Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Marty S.
As we get older, we start to become more acutely aware of how our bodies react to certain foods. For some people, something as simple as french fries can go straight to their thighs. We should all be more cognizant of the food in our diet, especially since what we eat can change the look of our skin. There are some foods, for example, that can cause us to age faster than normal. They may be tasty, but our skin tells a different story; certain foods can make early aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, more likely to occur.
Here are 5 foods you must avoid because they can cause early aging. These foods, in particular, are the bane of youthful, glowing skin. You don’t have to cut these foods out of your life forever, but you should definitely look for healthier, organic alternatives of your favorite foods as well as practice moderation.
1. Coffee Can Severely Dehydrate Your Skin
There are some days when we want to smile like no one’s watching, not just because we’re so happy but also because we don’t want anyone to see the condition of our teeth. Yellow or stained teeth can put a damper on a youthful appearance since they are often a sign of illness or poor hygiene, even when that may not be the case for you at all. If you drink a lot of coffee regularly, you may have noticed that your teeth aren’t as bright and white as they could be; the reason why is that coffee is an acidic beverage and it is slowly eroding your enamel.
Coffee can also age your body and skin prematurely because of two reasons. First, caffeine is dehydrating. If there is less moisture in your body, your skin will look much older than it currently is; your skin will be more predisposed to lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Second, coffee can overwork your adrenal glands, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Normally, when you drink coffee, your adrenal glands start to release cortisol. However, if you drink a lot of coffee, your body may not be able to produce enough cortisol, causing adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue has several negative side effects on your skin, including dullness, dryness, wrinkles, or acne.
To counteract both of these harmful effects, simply drink a glass of water after you finish drinking your coffee. Not only will you wash away the coffee in your mouth, you will also hydrate yourself internally.
"Ever since I started using these products, I started to see a vast improvement [in] my skin. It looked… healthier, more vibrant, more color[ful]."
2. Sugar Can Lead to More Lines & Wrinkles
Collagen and elastin are two proteins that are necessary for youthful skin. They naturally degrade over time, but consuming excess sugar in your diet can result in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) forming in your body, which can severely impact collagen production and cause collagen and elastin to break down. This can result in early sagging skin and wrinkles. Besides that, a lot of sugar in your diet can lead to more acne breakouts. Your body produces more of its natural oils such as sebum when a lot of sugar is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Too much sebum clogs your pores and allows acne-causing bacteria to grow and generate pimples. (If you want to know other foods that can cause acne breakouts, click here.)
Furthermore, too much sugar in your diet can have a negative impact on your teeth. Sugar has a tendency to stick to your teeth, attracting bacteria that are responsible for cavities, plaque, and tooth decay.
Thus, if you genuinely desire youthful skin, you should lower your sugar consumption and try to avoid high fructose corn syrup as well as sugar-loaded food such as candy, baked goods, and pastries. If you really need sugar for a particular recipe you’re making, opt for brown sugar instead.
3. Alcohol Can Increase the Amount of Toxins in Your Body
While a glass or two of red wine can provide some health benefits for your heart, too much alcohol can lead to more lines and wrinkles. There are four reasons for this. First,
alcohol is dehydrating so drinking a lot can drain a lot of moisture from your body and skin. Second, alcohol inhibits Vitamin A levels in your body, as well as Vitamin B and Vitamin C; all three of these vitamins promote the health of your skin and Vitamins A & C are great antioxidants. Third, excess alcohol impairs the health of your liver, which is responsible for detoxifying your body and skin. When there are a lot of toxins in your skin, they can harm your healthy skin cells and cause early aging. Finally, drinking a lot of alcohol can affect your sleep schedule; if you don’t get a good night’s sleep your skin is more prone to skin issues such as hyperpigmentation and dark under-eye circles.
Therefore, you should try to limit your alcohol consumption, especially sugary drinks and white wine. The one-two punch of alcohol and sugar in the former can be devastating to the health of your skin, while the latter can also erode the enamel of your teeth. You should also avoid food that was made with alcohol, such as flambéed food, since all of the alcohol may not have been burned off. If you do choose to drink in moderation, try to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
If you want to reduce the number of toxins in your body, watch this video to learn how to create an antioxidant-rich face mask. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
4. Fast Food Can Result in Early Aging
Trans fats are definitely what you should be avoiding in your diet, whether you are serious about youthful skin or not. These dangerous fats can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart attacks, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. With regards to our skin, trans fats increase inflammation in our body as well as can make our skin more susceptible to UV damage. This double whammy is not good for our skin and it can cause more lines and wrinkles to appear. One of the biggest culprits of trans fats? Fast food, since a lot of restaurants use partially hydrogenated oils (a clear sign of trans fats) in their cooking. Those french fries may seem like a quick and tasty meal, but the trans fats potentially in them (as well as the saturated fats, salt, sugar, and oils also used to make them) should be enough to discourage you from taking another bite. Cooking your own food is more of a chore than fast food, but at least you can control what goes into your food and try to eat something that is guaranteed to be fresh and organic.
5. Dairy Can Cause Inflammation in Your Skin
Dairy products like milk and cheese may be able to boast both Vitamin D and calcium, but many dairy products on the market have a lot of fat and sugars, and regular consumption of such products can lead to weight gain and poor skin. Plus, many people are sensitive to dairy without even knowing it. This sensitivity can cause acne, rosacea, and inflammation to more regularly. There are other ways of getting these two nutrients without consuming dairy, for instance, almond milk, and your skin will thank you for it.
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Go natural. It is good karma!