Although a strict skincare regime is essential to keep your skin clear and healthy it is something that’s completely pointless if you’re filling your body full of the wrong foods. What you put inside your body is actually much more important than the creams and serums that you use to keep your complexion looking young and fresh. While there are a large number of foods that will keep spots at bay and give you a glow that others will be envious of, there are a lot of foods that have the opposite effect and which will cause breakouts, greasiness, puffiness and irritation. Here are the top five worst foods that should definitely be avoided if you want to maintain a clear, bright and youthful complexion.
Salt is a major cause of under eye bags and dark circles and once these have appeared they’re not easy to get rid of without surgery. One way to reduce dark circles and bags though is to make some simple changes to your diet. Foods that contain a lot of salt are particularly bad for your skin because they cause the body to retain water. As people usually have some form of excess skin around their eyes, this generally gets filled up pretty quickly and bags are the result.
When buying food, make an effort to check the salt content because a lot of the time even foods that are labelled as healthy and that are part of ‘good for you’ ranges are actually loaded with salt which not only affects your skin but can also affect some of your body’s key processes such as blood pressure.
Although a lot of people will turn their nose up at a vegetarian alternative to meat, going for the veggie option is actually a great way to maintain your youthful looks for longer. Surprisingly, eating a lot of red meat is actually a huge cause of premature aging – something that most people try their hardest to avoid – as it contains a high level of carnitine.
Avoiding premature aging doesn’t, by any means, mean that you need to adopt a completely vegetarian lifestyle. However, you should make an effort at least once every week, to choose a vegetarian meal as opposed to your typical carnivorous feast.
White bread and sugar
Although certain carbohydrates are a necessary part of your diet, there are some carbs – like white bread – that have little nutritional value and can actually cause a breakdown of collagen and, in more severe circumstances, even acne breakouts.
These simple carbs cause a spike in insulin levels which leads to inflammation of the skin. When a lot of sugar enters the blood they attach themselves to proteins, creating molecules known as AGEs (glycation end products). AGEs disable protective antioxidants which causes damage to elastin and collagen.
Just as it’s important to look at the real salt content of a product as opposed to merely opting for ‘healthy’ ranges, you should do the same when it comes to bread and other carbs. When choosing bread, make sure you stick to loaves that are 100% whole grain in order to maintain skin health.
Everyone knows that alcohol is bad for them and the majority of people are aware of the negative effects that it has on their skin too. However, this is unlikely to put people off drinking.
All varieties of alcohol dehydrate your body and skin so if you’re planning a night out then a good way to reduce its effects is to alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water and make sure you use a rich moisturiser on your skin when you get home.
It’s important to remember that regardless of the products you use on your skin, alcohol encourages your skin to age because of dehydration. So, if you don’t want to be the next victim of premature aging it’s important to limit your alcohol intake.
Although they’re high up on many people’s lists of favourite foods, fried foods are extremely bad for your body and skin. The unhealthy fats that are released from fried foods cause your skin to become greasy – which can clog the pores – and cause free radicals to be released in your body.
Rather than choosing foods that are high in saturated fats, opt for foods that are high in healthy fats – like those in avocado and olive oil – as it is these that are responsible for the proper functioning of cells. Consuming healthy fats will also prevent a build-up of oil and grease in the pores which should prevent infections and therefore spots and breakouts.
Chocolate is in the news all the time. One minute it’s good for us, the next it’s the worst thing you could ever put in your body. However, it seems that blame has been misplaced and chocolate actually deserves a lot more respect than we give it. The majority of professionals would agree if you said that chocolate, on its own, doesn’t cause breakouts. However, eating a diet that’s high in sugar will affect the amount of oil that your skin produces and it is this excess oil which leads to blocked pores, infections and acne breakouts. So, eating chocolate is fine, in moderation, just avoid eating a whole host of other sugary snacks alongside it.