Food. It's the gives you life and makes everything better. You can’t live without it it. But just as certain foods ruin your figure, others will ruin your skin -- and, conversely, adopting a healthy skin diet can make all the difference.
Turns out, the food on your plate dictates how healthy your skin is, how young you look, and whether or not you have acne. Genes and other environmental factors play a part (ahem, the sun), but you'd be hard-pressed to find any dermatologist that wouldn't consider food a major factor your complexion.
Basically, whether you like it or not, what you feed your body dictates whether you have healthy skin or "problem" skin, so it's time to watch what you eat. Being food-conscious is officially not just important for helping you fit into your jeans. With that in mind, there are proven ingredients that clear up even the worst of problem skin and ones that can help prevent your cells from aging prematurely. Here’s a few of them:
Most sugary desserts, like cookies, cake and beloved ice cream, are packed with sugar, but you should think twice before digging into that slice of pie.
"Eating tons of sugar forms advanced glycation end products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs), which cause protein fibers in the body to become stiff and malformed," says Dendy Engelman, MD, board certified dermatologic surgeon and associate at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (she also works with the flawless Sofia Vergara).
Antioxidants are the bomb for your skin!
"Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, protecting your skin from environmental stressors like UV light, cigarette smoke and pollution," adds NYC-based dermatologist Whitney Bowe. They're commonly found in berries, chocolate, fruits and fresh veggies.
Foods that have a high glycemic index are the worst for skin, and have been associated with increased acne breakouts. That includes white bread and pasta, sadly enough. They trigger a sugar spike in your blood that leads to a cascade of hormones.
WORST: Don’t Drink Milk–You’re Not a Baby Cow
Milk has been linked with acne breakouts. The main culprits? The hormones and milk proteins found in milk, which can clog pores (one study even found that the hormones in milk can boost your oil production up by 60 percent!) and raise all of your inflammatory markers.
BEST: I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconut Milk (and Almond Milk)
They're dairy-free and low on the glycemic index. They stop that hormonal cascade from triggering breakouts by stabilizing your blood sugar. Almond milk is also high in protein, which helps keep your skin, hair and nails healthy and strong.