Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain and even affect organs such as your heart and liver. What you eat also affects the health of another organ — your skin.
If you are suffering from common skin problems that you just cannot seem to overcome with external skin care aids, you might find the cause on your dinner plate. See below for foods that exacerbate some of the more prevalent and pesky skin conditions—and ultimately deny you healthy skin.
Problem: Redness, irritation, acne, skin allergies
What to avoid for healthy skin: Dairy
Dairy foods cause inflammation, which can worsen present skin conditions. If you are prone to breakouts, rosacea, eczema, or other such conditions—or if you have broken out or irritated—minimize ingestion of dairy products, which can intensify discomfort and worsen the problem.
Problem: Loss of firmness, wrinkles
What to avoid for healthy skin: Sugar
Sugar causes a breakdown in collagen, the connective tissue that provides support for the skin. Eating healthy proteins can boost collagen, but the building and repair process is slow. It is important to protect the collagen as much as we can while we are younger, as collagen production wanes with age. Limiting sugar as part of your diet can go a long way toward maintaining a soft, supple appearance.
Problem: Puffiness, bloating
What to avoid for healthy skin: Salt
Too much salt in the diet causes water retention, which can lead to a bloated appearance. While bags under the eyes are sometimes caused by too little rest, genetic factors, or rarely by certain health conditions, eyes that are puffy from too much salt can be reduced by adhering to a low-salt diet and increasing consumption of water to flush your system.
Problem: Dull, lackluster complexion
What to avoid for healthy skin: Highly processed foods
Healthy nutrients are important to keep you looking yours best. When we eat highly processed foods, not only are we often taking in high levels of fat, sugar, and salt, but we are robbing our bodies of proper nutrition by filling our stomachs with nutrient-poor foods. While it is okay to indulge in pre-packaged treats and meals on a limited basis, your optimal diet should be mostly made up of fresh foods, lean proteins, and raw fruits and vegetables.
What to avoid for healthy skin: coffee, alcohol
Your skin needs hydration to look soft, nourished, and healthy. Coffee and alcohol serve as diuretics, robbing your skin of its water and leaving it looking and feeling dry—making wrinkles and fine lines more visible. If you drink coffee or alcohol, moderating consumption and increasing your intake of water can help to offset dehydration.