Want youthful, flawless and healthy skin? It may be time to edit your grocery list and embark on a healthy skin diet
Food. It's the giver of life, the bread to your literal butter. You need it. But just in the same way that certain foods can ruin your figure, some foods will ruin your skin -- and, conversely, adopting a healthy skin diet can make all the difference in the world.
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Turns out it's most likely what's on your plate that dictates how healthy your skin is, how young you look, and whether or not you have acne.
Sure genetics and other lifestyle and environmental factors play a part (ahem, the sun), but you'd be hard-pressed to find any esthetician, nutritionist or dermatologist that wouldn't consider food a major factor in deciding whether you have a clear, youthful-looking complexion.
Basically, whether you like it or not, what you feed your body dictates whether you have healthy skin or "problem" skin, so it's time to watch what you eat. Being food-conscious is officially not just important for helping you fit into your jeans. "Your skin is an eliminative organ," says celebrity aesthetician Susan Ciminelli (she's beautified the skin of Kristen Bell, Tina Fey and Jennifer Lopez). "Garbage in, garbage out."
With that in mind, there are proven ingredients that clear up even the worst of problem skin and ones that can help prevent your cells from aging prematurely. With the right foods, you can stop looking for the fountain of youth in a fancy face cream or cleanser and instead finally start to put the items that will really help in your grocery basket.
Now, see the foods you need for healthy skin.
Healthy Skin Diet: Skip the Ice Cream
Most sugary desserts, like cookies, cake and beloved ice cream, are packed with sugar (which is part of the reason why they're so delicious). But you should think twice before digging into that slice of pie.
"Eating tons of sugar forms advanced glycation end products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs), which cause protein fibers in the body to become stiff and malformed," says Dendy Engelman, MD, board certified dermatologic surgeon and associate at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (she also works with the flawless Sofia Vergara).
Unfortunately for your glowing complexion, the proteins most prone to glycation are collagen and elastin -- aka the proteins that make your skin plump and springy. "When those proteins hook up with renegade sugars, they become discolored, weak, and less supple; this shows up on the skin's surface as wrinkles, sagginess and a loss of radiance," explains Engelman. (Talk about a bad one-night-stand).
Plus, these AGEs make your complexion more vulnerable to assailants like UV light and cigarette smoke. "So you get a double whammy when it comes to aging."