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Food for thought: Top foods that mess with your skin

Food for thought: Top foods that mess with your skin

What foods do you avoid for clear skin?

Food for thought: Top foods that mess with your 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 plays 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.


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.


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.

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