Eating Right: 9 Foods to Avoid for Clear and Healthy Skin

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Naveen April 11, 2024 4 min read 0 Comment
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Eating Right: 9 Foods to Avoid for Clear and Healthy Skin

Good skin starts from within.

What you eat profoundly impacts your mood, weight, and overall health, but also the largest organ of your body, your skin. In this post, I’m breaking down 9 foods you should avoid to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Remember: Balance is the key. Any one food on this list won’t cause acne or breakouts on its own if eaten in moderation. However, eating too much of these can cause some serious skin issues.

These are 9 foods to avoid for good skin:

1. Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

I know you’ve heard this one thousand times before because it’s true!

A high sugar intake can raise inflammation levels in the body, manifesting as acne, blackheads, access oil, or other skin nightmares. Foods like candy, sugary drinks (including sweet tea!), white bread, and pastries fall into this category.

If you’re like me and you know you realistically can’t cut chocolate out of your life…that’s OK! Focus on reduction, not elimination. A little treat now and then is fine. Balance is your BFF.

2. My Milkshake Brings All the Acne: Dairy Products

One food that might not be at the top of your mind when you think of healthy, glowing, Beyoncé-like skin is dairy.

Dairy products, especially full-fat milk, can worsen skin conditions like acne and cause breakouts. Scientists think there is a link between high blood levels of the hormone IGF-1 and skin health because it interacts with adrenal glands, affecting hormones.

Luckily, reducing or eliminating dairy with one of the seemingly endless alternatives like almond or soy milk has never been so easy.

3. Fried Foods Are Not Your Friend

Fried foods are high in bad fats, contributing to inflammation, breakouts, and clogged pores. That’s pretty common knowledge.

But did you know that fried foods can also cause dehydration? And dehydrated skin is more prone to dryness, flakiness, and a dull complexion. So you could end up with flakes and pimples from fried foods. Call it a lose-lose situation.

4. Highly Processed is Highly Bad

Processed foods contain additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients that are bad for your skin and overall health. If your diet is mostly processed foods like microwave/frozen meals, breakfast cereals, cheese, pastries, or soft drinks, expect that to appear on your face.

One fast rule my sister, Jade, taught me was this:
If it comes out of shiny foil, or you can buy it at a gas station, it’s probably processed.

5. The Pimple Prolonger: High-Glycemic Index (HGI) Foods

No, not HGTV. We’re talking HGI, as in the High-Glycemic Index.

High glycemic foods cause a rapid increase in blood sugar (glucose). HGI foods can lead to inflammation and make it harder to keep that acne beast under control if you’re already suffering.

Watch out for these HGI foods:

  • Potatoes
  • White rice
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Cakes, cookies
  • Candy
  • Sugary drinks

Some things on that list are generally healthy but can cause dramatic changes in blood glucose levels, leading to inflammation. This is where moderation comes in again!

6. Another Strike Against Alcohol

Alcohol causes all types of problems- hangovers, bad dance moves, embarrassing Instagram stories, and so on – but did you know it also can cause bad skin?

Since it’s inflammatory, alcohol can also exacerbate existing skin conditions, like rosacea, causing more redness. On top of that, cocktails are packed with sugar and sometimes soda for extra inflammation.

I’ll finish this off by reminding you that alcohol dehydrates you, which is also bad for your skin.

7. Hidden in Plain Sight: Whey Protein Powder

Pump the breaks before you hit the gym, we have to talk! The popular workout supplement whey protein powder increases amino acids, like leucine and glutamine, which can cause breakouts.

Studies have shown direct links between whey protein and acne. But wait, it gets worse – whey is also said to prolong the breakout, making pimples last longer!

8. Put the Breaks on Your Morning Bestie: Coffee

Now, I know what you’re thinking – there’s been, like, a million studies on coffee that say it’s healthy, but the mountains of added sugar and creamer aren’t.

And that’s all true. But did you know that the “adrenaline” rush from that first cup of coffee in the morning can also be bad for your glow-up? This little boost in your productivity levels also causes a jump in cortisol, a stress hormone that causes acne and stubborn stomach fat.

Making small changes to how you mix your coffee, adding fewer spoons of sugar, or reaching for almond milk instead of sugary dairy creamer can make your skin happy!

9. Unhealthy Fats and Oils

Simply put, omega-3 fatty acids are good for your skin, and too many omega-6 fatty acids are bad for your skin.

Too much omega-6s correlates with increased levels of acne. Annnd, of course, our Western diets are higher in omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s.

Here’s the lowdown on unhealthy fats:

  • Trans fats: These artificial fats increase inflammation and oil production. To keep that glow going, avoid foods containing trans fats, like fried and baked goods.
  • Saturated fats: OK, some saturated fats are necessary for the body, but too much, especially from red meat and dairy, may cause skin issues. Look for leaner protein sources and choose healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
  • Low-Quality cooking oils: There’s a time and place to be boujee – you probably didn’t think of your cooking oils as one of those times and places. However, some low-quality oils can contribute to inflammation. Examples include vegetable, corn, and soybean oils. Instead, shell out a little extra $ on better options like olive or avocado oil.

Meanwhile, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, nuts, and seeds can actually improve your skin. If that list doesn’t look like your cup of tea, you can take an omega-3 supplement

My Blog is Good For Your Skin

If you liked this post, comment below and let me know! Then, check out some of my other pieces about natural skincare.

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About AuthorU

NaveenFounder & CEO
Hi! My name is Naveen and I'm your new guide to perfect skin. As for my journey, my passion for natural and organic skincare has brought me to the City of Angels – Los Angeles, California. Here, I’ve learned that good skincare isn’t actually skin deep, AKA, it’s not just about looking good; it’s about understanding the delicate dance between our skin, nature, and the planet. It’s about leaving a mark… a good mark, not the kind you need to laser off. So, stay tuned in to my website, social media and even podcast for continuous skincare tips and product reviews.