The saying that ‘you are what you eat’ holds true for your health – and your skin. If you fill up on junk, your skin is going to look like it. While hormones and the changing of the seasons might affect our skin, so do some of the foods we eat. Even foods deemed healthy and “low-fat” can have a negative impact on the quality of our skin. Poor nutrition is as bad for your skin as cigarette smoking. A poor diet can cause inflammation, which triggers oxidative stress and in turn damages collagen and DNA, making you look older. And we don’t want that.

Reading nutrition labels is one way to become conscious of what could be causing your breakouts. So, here are top 5 food offenders to keep off your plate – and cups.


A cup of caffeine is one of the worst things you can start your day with, especially if you care about clear skin. Coffee contains Polyphenolic compounds called tannins and, of course, caffeine, which is a psychoactive chemical. These two compounds are bad for your health and your skin as they can cause blockage of the pores, leading to an outbreak of acne and result in dull and oily skin. They also cause dehydration and can make your skin look brittle, dry and rough. Caffeine increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which affects insulin sensitivity of the cells and may lead to weight gain, High Blood Pressure, Chronic Arterial Stiffness, dose dependence, and mental disorders. Is that enough to convince you that you should maybe cut back? When you want a warm drink, reach for any of the various herbal teas available. Green tea is a welll known coffee substitute. Give that a shot. But if you do decide to sip on a caffeinated cup, make sure you follow up with some hydration to keep your skin from drying out.


It doesn’t matter if you’re eating fried chicken or fried vegetables: if it’s fried, it’s questionable. Vegetable oils, when superheated, are highly oxidative and reactive and release free radicals in the body. These free radicals act like toxins and cause oxidative stress in the cells, which cause them to age faster., which in turn means you age faster; your skin becomes vulnerablke to spots, wrinkles, blemishes, you name it. These vegetable oils also induce inflammation in the body, which spells even more trouble for your clear skin. The healthier options are coconut oil and olive oil, but you should still be very careful that you don’t heat them too high. I’m not saying that you should never eat fried foods, but wherever possible, opt for grilled, braised or smoked dishes. They’re healthier, and, especially in the case of grilled foods, often taste better.


You know that most juices are just sugar delivery vehicles, with many packing as much as a fizzy drink. But you may not know that it’s their lack of fibre that makes them such bad news for your skin. Fibre is essential for preventing blood sugar swings that prematurely age skin. Without it, wrinkles will follow.


As nutritious as dairy is to the body, it is potentially bad for the skin. Dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, milk chocolate) increase oil production and lead to blocked pores, which can cause blackheads and breakouts. If you’re experiencing some acne, maybe pass on the pizza or the loaded mac and cheese.


We’re reluctantly adding doughnuts to the list of foods that cause wrinkles. It’s important to avoid sugary treats like doughnuts, cookies and other high-glycemic foods. Sugar glycates collagen. It stiffens it and ages it prematurely. But not all sweet treats are off-limits. If you’re looking for dessert that’s as age-defying as it is delicious, try making some using no-sugar-added cookie recipes.

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