If you’re reasonably skin-savvy, you probably know that the foods you eat can definitely impact the quality of your skin. But even armed with this knowledge, it can be hard to navigate the world of nutrition effectively, as the do’s and don’ts can start to feel overwhelmingly complex. Thankfully, we’ve got your back, as we’re about to go through a simple, short and sweet, easy to remember list of food ingredients to avoid. Just take a quick look at the list, skin the ingredients list of any food you’re getting, and you’re golden!
This includes types of sugar that masquerade under a different name and aren’t required to be labeled as “sugar.” To be fair, there’s a legitimate reason for this; molecularly, they are not the same thing. In fact, sugars are a diverse type of molecule in the carbohydrate family that includes sucrose, glucose, maltose, and lactose, to name just a few. That said, all sugar ultimately gets processed by our bodies into glucose, so most sugars have the same effect on us regardless (with some exceptions). To avoid sugars in your foods, look for “sugar,” “high fructose corn syrup,” “corn syrup,” etc, and keep in mind that ingredients which contain sugar do not have to list this fact in many cases. Really, the nutrition facts panel is the most reliable here; just see how many grams, if any, of sugars are in your food.
Sugar is dehydrating, and too much of it can cause weight gain, both of which will show in your face, not to mention your general health. You do need a little of it in your diet, but you usually meet your requirement easily without adding any for no good reason.
Alcohol in moderation is okay. If you’re having a glass of wine once a night, that’s fine; what we’re talking about is what happens if you overdo it. Not only can over-consumption of alcohol be incredibly habit-forming, potentially leading to full blown alcoholism and destroying your liver (you kind of need that thing, by the way), but even just overdoing it a little can risk dehydrating yourself. This is dangerous to your overall health, and will also manifest on your skin in the form of dull, rough, scratchy skin.
Sodium is most commonly consumed through sodium chloride, aka table salt, but you can get it from other sources too, like soy sauce. A small amount of sodium is necessary for proper cardiovascular function, but too much can cause high blood pressure, in addition to promoting fluid retention, which can make your skin look puffy and unflattering. The flip-side is, if you cut back on sodium intake, you may notice you loose a lot of “water weight,” that was being retained in body salts.
This is a broad catch-all category that includes such things as pre-packaged foods, fast food, instant foods, etc, etc. Basically, if it comes in a box and requires little work to prepare, there’s a chance it’s over-processed.
Of course, this isn’t automatically a bad thing. It really depends. The effects of food additives in processed foods are still being studied, and we can’t say anything definitive yet. So you’re probably fine indulging now and then, but just don’t overdo it if you want to play it safe.