Everything you consume either helps or harms your health. If, however, you think that only holds true for your heart and digestive system, think again. Food fuels your entire body, including your skin, and some nutrients are better than others.
Our team at Easton Dermatology Associates sees the effects of poor nutrition on our patients throughout Easton, Salisbury, and Kent Island, Maryland; their skin is one of the main victims. Here, our experts explain the connection between nutrition and skin health.
Foods that help and harm your skin
Everyone is different and reacts to ingredients differently. The best way to learn how your body responds to various foods is to keep a journal of everything you eat and drink and document your skin’s reactions.
Here are some common ingredients that can help or harm your skin.
Foods your skin loves
If you want to nourish your skin and keep it healthy and glowing, make sure to get a daily dose of the following foods:
- Beets for anti aging, acne, and inflammation
- Tomatoes for cell damage
- Brazil nuts for inflammation, UV damage, and hyperpigmentation
- Salmon for hydration, detoxification, and damage repair
- Leafy greens for scarring and sun damage
- Flaxseeds for acne, moisturization, and sun damage
- Green tea for inflammation, infection, and acne
These foods and others like them help your skin because they contain essential nutrients your skin needs to thrive. Look for these skin-loving nutrients when you plan your next meal.
Vitamin C protects your skin from environmental stress, sun damage, collagen loss, and prominent scar tissue. Get more vitamin C by eating citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, beets, and kiwis.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin from sun damage and reduces inflammation. It also softens your skin and locks in moisture. Get more vitamin E by eating seeds, nuts, spinach, broccoli, corn oil, and mangoes.
Vitamin A triggers new cell production, which rejuvenates your skin naturally and keeps it firm and resilient.
Selenium protects your skin from free radicals that lead to dry skin, tissue damage, premature aging, and wrinkles. Get more selenium by eating salmon, Brazil nuts, organ meats, eggs, and poultry.
Omega-3s and 6s make your skin smoother, help it stay hydrated, protect it from UV rays and sunburns, and may reduce acne. Get more omega-3s and 6s in your diet by eating tofu, walnuts, flaxseeds, fatty fish, and eggs.
Foods your skin hates
If you have oily, dry, wrinkled, damaged skin, your diet may be to blame. These are some of the worst foods for your skin:
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pastries, white rice, pasta, and sweets can spike your blood sugar. When your blood sugar rises, it triggers inflammation and sebum (oil) production, so you may be more prone to acne if you eat a high-glycemic diet.
Processed foods — think bacon, hot dogs, and sausage — are notorious for triggering an inflammatory response in your body, which leaves you with puffy, dehydrated skin and acne.
Sugar also causes blood sugar spikes, so sodas, cookies, and even fruit juice can put you at risk for acne and depleted skin.
Dairy may lead to acne, too. Studies specifically point to cow’s milk as the culprit for some people, although yogurt and cheese don’t have the same effect.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more and flush fluids out of your body, leaving your skin dehydrated, dull, and dry.
Beyond your diet: How to care for your skin
Our expert dermatologists are passionate about healthy skin and teaching our patients how to achieve and maintain a glowing complexion. In addition to nutritional counseling, as it relates to healthy skin, we offer evidence-based treatments using the most advanced technology to address your skin conditions, including:
Don’t hesitate to call us and talk to our Easton Dermatology Associates about what’s bothering your skin. We can help.