It’s so easy to skip the guacamole, avoid those chocolate truffles, and shun coffee and tea in hopes of putting an end to our pimples, breakouts, and other skin problems. But how much do we know about the relationship between food and skin? Fortunately, science has a few things to say about what effect the foods we eat has on our skin health and overall beauty. We spoke to Brigitte Zeitlin, registered dietitian at
, about what you should and shouldn’t eat to keep yourself looking young, healthy, and breakout-free. B Nutritious
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MYTH 1: PIZZA CAUSES ACNE
The myth that a slice of greasy pizza leads to breakouts is entrenched in our culture. But the fact is that oily food like pizza probably won’t have that much of an effect on your skin, says Zeitlin, “especially if it’s already prone to an oily or combination texture” — but everything in moderation, including rich food!
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MYTH 2: ALL FATTY FOODS LEAD TO BREAKOUTS
Fatty foods like avocado have a controversial reputation, but, in fact, the beneficial fats in this nutritious fruit are much likelier to strengthen your skin and overall health. The same is true for the oils present in nuts.
MYTH 3: BREAD AND PASTA ARE HARMLESS TO YOUR SKIN
In fact, the refined sugar in white bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates “can lead directly to acne,” according to Zeitlin. Be sure to avoid a sugar rush when you’re trying to keep your skin clear.
MYTH 4: DAIRY PRODUCTS WILL MAKE YOUR SKIN OILY
Cheese and other dairy products are virtually harmless to most people’s skin. However, if you’re lactose-intolerant, steer clear, warns Zeitlin, not just for your health but for your skin, too! “Lactose intolerance can
easily trigger a breakout !”
MYTH 5: COFFEE IS GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN
Coffee itself won’t hurt you. However, Zeitlin warns that “the dehydration that results from drinking too much definitely can.” Make sure that you hydrate with water between cups of coffee for good skin.
MYTH 6: ALCOHOL WILL RUIN YOUR LOOKS
Long-term alcohol consumption isn’t good for your skin or your health, but in the short term “what matters is that you balance it with your water consumption,” advises Zeitlin.
MYTH 7: EATING IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR DERMATOLOGICAL HEALTH THAN HYGIENE
Think it’s your diet that is destroying your skin, but aren’t washing your face before bedtime? Think again. Hygiene is the key to clear, healthy skin. It’s important to both maintain a balanced diet and wash your face with “a gentle, preferably organic cleanser (alcohol-free)” twice a day.
MYTH 8: CHOCOLATE CREATES ACNE
Chocolate itself isn’t detrimental to your skin’s radiance. It’s not about the chocolate, it’s about the sugar. “Dark chocolate with a ratio of 60 percent cocoa or higher can be a safer choice than milk or white chocolate,” says Zeitlin.
MYTH 9: EATING TOO MUCH FISH WILL MAKE YOUR SKIN SMELL.
While skin is porous, it doesn’t always necessarily absorb and exude all of the properties of the food in your diet. Not only will eating fish not lead to a bad odor, but the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon “decrease inflammation” and keep skin unclogged and younger-looking.
MYTH 10: JUST CUTTING OUT CERTAIN FOODS HELPS
Wrong! It isn’t just about what you avoid, it’s about what you do eat, too. Eating vegetables that are high in vitamin C and selenium, like red bell peppers and mushrooms, keeps the skin fresh with collagen and prevents the effects of aging skin.
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