A few things cause the skin to age. One, of course, is sun damage. The other is something called advanced glycation end products or ages.
AGE’s are produced when fat or protein combine with sugar, and they cause damage to the skin cells which speeds up the ageing process. Eating certain foods causes your body to produce more AGE’s, which can accelerate skin ageing.
Below, you’ll find a list of foods you should avoid (or at least cut down on) to keep your skin looking fresh and smooth:
1. Fried foods
We all might be craving a little more comfort food right now, but think twice before you reach for those french fries. When foods are fried in oils at high heat, those oils release harmful free radicals that cause damage to your skin cells, making your skin look dull. What’s more, fried food like french fries, are also often loaded with salt which can cause dehydration. Dehydration also leads to older-looking skin!
2. Refined carbs
Refined carbs like white bread and white pasta turn into sugar in your bloodstream. These sugars merge with protein to form AGE’s which can accelerate skin ageing. What’s more, refined carbs often have a high glycemic index, and foods with a high GI can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation has also been shown to speed up the ageing process.
3. Sugary foods
Refined sugar, like white sugar or corn syrup, stimulates the production of AGE’s that damage collagen. Sugar consumption has also long been associated with skin conditions like acne and eczema. Try to reduce foods that contain sugar in all refined forms and replace them with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
The jury is still out on dairy as a whole, but we know that margarine isn’t great for skin health. Part of it is because margarine contains partially hydrogenated oils — fatty acids that damage the skin by making it more vulnerable to collagen-damaging UV rays. Swap butter for margarine, or try healthier alternatives like avocado or olive oil.
5. Processed meats
Processed meats like hot dogs, deli meat, bacon, and sausage should also be avoided. They contain harmful saturated fats, and they are preserved with chemicals called sulfites and nitrates that can have a damaging effect on the skin. Processed meats also tend to have high amounts of sodium which can dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen. Opt for uncured meat options when possible.
Caffeine disrupts your skin health in a few ways. For one, it could disrupt your fluid balance and contribute to dehydration, leaving skin looking dry and dull. On the other hand, too much caffeine can also disrupt your sleep, and sleep is a game-changer when it comes to your youthful glow. If possible, cut down on caffeinated colas and limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning to avoid disruption.
Put down that glass of wine! Alcohol is one of the worse culprits when it comes to skin ageing. That’s because alcohol depletes your body of water and vital nutrients like vitamin A, which are essential for maintaining a healthy glow. When it comes to the skin, alcohol can cause redness, puffiness, loss of collagen, and wrinkles, so be sure to keep your intake moderate.