You are what you eat.
What we eat or drink affects our whole body in both positive and negative ways. We know that if we eat a healthy diet featuring leafy green vegetables, we're going to feel good. And we also know that if we consume an entire box of chocolates, we're going to feel like crap.
But how does consuming certain things like sugar, dairy, gluten, and wine affect our faces?
Dr. Nigma Talib, ND is a naturopathic doctor. A naturopathic doctor focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Talib worked out why we suffer from common skin problems like acne, dark circles under our eyes, and redness: it's because of what we put into our bodies.
Dr. Talib believes that the reasons for our facial imperfections are due to sugar face, wine face, dairy face, and gluten face. If you can identify the type of face you have and what's causing your problems, you can know what to eliminate from your diet.
Sugar Face: Too much sugar can make the elastic and flexible collagen fibers in our skin become rigid and tight, and can increase our insulin levels, making the face look washed out and pasty. Since sugar also affects the balance of bacteria in our bodies, this leads to breakouts on the face, shoulders and chest. Sugar (via insulin levels) also thins eyebrow hair, making them look sparse.
Dairy Face: Even if you don't consider yourself lactose intolerant, you could be anyway. As we get older, we lose the enzymes that help us to digest lactose effectively and this can cause our immune system to release inflammatory chemicals. Having too much dairy causes redness, swelling, puffy eyelids, bags and dark circles under the eyes, and small white spots and bumps on the chin.
Wine Face: Unfortunately, as good as wine is for your heart, too much of it can dehydrate the skin, worsening the look of any fine lines and wrinkles, even those between the brows. In addition, wine can make capillaries dilate, causing flushed cheeks and a reddish complexion. Don't forget that there's sugar in wine, so wine face also has the collagen issues of enlarged pores and droopy eyelids. If all that hasn't aged you enough, wine consumption gives you very deep nasolabial folds.
Gluten Face: Make sure your waiter takes away that bread basket, because the effects of gluten on your skin aren't pretty. When you have gluten, this can trigger an inflammatory response and leave your face looking bloated, inflamed, and/or swollen. Puffy cheeks? Check. Gluten can also affect the pigmentation of the skin, leading to age spots and dark patches. Gluten can also affect the reproductive balance in the body and give you hormonal pimples on your chin.
All photos: Elle.com
If you've experience these types of reactions to gluten, wine, sugar, dairy or a combination of them, the best thing to do is cut out the substances from your diet for at least 28 days to see if your skin and overall health improves. If it does, cut it out from your diet permanently, or most of the time. You'll feel and look much better.