You know the saying “beauty is skin deep?” Turns out, it’s true. If you are looking for lasting beauty, then what goes into your body is just as important (if not more so) as to what you put on it. And much of what you’re eating could be causing skin damage.
Below are some common skin problems and their underlying destroyers. You may want to avoid reaching for these foods (and drinks) at your next meal.
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Skin Damage Signals: Are You Suffering From Pasty Skin, Dark Circles and/or Acne?
When you look in the mirror, do you notice fine lines and wrinkles on your face? Maybe thinning skin as well? Sugar is to blame for this form of skin damage. Sugary foods and beverages are incredibly taxing to your liver, causing inflammatory changes and collagen breakdown.
Sugar may also be the culprit if you have any acne as well. Sugar over-stimulates the sebaceous glands and can trigger excess oil production, which in turn can cause acne. Refined sugar can also contribute to blood sugar imbalances, which can worsen symptoms of anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to breakouts.
If your skin appears pasty and there are pronounced dark circles under your eyes, you should start avoiding any products that contain refined sugar. Due to its vasoconstrictive effects, refined sugar causes decreased circulation to the skin.
Next time you go in for that second piece of cake or scoop of ice cream, ask yourself if it’s really worth all the wrinkles, saggy pale skin and acne.
Is Your Skin Puffy, Red and Splotchy?
If you observe any puffiness, redness and/or dark splotches around your chin, gluten is at fault for this type of skin damage. Your skin is an organ, just like your heart and lungs. If something is affecting your internal organs, it will affect your skin as well. This is especially true with gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat (as well as rye and barley) and is part of the lectin family. Lectins help protect plants from pathogens by attaching themselves to the invaders’ sugar molecules.
However, when you eat lectins and/or gluten, these proteins attach to the sugar molecules in your cells, upsetting your immune and digestive systems, as lectins and gluten can be difficult for your body to break down, absorb, and assimilate.
As a result, gluten also triggers inflammation, in large part due to its negative impact on your liver. As with sugar, when your liver is impaired and cannot fully detoxify certain compounds of your diet (like gluten), toxic byproducts will accumulate in your body.
Over time, this maltreatment takes its toll on the liver, resulting in damage to the liver cells, which in turns manifests as inflammation in your skin.
So you may want to begin substituting your morning bagel for a more nutritious option.
Do You Have Acne and Age Spots?
If you are suffering from breakouts, eczema and/or boils, dairy might be on the attack. Dairy products trigger both free radical damage and inflammation due its high saturated fat content. Saturated fat can lead to breakouts as well as age spots.
According to Chinese medicine, these foods congest the liver, blocking the chi (or energy) and preventing the liver from purifying the blood. This congestion leads to skin lesions such as acne, eczema and boils.
Dairy also contains high levels of the highly inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid. It is synthesized in the body and is directly influenced by the type of fats consumed, i.e. saturated fat.
Swollen eyes/eyelids, dark circles under your eyes, whiteheads and age spots are common side effects of consuming too much cheese. Cheese is the worst dairy offender due to its inflammatory triggers.
Is all that really worth the brie?
Are You Victim to Dark Circles, Puffiness and Acne?
Breakouts, dark circles, sluggish skin and puffiness are all reactions to consuming fast food and foods high in fat content. These side effects are similar to intaking too much dairy. However, while you at least get some calcium and protein with dairy, fatty foods offer nothing other than free radical damage and inflammation.
Steer clear of foods like potato chips, french fries, greasy burgers, and fried, well, anything. These foods are high in saturated fat content which means wreckage to your skin.
It’s time to start substituting the fries for a side salad and save your body from skin damage.
Do You Notice Wrinkles and Dry Skin?
If you’re suffering from dry skin, pronounced fine lines and wrinkles, as well as bloating and reddening of the nose and cheeks, you may want to start skipping that glass of wine with dinner. These side effects are the result of dehydration from drinking too much alcohol.
Alcohol is extremely taxing to the liver and can result in rampant inflammation. Consuming too much alcohol impairs your liver’s ability to detoxify the alcohol and break down female hormones, thereby resulting in elevated estrogen levels. This can result in acne and even mood swings.
So if you enjoy your nightly glass (or two) of wine, you may want to rethink your means of stress relief.
The key is to limit your intake of these foods and drinks, looking for alternatives whenever possible. Your skin will thank you by glowing, smoothing, and defying aging at the cellular level. Plus, you’ll likely find that your waistline will shrink and your overall health will improve.
This means better health and a more youthful appearance from the inside out. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll look great too. Now that’s true anti-aging!
Kimberly Day has spent the past 15 years uncovering natural and alternative health solutions. She was the managing editor for several of the world’s largest health newsletters including those from Dr. Susan Lark, Dr. Julian Whittaker and Dr. Stephen Sinatra. She has also penned several health-related newsletter and magazine articles, co-authored the book the Hormone Revolution with Dr. Susan Lark, contributed articles to Lance Armstrong’s consumer site livestrong.com, and created a number of health-related websites and blogs.
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