If you’ve ever had skin problems you know that there’s no magical cream or ointment that will make them go away after you apply some on your face. Skin problems are caused by a variety of factors like weakened immune system, lack of sleep, toxins, as well as what we eat and drink. You’ve probably heard that caffeine, chocolate, fatty and fried foods can cause acne and breakouts, but the truth is they are not the only culprits to watch out for. In fact, there are foods that are much more dangerous to our skin than all of the above mentioned ones. Here’s a list of 10 foods that trigger skin problems.
Refined grains and sugars
There’s hardly anything worse for your skin than products that contain refined carbohydrates. Sweet sodas, juices, and most of the drinks you find in a store contain refined sugars that, when consumed on a regular basis, cause acne and breakouts. You should also be aware that everything made with white flour is just as bad! Not only should you be careful with bread, crackers, pastries, and pasta, but stay away from white rice as well. People who consume refined carbs have a 30% greater risk of developing skin problems than people who don’t eat those products.
Soy used to be one of the ‘good guys’, but right now around 90% of the world’s soy crops are genetically modified, so you can’t even be sure that what you’re eating is soy and not some GMO monstrosity. Phytoestrogens that are found in soy mimic the work of your body’s own estrogens and can cause hormonal imbalance. That, of course, is no good for you skin!
Most experts agree that dairy may not be a direct cause of skin problems, but it certainly plays a vital part in your skin’s health. Milk is one of the many pro-inflammatory foods, which means if you have some existing skin problems and inflammations, it will definitely worsen them. You may not know it, but around 75% of the world population is lactose intolerant. This means you could be, too! If you’re sensitive to lactose, a sugar found in dairy, and you unknowingly consume it, this will cause a number of gut problems and inflammatory processes. Try giving up on milk to see if your skin feels better without it. Luckily, there are all kinds of yummies to replace it with – oatmeal milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
Salt is the main source of puffiness, if you ever wake up feeling like a plush toy with your face all swollen. Salt causes our bodies to retain water, which creates the whole swelling effect. You might not feel salt’s bad mojo in your 20s, but in your 30s it’s best to be careful and not to consume anything extra salty in the evening as scientists confirm that the effects of salt are age-related.
Fast food is a no-brainer, really. There’s literally nothing good about standard fast foods apart from the fact that they are, well, fast. Deep fried fast foods are loaded with trans-fats and too many omega-6 fatty acids. While we do need omega-6s to be healthy, if we consume a lot of them and not enough omega-3s to balance their inflammatory effect, we’ll end up with a whole bunch of skin problems. Omega-3s are natural antioxidants and can be found in all kinds of fish and seafood. You may argue that fast foods are prepared using vegetable oils, but the tricky thing is that all these harmless veg oils can really damage your health if exposed to high temperature, which is generally the case in fast food restaurants. If you need to eat on the go opt for smoothies, nuts, healthy protein bars, as well as fresh fruits and veggies.
Alcohol is the worst when it comes to keeping your skin young and healthy. It ages your skin, increases blood sugar levels as it is packed with sugar, and dehydrates your whole body, taking away all that moisture that keeps our skin fresh and glowing. There’s no real substitute for alcohol, so we can only advise you to stay hydrated by drinking coconut and lemon water.
Processed meats (yes, we’re talking about bacon here!) contain high levels of sodium and by now you already know that too much salt is a no-no if you want to keep your skin healthy. Processed meats cause water retention, which makes our faces swollen and puffy. These meats also contain lots of preservatives, some of which break down collagen, and without it skin starts to age at an incredible rate. Go for organic meats instead!
No one is sure why exactly, but if you have some existing skin conditions, eating spicy foods will most definitely worsen them. Experts connect inflammatory skin problems with excess heat in the body and, naturally, spicy foods will make that heat level even higher. If you want to add more flavour to your food, go for herbal spices instead.
As much as we’d like to skip this one, but coffee is also one of the ‘bad guys’ when it comes to skin health. If one day you wake with a monstrous zit on your face, take a step back and remember just how many cups of coffee you drank the other day. And was it a stressful day, as well? We tend to drink more coffee in order to meet deadlines and do more work, but the drawbacks are quite horrifying. Stress, coffee, and sugar all combined together are a perfect recipe for skin problems. Caffeine also causes inflammation by raising your cortisol levels. It is wise to be more versatile with your drinks – for example, green tea is also high in caffeine, but it is packed with antioxidants which makes it a super healthy substitute.
Nothing can quite compare to a bite of chocolate, but it is also true that chocolate causes skin problems. If we take milk chocolate, for example, we’ll see that it contains not only milk, but a considerable amount of sugar as well. If you’ve tried cocoa beans you know that they are quite bitter and are much healthier in general. A bite of chocolate sends our brains into heaven by releasing a number of pleasurable chemicals, but it produces acne-causing chemicals as well. If you can’t imagine your life without chocolate, go for a darker type that has less sugar and no milk in it. It is also packed with antioxidants!