The condition of your skin is incredibly important to your overall health and confidence. Many factors can cause a variety of different skin issues, but reflecting on your diet is a good place to start. Certain types of foods can be the underlying cause to your skin problems, or the solution.
Everyone knows eating too much sugar isn’t healthy, but sugar can actually be affecting your skin in a way you’re not aware of. Many people believe that foods, like chocolate, are the cause of their breakouts, but it has more to do with the sugar than the cocoa. High levels of sugar can not only lead to acne, but can also cause premature aging. Sugars can attach to collagen and stimulate glycation, which causes protein fibers to harden. This can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles.
Fix: Cut back on the amount of added sugar you consume by slowly weaning off. Additionally, increase your antioxidant intake and always wear sunscreen to help prevent the effects from glyceration.
Sun Spots, Wrinkles, & Fine Lines
The sun generates UVB and UVA rays at all times of the year. UVB rays are the reason we get sunburns, while UVA rays can cause sun damage deeper into the skin. Without the protection of sunscreen year-round, the production of free radicals can increase and our skin can develop sun spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Fix: Bring on the antioxidants. Eating foods like leafy greens and brightly colored fruits will increase your antioxidant intake. These compounds help fight free radical formation. As an additional aid, try using an anti-aging product with retinoid to boost cell turnover.
There are many underlying factors that can cause acne. Genetics, hormones, cosmetic products, stress, and our diet all play a huge role in acne development. When it comes to food, refined grains and sugars may increase blood sugar levels and contribute to acne. Breakouts can also be attributed to food sensitivity, because when you’re sensitive to certain foods, your body creates a high level of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Fix: Try removing refined grains and sugars from your diet slowly. If you believe you have a food sensitivity, try to do a trial of removing certain foods you think may be the culprit.
Dark Circles & Puffy Under Eyes
One of the biggest skin concerns both men and women face are dark circles and puffy under eye bags. The cause of these can be due to genetics, lack of sleep, allergies, smoking, and your diet. A diet high in salty foods can cause water retention and lead to under eye bags, or the worsening of them.
Fix: Start by evaluating your diet. If it consists of a lot of items with high sodium, try to cut back and increase your water intake. If you struggle with falling or staying asleep, implement a consistent night time routine to help regulate your sleeping patterns.
As we get into the colder months, it’s common for our skin to get dry and flaky. This can be caused by the heating indoors, our fireplaces, the cold air outside, and becoming dehydrated. Along with a good moisturizer, our diets can help keep us hydrated from the inside out.
Fix: Drink plenty of water. When we’re cold, we tend to forget to drink enough water and instead consume more hot drinks, which also dehydrate us. Additionally, eat foods that promote hydration, like nuts and avocados that contain loads of vitamin E and antioxidants.