Is Your Diet Giving You Bad Skin?

Having great looking skin doesn’t necessarily entail a trip to the most expensive beauty counter at the department store. Instead, it can start with a trip to your kitchen. Our friends at StyleList got the scoop on the foods that may be affecting your complexion.

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You really are what you eat, and your skin reflects this. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can make your skin glow, help clear up acne and fight aging and sun damage. Likewise, meals laden with trans-fats, white flour, sugar and chemicals can leave your complexion looking dry, dull and lackluster.

Try throwing a few dark greens into a smoothie (you won’t even taste them, promise). Opt for a piece of salmon instead of a burger next time you go out. And ditch the fat-filled desserts and replace with a bowl of seasonal berries. Not only will you look better, you will feel better too!

Dr. Brandith Irwin, a nationally known skin expert and board certified dermatologist says the appearance of people’s complexions reveals a lot about their general health. “Aside from when someone has sun damage, which makes it harder to see the underlying health of the skin, I can look at someone and tell if their nutrition is optimal or not.”

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Just like there are certain foods to include in your diet, there are plenty of ones to avoid if you want a healthy looking complexion. Among Irwin’s worst foods for your skin are white sugar, white flour, anything with trans-fats, processed foods, sugary drinks, deep-fried foods, baked goods, pizza and simple carbs. All of these can contribute to inflammation. They also contain insulin and lepton, which are major accelerators of the aging process.

“If people eliminate most of the white flours and white sugars from their diets, they’re going to eat the healthier foods and higher quality products and then their skin will start to reflect that too,” said Irwin.

Food can also be a remedy for common skin problems. For instance, if you have dry skin or psoriasis, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like wild Alaskan salmon can help. If you are prone to acne, avoid inflammatory type foods like white flours, sugars and deep-fried foods. Also, omega-3-rich foods can reduce redness and inflammation.

“Our skin is the largest organ we have,” added Irwin. “The healthier we are internally, the healthier our skin will be.”

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