The Link Between Healthy Skin and a Healthy Diet

The Link Between Healthy Skin and a Healthy Diet

National Nutrition Month® reminds us that the old adage, “You are what you eat,” is true — everything you ingest either helps or harms your health. And that goes for your skin health, too. 

At Easton Dermatology Associates, we make sure our patients understand the link between a proper diet and healthy skin.

The relationship between your diet and your skin

You can do a lot to keep your skin healthy and glowing by simply paying attention to what’s in your diet. Here are a few ways 

Food and acne

Many myths and urban legends circulate about which foods cause acne breakouts. The reason it’s tough to separate fact from fiction is because diet affects individuals differently. Foods that cause a pimple to appear on your friend may not affect you at all, so we recommend tracking your diet to identify your triggers.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association has researched the relationship between foods and acne and discovered scientific links that may help you calm your breakouts.

High-glycemic diets lead to increased acne —  fast food, sugary pastries, white bread and rice, and junk foods such as potato chips and french fries. In comparison, a low-glycemic diet that’s full of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and steel-cut oats can have the reverse effect and reduce your acne problem.

Cow’s milk can also lead to acne breakouts. Ironically, cow’s milk is a low-glycemic food, so it’s an exception to the rule above. The AAD also found that just because a glass of milk may cause a breakout, it doesn’t mean you have to give up all dairy products. Yogurt and cheese, for example, don’t have the same effect.

Food and dry skin

These days, people are hyper-aware of the need for proper hydration, which is why the sales of reusable water containers have rocketed to more than $8.38 billion annually. They may not realize that drinking lots of water is one of the best things they can do for their skin.

Just like your other organs, your skin needs plenty of H2O to function properly. Every time you urinate or sweat, you lose precious ounces, and you end up with dry skin that’s vulnerable to pathogens. 

Lugging around a portable water tank isn’t the only way to get enough liquid. Many foods (melons, strawberries, oranges, etc.) have high water content and count toward your daily intake. Vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, iceberg and romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini all contain high water content and not only hydrate but nourish the body. But beware of water thieves — caffeine is a diuretic that robs your body of water.

Food and wrinkles

Age and sun exposure are the top two reasons for wrinkly skin. Both deplete your skin’s natural supply of essential proteins, namely collagen, responsible for tight, resilient skin.

You can replenish your collagen production by eating more healthy oils and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can find these good fats in fish like salmon, anchovies, and sardines. Or in walnuts or seeds such as chia, sesame, hemp, flax, and sunflower, oils made from these seeds are rich in omega-3.

One study even revealed a link between omega-3 fatty acids and a reduction in acne. 

Food and cancer

Squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas are the two most common types of skin cancer, affecting about 5.4 million Americans every year. The main cause is unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. 

Although we strongly recommend avoiding the sun at the hottest part of the day and wearing and reapplying sunscreen regularly, you can protect your skin even more by incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. 

A healthy diet that contains plenty of leafy greens, orange, and red fruits and vegetables, polyphenols (found in tea), and proper amounts of zinc and vitamins D, C, and E can go a long way toward fighting off the ill effects of UV exposure.

Give your skin a helping hand

In addition to eating right, you can also improve the look and feel of your skin by coming in for professional treatments that smooth away unwanted lines and wrinkles, restore a youthful glow, and reduce the adverse effects of the sun. We offer:

This is just a partial list of the many treatments we use to restore your skin's health, look, and feel. Call us today to schedule an appointment for your consultation at our Easton or Salisbury locations.

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