“As expected, skin care is not slowing down. The global skin care industry is estimated to reach $121 billion in 2016. And in 2018, the U.S. skin care market will reach nearly $11 billion.” – GCI Magazine
Skin is the largest organ of the human body by a wide margin. It is also a prime indicator of one’s health and well-being. Healthy skin and pores are arguably the most important factor in beauty, as well.
Beyond health and well-being, skin care is a priority for many of us. Without proper care, the skin is prone to a number of adverse dermatologic symptoms. Skin that is not cared for can be unhealthy and, not to mention, unsightly.
Contrary to popular belief, the food we put into our bodies strongly influences our overall skin health. We’re going to discuss some popular foods that: (1) clog skin pores and contribute to unhealthy skin, and (2) help to develop healthy skin.
Here are 5 food types that clog your skin:
While alcohol doesn’t contribute much to acne, it is indeed unhealthy for our skin. It is worth mentioning that some people can drink alcohol and never experience a bad skin condition. However, here are some important things to remember:
– Alcohol alters hormone levels, which is a direct cause of acne and unhealthy skin.
– Alcohol will shrink skin pores and increase the likelihood of clogging. This may aggravate a current skin condition or cause a breakout.
Many people that have given up (or drastically reduced) dairy products will tell you it had a marked improved on skin health. It is well known that dairy products can exacerbate an existing case of acne; what may not be as well-known is that – in some people – dairy products may cause acne.
“Most of my youthful-looking, amazing clients have one thing in common: They do not have any dairy as part of their diet,” says Registered Dietitian Maria Bella, “There is a very strong correlation between consuming dairy products – such as milk – and acne, skin breakouts and aging.”
Not much of a surprise that sugar makes this list – it is bad for skin in almost every conceivable way. Sugar not only contributes to clogging of the skin, but also causes inflammation, wrinkling, drying and scaling of the skin.
It is also worth mentioning that all unhealthy carbohydrate-laden foods – not just simple sugars – can be bad for our skin. Some of these foods: rice, bread and pasta. If you wish to indulge anyways, be the wiser and choose whole grain items.
Salt is the rare (only?) compound that can be terrific for skin health when applied externally, and devastating to skin health when consumed. (Last time we checked, applying sugar or dairy to the skin doesn’t result in many skin benefits.)
On a serious note, salt can indeed cause higher amounts of clogged skin. Consuming salt also has the tendency to dehydrate us; this makes it more difficult to moisturize the skin. Over-consuming salt can lead to dry, wrinkled and aging skin, as well. Finally, consuming salt can aggravate acne conditions and cause inflammation of the body – including the skin.
High-glycemic foods (e.g. white bread, pasta) effectively convert to sugar. As such, high-glycemic foods mimic many of the same adverse skin effects. Inflammation, wrinkling, drying and scaling of the skin are potential skin complications that result from consuming flour.
The good news is that many of these foods are available in whole-grain varieties. Whole grain types of bread, rice and cereal, for example, are markedly better for skin (and overall health) than the high-flour types of these products.
Healthy skin foods
The foods (and food types) listed above truly are exceptions to the rule. In terms of number and variety, there exist far more that are beneficial to skin health. Here are some:
– Tomatoes: helps prevent sunburn and sun damage.
– Dark chocolate: enhances smoothness of skin and improves appearance.
– Walnuts: helps to improve skin elasticity and increases collagen production.
– Berries: helps improve the skin’s texture and inhibits wrinkle growth.
Here are some others: spinach, oatmeal, soy, red wine, kiwi, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, kale, green tea.