming excess sugar or foods that spike blood sugar rapidly can increase insulin levels, which may provoke or worsen acne. Too much concentrated sugar (think little kid faves: Skittles, Pixy Sticks, and Gummi Bears) can also cause wrinkles and dull skin by damaging collagen and elastin fibers.
Thanks to Super Size Me and PSAs about American obesity, we already know processed and fried foods are pretty awful — they even hurt skin by depleting its oxygen supply and clogging its pores. However, other fatty acids can promote or dampen body inflammation. Maintain a better balance between omega-6s (turkey, vegetable oil, peanut butter) and omega-3s (fish, flaxseed, avocado) and you can prevent puffy skin!
In some cases, high glycemic foods (white bread, pasta, cakes) can cause breakouts and blotchiness. If your skin is super sensitive, try sticking to whole grains, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Watch out — if you have a gluten allergy, wheat in any form may provoke a rash!
With the exception of yogurt, dairy products (especially milk, with its connection to bovine growth hormones) can increase acne risk. Not everyone has this sensitivity, so don’t toss aside the other yummy benefits of dairy before you know whether it affects you.
You know how bloated you feel after splurging on a whole bag of chips? Your stomach isn’t the only organ wary of too much salt. Eating this mineral in large amounts can aggravate acne, inflame tissues, and cause water buildup around the eyes, which can cause the delicate skin around them to wrinkle.
The next time you reach for your third Starbucks or Diet Coke of the day, think again! Since caffeine promotes dehydration and inflammation and raises stress levels, it can also worsen the infection associated with acne. When combined with the sugars in sodas — either natural or artificial — caffeine may cause hormones to fluctuate enough to cause other rashes or dryness damage.
Like we discovered in college, alcohol can be extremely dehydrating, and skin cells aren’t immune to this damaging power. And that rosy glow from a little merlot? Drinking too much can also increase rosacea and break those face-reddening capillaries permanently — no one wants to be a blushing beauty forever!
But before you adopt an Elizabeth Hurley watercress soup diet, remember that these pointers are for limiting intake, not forbidding foods completely. Crash diets may help shed pounds, but it won’t happen in a balanced way. Suddenly depriving yourself of food can leave skin saggy, dry, or irritated! Beauty may not only be skin deep…but it sure can start there.
xx, The FabFitFun Team