The state of our skin is essentially a reflection of what goes on inside. Balanced diet & nutrition, regular exercise, and ample rest all factor into how smooth, radiant and youthful our skin looks. The best ways to address beauty concerns like aging is to nip the problem in the bud. Address your health first. Topical treatments, no matter how potent or groundbreaking the ingredients are, typically only work on the surface level. It’s our lifestyle choices that will ultimately determine how we look and how beautifully we age. Let’s take a look at how your next meal or drink selection could be accelerating your wrinkle production and hitting the fast forward button on that inevitable aging game.
Here are a few food and beverage selections to be mindful of or simply just avoid.
COFFEE. You might rely on your morning cup of Joe to wake you up, but it’s important to have a glass of water too. Caffeine can dehydrate skin, which accentuates the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Adding cream and sugar could also damage the formation of collagen.
SUGAR. Surprise, surprise! Tossing back a candy bar or bowl of ice cream is not ideal for the aging process. To understand how sugar can lead to older-looking skin, it’s important to consider the two proteins that keep skin looking fresh and youthful: collagen and elastin. Anything that interferes with these proteins is going to have a negative effect—and sugar is the prime villain. As sugar is digested, it leaves behind debris known as advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. Over time, these AGEs build up and attach themselves to collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging.
CHARRED MEAT. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), charring meat, poultry and fish can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), carcinogens that may cause cancer. These inflammatory hydrocarbons can break down your skin’s precious collagen. Scrape it off with your fork or opt for other preparation methods.
ALCOHOL. So, we all know that no one looks their best the morning after excessive imbibing. But the effects of alcohol on your liver are far more harmful. When toxins build up in your liver and are unable to be broken down properly, your skin can develop a variety of issues, like acne, sallowness, and wrinkles.
SALTY FOODS. Anything with a high amount of sodium—think cured meats, soups, and potato chips—are going to dry out your skin. Excess salt in the body draws more fluid out of the cells, as a result, your skin gets drier and that could lead to a wrinkled look—the opposite of the fresh, dewy skin we are all seeking!
PROCESSED CARBS. As you’ve all heard again and again, carbohydrates are converted into pure sugar. For that reason, they boost AGEs and weaken the integrity of your skin’s collagen and elastin. However, that doesn’t mean all carbs have to go. Whole & sprouted grains, fruits, and vegetables should be a mainstay in our diets, with the consideration of food sensitivities or allergies. It’s the white bread, pastries, and breakfast cereals that gotta go!