Healthy Food Choices for Healthy Skin

In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, we’re devoting November to raising awareness about the skin, your body’s largest organ, and how to keep it vibrant and healthy. This week, we will cover which food choices to make in order to benefit your skin.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to give thanks and enjoy the company of family and friends. However, the tradition usually includes a bountiful feast of unhealthy foods that are packed full of calories. As a result, making healthy choices during this holiday can be difficult, but doing so can help give you the type of glowing skin that not only makes you look better, but can also boost your confidence and self-esteem as well. So this year, make a change from the traditional Thanksgiving menu and help keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

Food Don’ts

  1. Avoid excess sugar and other carbs. Your body metabolizes simple carbohydrates like those found in mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie by converting them to glucose. After conversion, they can adhere to proteins like collagen and impair their function. Extra sugar in your diet can also damage elastin, the protein that keeps skin flexible and resilient.
  2. Dairy can be a problem. This is especially true for those who are prone to acne. Dairy products contain hormones related to testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, leading to clogged pores and pimples. Rather than adding dairy milk to your coffee or bowl of cereal, use a non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk, instead. According to Christian Millett, a board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, “I have recommended to a number of my acne patients that they try a dairy-free diet, and many have reported a reduction in the severity of their breakouts. Eliminating dairy for a few weeks to see how your skin responds can be a helpful step in trying to manage breakouts.”
  3. Don’t overindulge on alcohol. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can trigger a flare of a number of underlying skin conditions, such as psoriasis, acne, and rosacea. It can also dehydrate the skin, causing it to look flaky, dry, and dull. Limit yourself to one or two glasses of red wine (which contains the antioxidant resveratrol), drink plenty of water, and leave the extra calories behind.

Food Do’s

  1. Include healthy fats in your diet. Olive oil contains Vitamin E, which can help to reduce signs of aging. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil can benefit you from the inside (when consumed as part of your diet) and out (when applied topically to your skin).
  2. Load up on leafy greens. Foods such as kale and spinach contain Vitamin A, which is essential for keeping skin smooth and wrinkle-free.
  3. Enjoy some soy. The isoflavones in soy can help stop collagen breakdown, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Adding soy to your diet can result in skin with fewer fine lines and improved elasticity.
  4. Try some kiwi. This fruit is packed with vitamin C, which stimulates collagen synthesis, keeping skin taught and free of fine lines. Vitamin C also fights free radicals that can damage cells, resulting in skin that is less dry and with less noticeable wrinkles.
  5. Consume more carotenoids. People who eat greater amounts of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables, like carrots and pumpkin, have more yellow tones in their skin, which gives their complexion a healthy, natural glow.

Your Local Skin Experts at Forefront Dermatology are Here to Help
Establishing a relationship with a board-certified dermatologist is an important step you should take to keep your skin healthy. If you or a family member have a skin concern or would like to schedule a consult, find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you to schedule an appointment or to learn more.