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What Foods to Eat For Good Skin

6 Foods That Ruin Skin (and 4 That Can Save It)

Celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, who works with Drew Barrymore and Olivia Wilde, among others, just wrote a book called The Beauty Detox Solution. In it, she advocates a holistic approach to beauty that focuses on diet and wellness rather than simply skin care. So if you're curious about what foods Snyder says can wreck your skin, and which ones can help it, just keep reading.

Foods that can hurt:

  • Dairy: "Dairy is so difficult to digest," Snyder explains, "and it creates a lot of toxicity in our bodies ... if you really love cheese, goat’s milk cheese actually digests better in your body than cow’s milk cheese."
  • Cooked Oils: "A lot of cooked fat can be very difficult for the liver to metabolize," says Snyder. "Because the liver is also a fat-burning organ, that shows up in your skin."
  • Gluten and soy: "If we’re eating foods that we have sensitivities to, such as gluten or soy, that can also trigger a toxic reaction and contribute to acne," Snyder avers.
  • Sugar and caffeine: "If someone has dark undereye circles, it has to do with adrenal exhaustion," Snyder contends. "They’re having too much sugar, too much caffeine, too much food that’s stressing their adrenal system; it’s just causing stagnation and you’ll see it start to deposit right in the thin skin underneath the eyes."

Foods that can help:

  • Wild greens: Why? "Because greens have chlorophyll and they bring more oxygen into your body," says Snyder. "All the vitamins and minerals you need are in a balanced state so your digestive tract can easily absorb them."
  • Fiber: "It's always going to take out the toxins," Snyder asserts.
  • Ripe fruit: "Think of ripe fruit as the cleansers that kick out toxicity in your system," advises Snyder.
  • Avocados: "The best way to get healthy fats is avocado, which is a very potent beauty fat," Snyder says. "Raw nuts and avocadoes are really the best things to keep your skin hydrated."

Image Source: Thinkstock
Brittney-Stephens Brittney-Stephens 6 years
I've also read The Clear Skin Diet — it's pretty remarkable how diet and acne is connected, no matter what the derms say. I never wanted to accept that my love of cheese, coffee, and sugar was wreaking havoc on my skin, but I'm so strict about my skin care routine that I knew something else had to be to blame. I just try to keep everything in moderation, but it definitely helps to know what works for you and what doesn't!
Belle-de-Nuit Belle-de-Nuit 6 years
Annie, my discovery was quite serendipitous. I went on a vegan diet to lose weight (it's worked!), and cut out white carbs, sugar, and booze while I was at it. Once in awhile I would slip and eat a bit of white bread, a sweet, or down a few drinks. After each of these I noticed a mild breakout. But nothing caused as much of an acne flare-up as cheese. Hard, soft, whichever - my face paid for it.
cara-s cara-s 6 years
Great post! I've actually asked my derm about the connection between foods and skin and his answer was that its different for everyone! My bff is on a "skin diet" for sure. She avoids shellfish, iodine, asparagus! Seems to be working great for her though :P
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 6 years
Belle, how did you figure it out? Was it easy? For me, it's only triple-cremes. Hard cheese, no problem. Soft cheese? Blemish city.
shesellsseashells shesellsseashells 6 years
I used to get the occasional pimples, sometimes better sometimes worse, and I noticed that whenever they were really big and painful it was because I had eaten some sort of milk product the day before. Over the years I actually developed lactose intolerance so now I avoid dairy products and my skin has never looked better. I definitely think the hormones in dairy products are what cause acne.
dianax5 dianax5 6 years
food has affects every organ in the body! I always had acne but it got to a point that it was uncontrollable. Now I know it was because of my excessive spicy food and hot sauce condiments consumption. Also I used to have coffee with half and half which I also believe it affected me. I went on accutane and the acne was at bay but I notice that everytime i ate something spicy my face started to burst and i had painful nodules cystic like pimples. I bought a book call The Clear skin diet which explains the effect of food and acne. Now I don't have acne just the scars but believe me we are what we eat.
Belle-de-Nuit Belle-de-Nuit 6 years
Annie, I recently realized a similar link between dairy and acne! If I eat cheese (or any other milk product) the next day I'm guaranteed a zit. Same goes for refined sugar and booze.
shaima shaima 6 years
I've noticed that too: whenever you talk about the possibility of a food connection, they laugh at you saying "oh it's just a trendy thing to say, magazines want you to believe that". But from what I've experienced like you girls, when I eat too much dairy or junk food, I have terrible breakouts. Some people are more sensitive than others.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 6 years
I agree. Whenever I eat lots of raw vegetables or increase my blueberry consumption, my skin looks much better. Soft cheeses, unfortunately, make me break out like crazy. My dermatologist doesn't seem to think this is possible, but the cheese/acne link is true in my case.
bryseana bryseana 6 years
Every dermatologist I've talked to debunk the connection between food and skin conditions. But, there has to be a link, because I have food allergies which definitely effect my skin. Food can change one's weight, effect teeth, etc...Surely it can do something to the skin. I consume copious amounts of caffeine and I do have problems with dark under eye circles. Thanks for this!
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