We are all guilty of spending a fortune on the latest skincare products in the hope that they will give us perfect skin and help us never to have to worry about breakouts again. However, unfortunately, the underlying reasons as to why we’re experiencing lousy skin is often due to our very own doing, we’re simply eating the wrong foods and our skins making us pay for it!
Many different superfoods are promised to detox the skin and achieve a rejuvenated, glowing look. Along with beneficial foods are many damaging foods to avoid for good skin – you’d be surprised how many of your everyday meals are dramatically contributing to breakouts!
Top Foods To Avoid For Good Skin
There is no denying that your skin won’t be thanking you for eating treats such as chocolate, fast foods and fizzy drinks, we’re all aware of their high rates of salt and sugar. Spots seem to appear overnight, which can be incredibly frustrating. Nowadays, it’s less about how to get rid of spots and more about how you can avoid breakouts in the first place.
There are many different foods that many of us are unaware are doing more harm than good, so we’ve devised a list of the top 10 foods to avoid if you want to achieve skin perfection!
1. Processed Meats
Processed meat is any form of meat that has been altered to better the taste or to extend its shelf life. Just some of the many processed meat variations include smoked bacon, salami, hot dogs and corned beef. Processed meats are packed with sodium which is a form of salt. Sodium attaches to the water within your body, which is why salty foods make you feel so thirsty after eating. The increased amount of salt intake due to processed meats dehydrate the skin causing itchiness, dullness and sensitivity.
For more information on dehydrated skin and how to resolve the issue, take a look at our previous article titled 5 Simple Signs Of Dehydrated Skin.
Shellfish such as crab, lobster and scampi contain high levels of iodine. Iodine won’t cause an immediate breakout; however over time, if you suffer from acne or have particularly sensitive skin, it will cause you to break out because iodine causes blocks pores. Try to limit the amount of shellfish you eat if you struggle with your skin, once every now and again would benefit your skin or opt for seafood instead.
3. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are often thought of as a healthy snack, which although they are low in calories, it may surprise you to find out that they can have a negative impact on your skin. Inside rice cakes is are carbohydrates, which once in the body, are converted into sugar. Sugar then turns into glucose which starts to damage the collagen in the skin. Collagen is the critical component to maintaining youthful, wrinkle-free skin and avoiding fine lines suddenly appearing. If you’re experiencing fine lines and wrinkles, we suggest booking in for a GeneO+ facial.
Although what is known as ‘healthy fats’ are better for your body compared to those found in fast foods, they can still be damaging towards the body as they are not all made with equally as rewarding benefits. Trans fats are found in margarine, which is just about the worst type of ‘healthy fat’ you can find. Trans fats are one of the biggest culprits for causing dehydrated skin, similarly to the effects of processed meats.
Although caffeine isn’t necessarily a ‘food’, many people rely on their morning cup of coffee to start the day off correctly, which although is okay at first, starts to affect your skin if you consistently are dependent on a caffeine top-up throughout the day. Coffee is most commonly used to make you feel more alert and awake, but at the same time contributes to an increase in stress, therefore boosting your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone in your body, which dramatically increased the likelihood of a major breakout.
Luckily, you do not necessarily have to cut coffee out of your diet completely, but be sure to ensure that you also drink your daily intake of water to maintain an even balance.
6. Shop Brought Smoothies
Imagine you’re in a shop deciding on your chosen drink, surely if you opt for a fruit smoothie it’s more healthy, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. Smoothies are one of the biggest culprits for hidden sugars, especially if they are shop brought. Retailers may say that they are selling a superfood smoothie and while they do include the fruited listed, often extra ingredients such as yoghurt, sweetener and sometimes even sherbert are added to enhance the flavour. Your healthy smoothie can sometimes end up having just as much sugar as if you were to opt for a fizzy drink.
If you are a smoothie lover, but unsure whether to trust the ‘healthy’ ingredients in shop brought concoctions, why not invest in a smoothie maker and create your own. It means you can control exactly what goes in and especially create them to your taste buds. For some yummy recipes, take a look at this Prevention article for 28 easy recipes!
7. Canned Soup
You can never beat a delicious bowl of soup paired with fresh bread to warm you up on a cold day. Although not all canned soup is bad for your health, you must keep an eye out for the level of sodium. Try always to keep sodium levels under 350mg as excess sodium in the body causes your face to become puffy. Sodium in the right amount is highly beneficial to the body, it is a nutrient that helps to keep your body fluid level balanced, but should you exceed the recommended limit of sodium, you become at risk to water retention. Therefore causing puffiness and bloating, particularly around the eyes, as well as increasing the risk of an acne breakout due to a high salt intake.
As much as we hate to break it to you, opting for a healthy cereal to start your day over an English breakfast or slice of toast may be just as unhealthy. Although ‘healthy’ cereals do have a lower level of fat and are made with whole grain ingredients, they will most likely be packed with sugar and include a high level of glucose. Sugar, as we know, is terrible for the skin, but foods with a high glycemic index also increase your blood sugar and insulin levels. A high level of insulin in the body results in high hormone levels, making you more likely to wake up with spots and blemishes.
9. Agave Nectar
Agave nectar may be an ingredient you are less familiar with, but is often used in foods as a ‘healthy’ alternative to sugar, however research shows, it is in fact just as harmful. There pros and cons to agave nectar, on the plus side, it has a low level of glucose, yet, makes up for it in the extremely high levels of fructose. Fructose goes straight to the liver, which then not only turns it into fat but also starts to break down collagen reproduction. We suggest swapping agave nectar for fresh, natural honey.
According to the Daily Mail, eating one packet of crisps a day is the equivalent of driving five litres of cooking oil. Too much oil in the skin is one of the leading causes of acne as the oil builds up in the pores, which we know makes you more likely to get spots. If you’re guilty of opting for a packet of crisps as your ‘go-to’ snack, we suggest reaching for a handful of mixed nuts instead or alternatively, take a look at this Reader’s Digest article for 30 healthy snack ideas!
Be Kind To Your Skin
Although suffering from acne and other skin conditions cannot be entirely resolved through a change in diet, there are many foods that you may be unaware are making your skin considerably harder to control. Along with a healthier diet, take good care of your skin and ensure that you keep your pores unclogged. Why not treat yourself to a visit to our award-winning beauty clinic in Milton Keynes for a specialist facial?