I think a lot about food - skincare and food. That's about it.
All joking aside, I do think a lot about food and since I own a skincare company and a botanical farm it just makes sense that a lot of my food thoughts drift to what food does to support skin health and which foods can cause issues.
Unfortunately some of my favorite foods are not that great for skin health. Before considering foods to include for skin health, we must also be aware of foods that can disrupt skin health. Here are some of the major skin issue culprits.
FOODS TO ENJOY IN MODERATION:
Alcohol: While a little alcohol is fine, too much of a good thing can leave a serious imprint on your beauty glow. Alcohol disrupts your body’s hormonal balance. By causing disruption to your liver processes, alcohol deprives your skin of blood flow that delivers a glow to skin.
Over-imbibing can leave skin dull, lackluster, or flushed with broken capillaries. Alcohol also has a high sugar content, contributing to the disruption of collagen, causing wrinkles and age spots.
Dairy: Now don't get me wrong - I'm a Wisconsin Cheesehead all the way to my very cheesy heart, but the truth is milk products can wreak havoc on some skin types.
I cannot count how many parents have come to me deeply concerned about their teen's acne. One of the first recommendations I make is to remove all dairy for several weeks to see if there is any improvement. I know that is not an easy thing to do with a teen but many of our customers have come back to report this solved the issue.
Milk consumption may fuel acne by causing a 10 to 20 percent increase in a key oil-producing hormone in the human body. Many non-organic dairy products contain antibiotics and added hormones that can spike insulin in the body, leading to breakouts.
The hormones found in non-organic dairy products are strong enough to disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance when a regular part of your diet. Dairy is also a food that can commonly cause intolerance.
The protein (casein) and sugar (lactose) in milk can cause bloating and gas, along with other digestive issues that prevent your body from breaking down and assimilating the essential nutrients found in your beauty foods.
Dairy products are also acidic to the human body. Choose organic dairy products from grass-fed animals to minimize hormonal intake and opt for goat or sheep cheese to aide digestion.
Fried Foods: Oh, how I love fried foods (sigh). Unfortunately for me, oils that are heated to a high temperature for frying become major sources of free radicals that cause cellular damage to skin. Free radicals cause age spots, inflammation, wrinkles, and head-to-toe beauty issues. Choose fried foods in moderation, opt for steamed, baked, and raw as much as possible.
Overcooked/Burned Foods: I know...I know....our grill is running on overtime all Summer too but be careful to avoid charred foods. Overcooked and/or burned foods retain less of the nutrients essential for your skin "glow" and can create wrinkle-causing Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) to form in your body.
AGEs can stimulate the formation of wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin along with inflammation and weight gain. Avoid charred meats or meats cooked with dry, high temperature cooking methods as these meats are prone to forming AGEs. Charred vegetables can also form AGEs to a lesser degree.
Soda (Pop): High levels of phosphorus found in soda have been linked to accelerated aging, skin atrophy (which shows up as thinning, wrinkling skin), tooth enamel decay, and bone loss. The caramel color found in colas is a direct source of AGE (Advanced Glycation End Products) formation, accelerating the aging, wrinkle-causing process.
Sugar: Sugar is to inflammation as kerosene is to a fire - sugar ignites and fuels inflammation. Refined sugar is a major source of AGE formation in your body, breaking down collagen formation and curbing the production of anti-aging hormones in your body, causing wrinkles, acne, and a host of other beauty issues. Opt for alternative sweeteners as much as possible and save the refined sugar for special treats only.
I have the pleasure of talking to many of our customers. One question I get a lot of is, "I have this problem with my skin (or I'm seeing lots of wrinkles, age spots, etc.) but nothing seems to be helping me. What do you suggest?"
When I hear a customer has tried a wide variety of products and strategies with little results I know it's time to look deeper. Many times diet can be at the root of skin issues. This is an often overlooked yet easy-to-remedy cause of wrinkles, lackluster skin, broken capillaries, and age spots as well as acne.
I know it's hard to make dietary changes. I've been on a diet for so many years I can't remember when I was "free range" anymore! But it's worth it and even though I battle my weight every single day, at 57 years old I'm really seeing the benefits of making positive food choices.
Part of self-care is feeding our body foods that promote vibrant health so we can enjoy our lives to their fullest. When we feel good it radiates outward to all parts of our self-image and life.
Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog advice.