Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin

The old saying goes “you are what you eat” and your skin is the body’s largest organ. Think the saying stands corrected? It sure does!

The food choices you make have a direct effect on the overall health of your skin. We know that making healthy choices isn’t always easy. We are all tempted by good foods every now and then. The best thing you can do is make a majority of your food choices DO’s instead of DON’T’s.

Food Don’ts
1. Avoid excess sugar and other carbs. Your body metabolizes simple carbohydrates like those found in potato chips and white bread converting them to glucose. After conversion, they can adhere to proteins like collagen and impair their function. Extra sugar in your diet can also damage elastin, the protein that keeps skin flexible and resilient.

2. Dairy can be a problem. “This is especially true for those who are prone to acne,” stated Dr. Matthew Fanelli, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology. “Dairy products contain hormones related to testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, leading to clogged pores and pimples. Rather than adding dairy milk to your coffee or bowl of cereal, use a non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk, instead. If you think that your skin problems are a direct result of dairy intake, try eliminating dairy for at least 30 days and see how your skin responds.”

3. Don’t overindulge on alcohol. “Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can trigger a flare of a number of underlying skin conditions, such as psoriasis, acne, and rosacea. It can also dehydrate the skin, causing it to look flaky, dry, and dull,” noted Dr. Fanelli. “Limit yourself to one or two glasses of red, drink plenty of water, and leave the extra calories behind.”

4. Avoid Salty Foods: Eating lots of salty foods leads to excess fluid retention in the skin, creating a “puffy look”. Look for foods that are lower in sodium and refrain from adding additional salt while at the table.

Food Do’s
1. Include healthy fats in your diet. Olive oil, for example, is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce signs of aging.

2. Load up on leafy greens. Foods such as kale and spinach contain Vitamin A, which is essential for keeping
skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

3. Enjoy some soy. The isoflavones in soy can help stop collagen breakdown, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Adding soy to your diet can result in skin with fewer fine lines and improved elasticity.

4. Try some kiwi. This fruit is packed with vitamin C, which stimulates collagen synthesis, keeping skin taught and free of fine lines. Vitamin C also fights free radicals that can damage cells, resulting in skin that is less dry and with less noticeable wrinkles.

5. Consume more carotenoids. People who eat greater amounts of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables, like carrots and pumpkin, have more yellow tones in their skin, which gives their complexion a healthy, natural glow.

Skin Struggles?
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a location near you today.