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Foods That Could be Affecting your Skin

By | Skincare | No Comments

Everyone knows that an unhealthy diet can have an adverse effect on your health, but did you know that it could be the cause of those frequent breakouts you’ve been experiencing? Many people resort to expensive skincare and treatments to help with their acne, but sometimes the answer is as simple as cleaning up your diet. Here are a few examples of foods that you should avoid in order to keep a clear complexion.
Foods That Could Be Affecting Your Skin

Refined Grains and Sugars

Studies have found that people with acne tend to consume more refined carbohydrates than people with little or no acne. In fact, those who frequently consume added sugars have a 30% increased risk of developing problem skin.

Foods that are included in this category are:

  • Bread
  • Sugar
  • Desserts or pasta made with white flour
  • White rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Soft drinks
  • Sweeteners such as cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave

How are refined grains and sugars linked to acne? These foods tend to raise blood sugar and insulin levels, making skin cells grow more quickly and boosting the production of sebum. In short, you can experience oilier skin and more clogged pores when your diet contains too many refined carbohydrates.

Sugars are a key ingredient in a number of foods, but alternatives such as raw honey, maple syrup, and green leaf stevia are all great options. When you use these substitutes, you won’t have to compromise taste, but you will be able to take advantage of all of the health benefits.

Dairy


While there isn’t a confirmed link between consuming dairy and having acne, studies suggest that it could be a cause for breakouts for some. Products like milk and cheese can increase insulin levels and aggravate acne in certain people since growth hormones and antibiotics are found in most conventional dairy products. These hormones can interfere with your body’s natural balance, and can sometimes contribute to cystic acne.

There are many dairy-free alternatives out there, from almond milk, coconut milk, and even cashew milk. There are also lactose-free cheeses that can help you significantly cut down on your dairy intake.

Soy

Often used as an alternative to dairy for those that are lactose-intolerant or vegan, soy has actually become a more popular food sensitivity since the majority of its crops are genetically engineered. Soy contains something called phytoestrogens, which mimics the female hormone, estrogen. Similar to components in dairy, this can also disrupt an individual’s’ hormone balance and lead to cystic acne.

Instead of drinking soy milk, try an alternative like almond milk, and replace tofu with beans. As a vegetarian or vegan, it’s easy to find replacements for soy and still get your protein.

Fast Food

Everyone knows that fast food isn’t always the most healthy choice, but it’s often the most convenient option. Fast foods are usually deep-fried in refined vegetable oils like canola oil, safflower, and peanut oil, and filled with trans fats. These oils are extremely high in omega-6 essential fatty acids, and while we need these fatty acids to be healthy, too much can aggravate underlying skin conditions. It’s also important to ensure that we have enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diet to guarantee healthy skin, which many people are lacking. Omega-3s are commonly found in wild fish, algae, grass-fed meats, chia seeds, and seafood.

Fast food is the most convenient option for people on-the-go, but there are some alternatives that you can replace these greasy, high-fat meals with. In an effort to stay healthy during your busy day, stock your purse, glove box, or desk at work with protein bars, nuts, seeds, and fruits and vegetables. These snacks will keep you full and energized for the day ahead.

Alcohol

Alcohol is bad for your skin for two reasons: it’s high in sugar and dehydrates your skin. The high sugar content will spike your blood sugar levels and contribute to wrinkles by depleting collagen. The dehydrating properties of alcohol won’t allow your skin to retain moisture to stay hydrated and plump, which can lead to dark circles around your eyes and dry patches around your face.

While there’s no real substitute for that glass of wine you like to have with dinner, think about sipping on a glass or kombucha or coconut water when you’re out for drinks with friends on a weeknight. If you can’t resist having a cocktail, try to stick with those that are low in sugar like a vodka soda, rather than a rum and coke.

Processed Meats

Processed meats like bacon and cured meats are full of sodium. Just like with all high-salt foods, they can lead to water retention and even cause swelling and puffiness in your face. Many processed meats also contain sodium nitrates which act as a preservative. However, this ingredient can break down collagen and elastin in those who consume them, and cause premature wrinkles.

It’s easy to replace the processed meats in your diet — simply use fresh meat instead. In addition to having lower sodium, grass-fed meats will also be higher on omega-3s and free from both hormones and antibiotics.
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