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Ditch These Foods from Your Diet if You Want Glowing Skin

It’s no secret that we are what we eat. Whilst hormonal imbalances, environmental factors and harsh chemicals, as well as low-quality skincare can have adverse effects on our skin, diet and nutrition play a huge role in how our skin functions.

As our pores, whatever size they may be, act as natural passages through which toxins are secreted, it is important to help them along as much as possible.

We all know what we should be eating more of (leafy greens, good fats, nutrient-dense superfoods and plenty of water) but what about the foods we should be avoiding?

Here are the top four inflammatory foods to avoid if you are wanting to turn around your luck in the skin department.

High Glycemic Foods

Foods that contain high glycemic indexes, such as white bread, pasta, pastry, cereal and white rice, are considered to be detrimental to skin health, as well as many other things. The high glycemic index in these foods converts to sugar, and does so rapidly, which causes unwanted spikes in blood sugar – an unwanted reaction.

Surely a quick spike in blood sugar isn’t too bad right? Well, the spikes can lead to inflammation in the long term and acceleration of the ageing process due to the decrease of collagen and elastin as a result of continued inflammation.

By simply swapping your starchy carb intake for whole-grains and lower-glycemic foods such as brown rice, quinoa or sweet potato, you can decrease inflammation and improve your skin’s elasticity.

Dairy 

Experts have continuously pointed to dairy as a problem spot for bad skin. Some say that various components in cow-milk products contain testosterone boosting hormones that can send our sebaceous glands into overdrive. If you’re not ready to commit to a completely dairy-free diet and swap over to plant or nut-based ‘milks’, try a different type of dairy – either goat or sheep, and see what it does to your complexion. Removing dairy, especially non-organic dairy, from your diet is a great place to start if you’re looking for an answer to your skin woes.

Deep Fried Foods

It’s a no-brainer that fried foods aren’t good for you, but the compounds created when foods are cooked in oil at a high temperature have been known to cause inflammation and dullness in complexion. By frying foods you are left with advanced glycation end products, or oxidised saturated fats. These are in no way ‘good fats’ and act to inhibit cellular renewal and can leave your skin dull and swollen. Feed your skin with good fats found in walnuts, avocados and cold water fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon.

Caffeine

As a diuretic, caffeine found in coffee can dry out our skin and decrease the vibrancy of our complexion. When you consume caffeine it also puts stress on our adrenaline glands which can lead to excess oil production.

Try limiting your coffee consumption and swapping our your afternoon coffee for a green tea. It still contains the same amount of caffeine but your body will benefit from the catechins and polyphenols present in the powerful antioxidant. The antimicrobial properties in green tea will also help to detoxify your skin cells and clear clogged pores.

Want more tips on how to get the most out of your skin? Read 9 tips your naturopath wants you to know about flawless skin.

There’s More to Great Skin Than Your Age

Want radiant, healthy skin? According to the skincare experts, it’s time to stop thinking about your age.

Investing in a new skincare routine can be tricky business thanks to the sheer number of skincare options available these days. Picking out a range that’s marketed at your age group might seem like the obvious approach, but if you want to target specific skin concerns, buying skincare that caters for a certain age group isn’t going to guarantee results.

Yesteryear’s one-size-fits-all approach to skincare has well and truly made way for a bespoke approach to skincare explains skin expert Tracy May-Harriott. “Our ‘skin’ age is no longer our ‘chronological’ age,” she explains. Best-selling author and beauty myth-buster Paula Begoun agrees and says that while you can buy effective skincare at any age, age has nothing to do with what products you buy. “That’s because age is not a skin type,” she explains. “The truth is in beauty, is that someone at age 50 or 60 can have the same complexion as someone in their 20s.”

Begoun uses herself as a classic example: at the age of 65, beauty industry standards would traditionally sell her skincare products based on anti-ageing. “But I still struggle with oily skin, clogged pores and the occasional breakouts, plus signs of ageing,” she explains. “Creams and lotions just make it worse,” she says.

Age Really is Just a Number

Thanks to our modern lifestyles, age has just become a number where skincare is concerned. Begoun explains that there’s a whole host of factors that contribute to how healthy and resilient skin is. “Heredity, skin disorders like acne and rosacea, oily skin, dry skin; lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating healthy; how much sun damage someone has accumulated and how someone takes care of their skin, in general, all add up to your skin type and the problems you’ll see (or not),” she says.

Instead of worrying about which products you should be using at a certain age, May-Harriott says the way to go is investing in skincare for your skin type that targets your concerns regardless of your age. If you’re unsure of your skin type or what products to use for certain concerns, May-Harriott suggests visiting a professional for the correct guidance. “They are trained to ask the correct questions during a skin analysis to help you on your way to an ideal routine based upon your individual needs and requirements,” she says.

“Always start slow, go slow with a new skincare routine and don’t do too much too soon to really find products suitable for you,” May-Harriott adds that prevention is always better than treating problems as they arise. “You need to take into consideration that regardless of age the sooner you start to protect and prevent problems, the better,” she says. “Often, we wait until we see problems before we take more care of it. Have a good basic, protective skincare routine from an early age and you will age more gracefully for your years.

Take a look at some of our favourite must-have skincare for all ages in the gallery below.