Taking good care of your skin means treating it to the very best, chemical-free cosmetics and topical products, of course. But because your skin can be a reflection of your internal health, being mindful of what goes into your body is also crucial. Learn about four foods that can wreak havoc on your complexion – and discover skin-healthy substitutions to satisfy your cravings.
In the past, we’ve talked about foods that can help promote healthy, flawless skin, such as salmon, blueberries and avocado. But on the flip side, there are several foods that can undo all the good done by eating well. If you want to keep your skin in top-top shape, steer clear of these 4 “naughty” foods:
White bread: Processed foods like white bread and pasta are classified as “refined” or “simple” carbohydrates. An excess consumption of simple carbs may be linked to increased oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and unsightly blemishes.
TIP: Forgo refined carbs in favor of foods that contain slow-digesting complex carbs, like quinoa.
Frozen food: It isn’t necessarily that your favorite pizza or microwavable meal was previously frozen, it’s that it is likely contains high amounts of sodium. Too much sodium can cause your body to retain water, resulting in puffy skin. Dehydration can also lead to unsightly undereye bags and dryness, which may overstimulate your skin’s normal oil production.
TIP: Fresh food is the way to go, but if you must have your meal ready in a hurry, opt for something lighter on salt, like this Chickpea Thyme Soup from DIG Foods.
French fries: Although they’re one of America’s favorite sides, it’s no surprise that French fries aren’t fabulous for your skin. For one, fries are usually loaded with salt (see my tip about sodium and frozen food above). They’re also generally fried in oil that’s high in omega-6 essential fatty acids. Your body does need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; however, the typical American diet delivers an imbalanced ratio of these fats, which can lead to inflammation within (and outside) the body.
Alcohol: OK, so this one isn’t a food — but overdoing it on alcohol is a common skin-related sin. Because alcohol is a diuretic, too much of it can leave your body dehydrated and your skin looking dull and dry. Yep, your skin can get a nasty hangover, too.
TIP: If you’re going to imbibe, be sure to drink plenty of water to counter this effect. Or mix up a coconut water cocktail (my favorite concoction contains lime juice, coconut water and light rum) for a refreshing tropical treat.