With so much emphasis on skincare products and procedures that can minimize fine lines and prevent other signs of aging, like uneven skin and hyperpigmentation, we sometimes forget that beautiful skin starts from within. We may not be able to control all aspects of aging, but a healthy diet and the right foods can take you a long way towards achieving smoother, more hydrated, healthier, (and, yes, even younger looking) skin.
If your goal is to keep your skin as youthful and radiant as possible, there are certain foods you just should not eat. Here are the four worst foods for younger looking skin.
A sugary treat once in awhile is exactly that—a treat. But overdoing it when it comes to sugar can wreak havoc on your body and your skin. The way to keep your skin youthful is by encouraging new collagen and elastin growth; two proteins that are responsible for your skin's laxity and that can prevent sagging. But as we age, we naturally lose collagen. Unfortunately, cupcakes and ice-cream only hasten this loss.
"When people consume more sugar than their cells can synthesize excess sugar molecules bond with proteins and trigger a process that can affect the skin collagen (the protein that keeps the skin elastic and youthful)." reports Lifegate.
Stick to the occasional dessert and consider swapping foods like sugary cereals with steel-cut oats.
2. Red Meat
Like dessert, there's little wrong with eating red meat once in a while. But a diet heavy in red meat, especially processed meats like bacon, cold cuts, and hot dogs, is aging on your skin.
"Many of these meats have sulfites and other preservatives, which can trigger inflammation in the skin, and accelerate the appearance of aging," says Dr. Ariel Ostad, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, told Health.
3. Salty Foods
The next time you sit down to dinner, don't pass the salt. Salty foods can be extremely aging, not just long-term (they can cause high blood pressure, which depletes collagen), but also in the short term because, hello, puffy eyes.
Salt causes you to retain water, which can cause swelling in the thin skin around your eyes, Dr. Neal B. Schultz, a dermatologist in New York City, told Shape magazine. "These effects of salt are definitely age-related," he said.
You can probably get away with one pina colada by the pool every so often, but drinking alcohol regularly is dehydrating and taxing on your skin for a variety of reasons.
"When your liver is functioning well, toxins that could potentially affect the skin are expelled naturally through your body," Dr. Ostad told Health. "But if toxins build up in your liver, and aren't broken down properly, your skin can develop a variety of issues, like acne, sallowness, and wrinkles."
If you are having a few drinks, be sure to also include plenty of glasses of water in between to stay hydrated.
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