There’s nothing like a pimple, skin dryness or redness to make you feel down self-conscious about your appearance. And, thanks to our grubby fingers, one pimple always turns into 20. But these breakouts aren’t always due to hormones or seasonal weather changes. If you’re experiencing constant problems, it’s probably time to have a look at your diet.
We all know fruit and veggies are great for our overall health, wellbeing and, of course, skin. But we don’t always hear about the foods that could be undermining all that fruit and veggie consumption and damaging our skin. So we’ve conjured up a list of the foods to avoid for a glowing, youthful look from the inside out.
Sometimes we’re willing to sacrifice our waistline for a block of chocolate or a few doughnuts. There’s always Spanx, right? But the evidence of your sugary addiction could be written all over your face, as studies show consuming foods with high sugar will not only cause breakouts but also age your skin. WRINKLES, PEOPLE. WRINKLES.
When you consume cake, your body breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels. This then leads to inflammation. The digested sugar will then attach itself to enzymes (proteins) that break down collagen and elastin (they keep your skin hydrated and plump). This in turn produces breakouts, redness and dryness. So basically if you’re going to have foods with high glycemic content – ice-cream, lollies, chocolate, pizza, fruit juice and fried food – do it IN MODERATION.
It pains me to even write the words, but our beloved food is on he list. Say sayonara to excessive consumption of delicious chicken and avo rolls, as it is estimated two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of rice vinegar is used per two cups of rice. And on top of that, the average roll is equivalent to two slices of bread! Sugar + bread = bad skin.
Lots of dairy
It may be great for restoring calcium levels, but dairy can have some side effects that literally run skin-deep. While there aren’t any solid studies to back up this fact, claims suggest that the hormone called IGF-1 found in milk and other dairy products causes inflammation, leading to spiked insulin levels which in turn clog the pores. And when pores are clogged, pimples, redness and bacteria will emerge.
So to keep these nasty bumps at bay and get your face feeling silky smooth, try reducing your intake of milk, yoghurt and cheese (PLEASE, NOT THE CHEESE!). For all the cereal and muesli lovers out there, making simple swaps to almond milk or coconut yoghurt products that are low in sugar will let you eat the foods you want without the FOMO.
It may be a quick and easy way to fuel your body in the morning, but your cereal may actually be doing more harm than good to your skin! Some people claim cereal is linked to acne, possibly because cereals are a medium to high glycemic food, meaning they increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, which you’ve heard before is a bad thing.
I know, I know. I’m sucking all the fun out of your life and you hate me. But it’s better than your skin hating you after a big weekend. Cutting back on the wine could help your liver AND your skin. Be extra careful if you are a cocktail or sweet drink lover, as the high sugar content can lead to systemic inflammation over time – aka wrinkles!
We may have to rename this superfood cocoNOT oil. While some people swear by its miracle healing powers, we must remember a vital factor here: it is an OIL. We all need oils in our life but coconut rates a four out of five on the comedongencity (pore blocking) scale. In other words, really, REALLY high and can cause breakouts. So use it with care!
High in gluten
You know those big nights out when you demolish half of McDonald’s, New York Slice and the local kebab shop? Yeah, we’ve all been here and we’ve all suffered the post-binge breakout. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in cereal grains and wheat and is responsible for the elasticity of dough. Basically consuming lots of gluten can upset the balance of your gut, causing inflammation, surging your insulin levels and again growing the hormone 1GF-1 in your body. This hormone can cause your pores to produce a greasy substance and hey presto… the bumps surge.
This is a topic of some debate in the health industry, and the verdict is uncertain at the moment. However, most of the industry agrees non-organic soy can be linked to bad skin. This is because it tends to be genetically modified, so when your body breaks down the processed forms it has a mini freak-out. This freak-out associates the soy as a toxic substance, which leads to inflammation. And, as we now know, inflammation leads to the appearance of breakouts, redness and dryness.
It’s devastating, I know, but you may have to replace that triple shot soy latte with water. Totally kidding. But maybe try a single shot instead. Caffeine is known to dehydrate skin, and where dehydration emerges so does premature aging, inflammation and redness. Coffee is also considered nasty for your skin because of the mix-ins we use, such as milk and sugar!