To Eat or Not to Eat? Decoding foods ruining that skin glow!


Skin is the largest organ in the body and an important one as well. It plays several roles in maintaining life and health foods. Being the outer covering of the body, it acts as a barrier between the external environment and the body’s internal environment. Skin is a unique organ and protects us from various factors such as microbes, variations in temperature, radiation, chemicals, mechanical impacts, and pressure.

It requires essential care because only healthy skin can protect us from various external stimuli. Impaired skin can affect our overall health and be the cause of many injuries or infections. Skincare is a huge focus area nowadays. Every individual is concerned about skin health. How it feels, how it looks, this all contributes to our mental as well as physical health.

The fierce competition for a glowing, healthier, clearer, younger and fresher skin affects our self-esteem. And being blessed with such a skin requires a lot of care and prevention. What one eats and what surrounding one gets exposed to play a crucial role in maintaining skin health. But many people start to give it a thought only after there is an abnormality detected. Common concerns include skin irritability, dryness, itchiness, oiliness, wrinkles, sun damage, and signs of ageing.

So, let’s see in this article, what are the top food items to Avoid to get healthy, glowing skin?


1. Sodas/Cola drinks
Sipping soda can have several detrimental effects. It is not the same as drinking water or some fresh-pressed juice. Soda or cola or any high-sugar beverages impact the skin in several ways. When a protein in our body gets attached to a sugar, a chemical reaction called glycation occurs. Glycation is a natural process, and a certain amount is expected to happen throughout our lives.

However, its excess is detrimental and causes the formation of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs). These end products fasten the ageing process. They change the skin, destroy the elastin present, and slow down the formation of new collagen; which is the connective tissue that helps keep skin firm. Thus, it all leads to dull, wrinkled, uneven skin.

What do they cause?
● diminish the production of healthy skin cells
● damage the formation of collagen (the connective tissue)
● dehydrate the skin
● can intensify skin irritation
● AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) quicken the ageing

Time to switch:
● water
● fresh fruit juice – not the bottled, sugary kind

2. Alcohol
Alcohol might be a tough choice to avoid for some, but it’s worth the effort. Alcohol is a natural diuretic which forces the water out of the body. It also makes it more difficult for the body to re-hydrate, thus, leaving the skin dry, flaky, and dull. Due to the lack of fluid it causes, the wrinkle and fine lines become more visible.

The second impact of alcohol is the inflammatory changes it causes. Alcohol makes the insides inflamed that shows up on the skin in the form of puffiness, redness, and breakouts. Alcohol depletes the levels of healthy bacteria that are required to regulate the immune system. This microbiome disturbance leads to difficulty in managing inflammatory conditions of the skin such as eczema. Alcohol also contains sugar, which spikes blood sugar levels, thus, may contribute to ageing by depleting collagen.

What does it cause?
● dehydrates the skin
● leaves a dull appearance
● prominent fine lines and wrinkles
● puffiness, redness, and breakouts
● microbiome disturbance
● skin ageing

Time to switch:
● wine (particularly red wine) – contain antioxidants
● clear liquors like vodka and tequila

3. White Bread, Pasta, and Rice
These are the foods that contain refined sugars. Refined sugars are considered bad for the skin. Starchy foods such as white bread, pasta, and rice are high in glycaemic index. High glycaemic index foods cause a cascade of hormonal signals that include the elevation of IGF-1 (Insulin growth factor-1). This cascade of events triggers inflammation and excessive sebum production in the skin. Such foods may cause a quick raise in blood sugar levels which could thus result in skin problems such as acne.

What do they cause?
● trigger inflammation
● excessive sebum production
● acne problems

Time to switch:
● whole-wheat products
● vegetables and pulses
● low-glycaemic foods such as nutrient-rich berries and apple

4. Chips
Gorging on chips is very common. Grabbing a pack of chips is easy, inexpensive, and convenient option to calm our hunger pangs. Fried, greasy, ‘Salty chips with dips’ is a delicious treat at various events and gatherings as well.

But most of these delicious treats are pro-inflammatory and affect skin appearance negatively. These chips/nachos/chips with dips contain refined carbs and a lot of salt. Salt is problematic for the foods skin as it can lead to puffiness and dehydration.

These refined carbs increase the inflammation that triggers DNA- and collagen-damaging oxidative stress leading to more fine lines, wrinkles, and aged appearance. According to a study published in 2014, Carbs, are the main culprit in the increase of acne in adults. Thus, foods containing refined carbohydrates are a strict no-no if one wants healthy skin.

What do they cause?
● increase inflammation
● trigger DNA- and collagen-damaging oxidative stress
● more visible fine lines, wrinkles
● aged appearance
● puffiness and dehydration


Time to switch:
● baked potato chips foods
● whole-grain corn tortilla chips with guacamole – avocado has been linked to skin health
● low-sodium, baked vegetable chips or apple chips
● unsalted whole-wheat pretzels

5. Coffee
Similar to alcohol and sodium, foods like Caffeine is a dehydrator. It also leads to a heightened stress response in the body. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, may increase the production of oil from the sebaceous glands, making one prone to breakouts. Some studies have shown that coffee might make acne worse. Milk and sugar are the key ingredients of coffee, which are among the top dietary acne triggers making the skin more prone to breakouts.

What does it cause?
● increase oil production
● breakouts
● worsen acne

Time to switch:
● green tea – contains polyphenols that are linked to reduced inflammation and decreased sebum production

If you feel related to such problems and want to change this pattern, then it is high time to change your eating habits as well and go for real, healthy foods.

This article provides what can be the perfect choices for achieving as well as not achieving the freshest face of the year. Choose well!


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