We spend so much energy and money obsessing over the products that we use on our skin, be it a cleanser, moisturizer, or scrub. Yet we often forget that what we put into our body is equally – if not more – important in maintaining clear, youthful-looking skin. No matter how much expensive moisturizer you load up on your skin, you won’t achieve that radiant glow if you’re still eating foods filled with harmful toxins. Luckily, there’s more information than ever about the kinds of foods known to trigger skin irritation. Here are our tips on what foods to drop from your diet, along with some healthy substitutes to swap in for a beautiful, glowing visage.
Cheese lovers, we have some bad news. Those delicious dairy products are likely the cause of your skin irritations. In fact, a study completed by Harvard School of Public Health found that there was a clear link between those who drank milk regularly and those who suffered from acne. This is because all dairy, even organic, comes from lactating cows. That milk and cheese that you’re putting into your body is full of hormones, which can inevitably lead to the outbreak of hormonal acne. Dairy is also extremely difficult for the body to digest, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation often manifests itself on the skin through irritations like acne and eczema. Rather than cow’s milk, try switching it up with almond or rice milk.
Our beloved morning bagels may not be doing our skin any good. According to the Mayo Clinic, gluten is one of the most common allergens, with some specialists predicting that up to 50% of the population may have a sensitivity to the protein. When your body digests an allergen, its responds with inflammation. This can manifest itself through acne, eczema, psoriasis and other frustrating skin irritations. Opt for gluten-free grains like rice and oatmeal, or grain alternatives like quinoa.
It’s relatively common knowledge that sugar in general is a no-no for your skin. According to dermatologist Dr. Steven Victor, too much sugar can lead to wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and abnormal oil content. But what makes sodas particularly dangerous for your skin is their chemical makeup. Pops like Coke and Pepsi contain advanced glycation end products, which react with the skin cells to contribute to and possibly accelerate the effects of aging on the skin. Instead of guzzling down pop, trying squeezing a dash of fresh fruit juice into sparkling water or a seltzer.
A correlation that you likely saw coming is that between fried food and skin irritation. Fried food is cooked in a plethora of oil, which builds oxidized and saturated fat that is harmful for the body to intake. According to nutritionist Dana James, “consistent consumption of fried foods causes damage to the cellular structure of the dermis and epidermis and this leads to sallow, aged skin and more cystic acne.” Instead of fried food that is high in saturated fat, go for foods that are high in omega fatty acids, as found in foods like fish, avocados and nuts.