How Diet Affects Your Skin?
Your skin is the mirror of your diet, lifestyle and habits. It has the capability of showing malnutrition, anaemia, hormonal imbalance, stress and more.
First of all, you should know that there are two types of fats in our body. They are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) and non-essential fatty acids (NEFAs).
EFAs are required for normal cell development and the function of organs. They are also vital for normal growth, eyesight, bone structure, brain development and reproductive function. It is important to have EFAs within the system to ensure that these essential functions are carried out correctly. Our dietary requirements are met by eating food items that contain EFAs.
The various nutrients present in the foods we eat have a direct impact on the look and health of our skin. For example, a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles that come with getting older.
The same nutrients that promote glowing skin from eating a healthy diet can also improve the appearance of acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Foods that are Not Healthy for Your Skin
Diet has a major impact on your skin, so which foods are the worst offenders when it comes to bad skin?
You may be surprised to learn that certain foods can actually damage your skin and cause serious reactions. According to skincare experts, there are five foods you should definitely stay away from:
Alcohol has been known to cause rashes on the skin, so it’s not surprising that it can also cause acne. Alcohol may also dry out skin, which can lead to an increase in oil production, resulting in more acne. As alcohol is a diuretic, it actively draws out water from the body which can increase the appearance of wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin. A study found a clear association between skin-and volume-related facial ageing and heavy alcohol consumption.
- Food Chemicals
Certain chemicals found in foods may also aggravate acne. These include iodine, artificial food colouring and more. These chemicals can cause irritation on the skin, which often leads to breakouts. Artificial food colouring is used to brighten and improve the appearance of everything from candies to condiments but these can potentially increase the risk of various skin issues.
- High glycemic index foods
You probably know that pizza is not very good for your waistline, but eating too much of it can also make your face break out. Bad skin is something almost everyone has suffered with at one point in their lives. Pizza is one such food that can worsen your skin or get you into trouble.
Other high-glycemic foods like bread and pasta can also lead to fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Consequently, there is an increase in sebum production which leads to the accumulation of bacteria and dead skin cells in one area.
- Whey Protein and Dairy Products
You might be wondering how and why you need to be aware of the health complications whey protein and dairy products can pose. Most of us would prefer these healthy dairy products and consume whey protein on a routine basis without thinking of the possible long term side effects it can lead to.
Dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and whey protein are all derived from cow’s milk. The main problem is with the lactose component of dairy products which has been found to be an irritant for the skin. Whey protein, on the other hand, is a derivative of the dairy industry. It is a byproduct of cheese manufacturing and consists of a high amount of glycomacropeptide, a kind of protein that has been found to be a skin irritant.
We all know milk is highly recommended for boosting our bones and muscles. But what most people are unaware of are its negative effects on the skin. Milk has lactose in it, which is not digestible for some people. There are also proteins in milk that are closely related to acne inflammation caused by the hormone called IGF-1, which stands for insulin-like growth factors. It builds up in the body and affects certain hormones (such as Androgen and Insulin). This makes the skin grow faster - causing clogged pores, common acne symptoms.
Additionally, there are hormones that are produced during the cow's pregnancy that are secreted in its milk that can cause acne. Whey protein is also rich in IGF-1 and thus causes acne in many people. One should take proper care of their health to have clear skin by reducing dairy products intake.
You might be surprised to find out that there are many foods that can cause pimples including dairy and whey protein.
Caffeine is responsible for dehydrating your skin. Consuming too much caffeine can ultimately result in premature ageing and various skin issues. Cortisol production in the body increases when you consume caffeine in the form of coffee, cold coffee, tea, etc. High cortisol levels trigger sebum production and the extra oil can easily clog your pores, leading to the development of inflammation and bacteria- resulting in acne and skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
What are Some of the Skin-Friendly Foods?
The appearance and health of your skin are very important. An unhealthy looking skin can lower your confidence and make you feel bad about yourself. There are some things you can do to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. Eating the right foods is one of them. There are many foods that can help improve your skin's health and appearance.
Use the following foods as part of a healthy skin diet:
Eggs are full of biotin (vitamin B7). This vitamin is essential for good skin and nail health. It is also needed for cell division. Eggs also contain iron which helps blood circulation, especially in the body's extremities which includes the skin and nails.
When choosing skin-friendly foods, go for those which have omega-3 fatty acids as these are good for the skin as well as the heart, eyes and hair. You can find salmon, halibut, sardines, albacore, trout, herring, walnut, flaxseed oil, shrimp, clams, light chunk tuna, catfish, cod, and spinach, etc with added omega-3s in most supermarkets nowadays.
For long-lasting results, ensure your diet contains plenty of essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are found in fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, halibut, herring salmon and avocado. They are also found in walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
It is these essential fatty acids that help retain the water content in the skin. Keeping your body properly hydrated with water keeps your skin supple and plump.
Another good news is that skin-friendly fruits and vegetables are available every season, including winter when you probably feel like snuggling up on the couch under a warm blanket. The only problem is that you don’t feel like eating anything. Still, your skin needs its nutrients. Hence, combat your winter blues by adding fruits and vegetables to your diet!
The best fruits and vegetables for your skin are antioxidant-rich ones like berries, red grapes, peaches, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, carrots, potatoes, etc. Antioxidants fight against free radicals that attack healthy cells, causing them to age faster than they should. To keep your skin looking young, stay away from foods high in saturated fats, especially red meats.
The skin is the biggest organ of the body and it acts as a protective barrier. Maintaining this barrier is important to maintaining the youthfulness of the skin, which in turn keeps us looking good. Adding a few healthy food ingredients can have a huge impact on how your skin looks.
Our team of experts have been hard at work to bring you the latest skin care news and information on trending products and treatments, as well as how you can use natural ingredients from your kitchen to help your skin.