Health And Wellness

5 Common Foods That Completely Ruin Your Skin

Photo: JoseLuisSerrano, dragana991 | Canva
Woman smiling while doing skincare

By Brittany Natale

You've heard that old saying that goes "You are what you eat." While this saying cannot be taken literally, it is important to understand that everything we eat — whether it is healthy smoothies or green juices, fast food burgers, or ice cream cones — does hold the power to affect our bodies in different ways.

"Your diet is the number one source for skin trouble," says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection. "Most people don't realize that skin directly correlates to our digestive system. If we eat something we can't digest or have trouble digesting, the body will try and use your skin to detox. That's why we break out after eating certain foods."

Studies have shown that there is indeed a link between dermatology and nutrition, revealing that certain diets can cause skin to react by causing inflammation, acne, dryness, and more. With this in mind, here are five of the worst foods you can eat for your skin, according to experts.

RELATED: 16 Things You Do Every Single Day That Torture Your Skin

Here are 5 common foods that completely ruin your skin:

1. Dairy

"Most milk is sourced from lactating dairy cows, who have high levels of circulating progesterone, insulin-like growth factor, and other hormones that human bodies convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These hormones can send oil glands into overdrive, which can trigger acne in susceptible people," says Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist.

"While some organic milk doesn't contain added bovine growth hormones, it still contains the innate ones," Shainhouse adds. "If you believe that dairy is triggering your acne, try weaning off dairy for a month or two by switching to almond or rice milk.

If you do so, make sure you pay attention to your calcium and vitamin D intake, since "dairy is an important and often sole source" of those nutrients.

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2. Sweets

"There is a strong collaboration, and clinical studies show it, that sugar and simple carbohydrates are linked to acne because of the spike in insulin they cause, which can trigger inflammation and acne," says Lamees Hamdan, MD, founder and CEO of Shiffa.

3. Caffeine

"One or two cups of coffee per day aren't going to do a lot of damage, but anything more than that, in addition to energy drinks, chocolate, or other caffeine-containing foods and drinks, can lead to premature skin aging, which means that a person who ingests a lot of caffeine daily may have to deal with wrinkles and sagging before someone at the same age who stays away from caffeine," says Karen Morse, MPH, a wellness scientist.

"Caffeine inhibits collagen synthesis, the structural protein found in the skin that keeps it looking smooth, firm, youthful and healthy," Morse adds. "If you're an avid coffee drinker, one of the best things you can do is drink more water. For each cup of coffee, have an additional cup of water per day."

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4. Salty snacks

You might want to say no to the salt shaker. "Your face may become puffy and bloated-looking due to water retention caused by too much salt in the diet, and you might develop bags under your eyes. Skin can become dry and cracked, or it might develop an overproduction of oil as the oil glands try to compensate for the dehydration of the skin," says Stacy Tucker, RN, a nutrition expert and founder of Almeda Labs.

5. Alcohol

"Alcohol dehydrates your body, including your skin — your body's largest organ," says Tucker. "Drinking too much is also thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients."

That's not even all. "Dullness, enlarged pores, discoloration, sagging, fine lines, and lack of resilience are just some of the symptoms that can result within the skin because of excess drinking," she adds.

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Brittany Natale is a freelance writer and former PopSugar contributor. She has been featured in i-D, Teen Vogue, SELF, Village Voice, Domino, Bustle, Eat This, Nylon, The Zoe Report, and many more.

This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.