Ever noticed that your skin looks and feels a little ‘off' after a series of holiday parties, braais or cocktail-filled beach days? “What you eat affects your skin - for better or worse,” says Ariel Ostad, MD, fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
While the odd chocolate binge or night out of drinking won't age you overnight, a poor diet in the long run can speed up the ageing process over your skin. If you want to stay looking as young as you feel, make sure you eat the following three foods in moderation…
Three foods that make you age faster
#1: Alcoholic beverages
Your liver and your skin go hand in hand. “When your liver is functioning well, toxins that could potentially affect the skin are expelled naturally through your body,” explains Dr Ostad. “But if toxins build up in your liver and aren’t broken down properly, your skin can develop a variety of issues, like acne, sallowness and wrinkles.” Another thing that drinking can trigger? Rosacea outbreaks. To top it off, alcohol is dehydrating and can disrupt your sleep
. “Inadequate sleep
is linked to wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and reduced skin elasticity,” Dr Ostad says.
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When you eat more sugar than your cells can process, it kick-starts a process called glycation, which combines the excess sugar molecules with proteins, creating advanced glycations end products (AGES), explains Dr Ostad. AGES can break down your skin’s collagen – the main protein that makes up the extracellular matrix in your tissues and keeps your skin firm and youthful. Sugar is also bad for your smile: “Sugar sticks to your teeth, encouraging bacteria, decay, and discoloration, explains Brian Kantor, a cosmetic dentist based in New York City.
#3: Red meat
Red meat is fatty, and fatty meat generates free radicals, according to Dr Ostad. Free radicals snag electrons from healthy cells, damaging them in the process. This damage affects your skin’s ability to produce collagen and protect itself. We’re not saying you can’t eat a burger here and there, but it certainly shouldn’t be a daily habit. “You're better off with leaner meats, like a turkey burger or chicken,” says Dr Ostad.
Antioxidant-rich foods and serums can help combat damage that’s already been caused by eating age-accelerating foods.
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