Dietary Dos and Don’ts for Great Skin

Dietary Dos and Don’ts for Great Skin

Maintaining a healthy diet affects your skin just as much as what you use to take care of it. To help you make the most of your anti-aging skincare lifestyle, here are Dr. Lancer’s dietary dos and don’ts that can either complement or counteract your skincare strategies.

Here are a few things Dr. Lancer recommends you should be doing in order to make the most of your skincare:

Dietary Dos

Dietary Dos and Don’ts for Great Skin

  • Eat organic produce. Conventionally raised foods often contain hormones, antiobiotics, and pesticides that can disrupt your hormones or cause your body to react due to not recognizing the “cides.” Eat organic produce in abundance, especially when the produce is local and seasonal.

  • Eat more vegetables. While organic fruit is better than conventional options, be mindful of its sugar content, since sugar can contribute to acne breakouts and can inhibit your anti-aging products to work at their full potential. As vegetables are lower in sugar content, you can consume as many vegetables as you please.

  • Eat organically-raised meat and poultry. When you do indulge in meat and poultry, choose organically-raised sources in order to avoid growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.

  • Drink plenty of water every day. We suggest 13 cups per day for men and 9 cups for women daily, but be mindful of your water intake, especially if you exercise and sweat or live in a hot, humid environment.

Here are a few things Dr. Lancer recommends you should not be doing:

Dietary Don’ts

Dietary Dos and Don’ts for Great Skin

  • Cut back on dairy. For those who can’t completely give up their favorite dairy products, cut back and only consume organic dairy products to avoid hormones. However, experiment and try new alternatives. There have been major advances in creating tasty dairy alternative, such as creamy cashew milk with only 30 calories per serving in some cases.

  • Cut back on sugar. Most Americans consume too much sugar according to numerous reports, including the USDA. Sugar can trigger hormonal shifts in the body and intensify glycation, which can lead to a poor complexion and the breakdown of collagen.

  • Avoid wheat and gluten. The gluten-free movement has picked up a lot of followers in recent years, and while few people have Celiac Disease, a new study has shown that 40% of adults have some form of gluten or wheat sensitivity or intolerance. The Department of Health and Human Services points out that gluten sensitivity is still under investigation, but many researchers have found that a sensitivity to gluten could be causing one to be acne-prone, rosacea-prone, or have sensitive skin.

  • Avoid salt. Too much salt causes you to retain water, causing you to not be able to flush out toxins. Salt can also irritate the lining of your pores, which also leads to inhibiting toxins from being flushed from your body, as well as exacerbating acne. Instead of salt, there are a number of spices, such as cayenne or turmeric, are both good for you and give you a kick.

  • Distinguish between good fats and bad fats to enhance your skincare regimen. Not all fats are created equally. The Dietary Guideline for Americans recommends 25-35 percent of our diet should consist of healthy fats, which includes polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds), unsaturated fats (seafood, olive oil, and nuts), monounsaturated fats (avocados, peanut oil, and canola oil), and Omega-3 fatty acids (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.).Avoid these two types of fats: Saturated fat found in dairy products, red meat, and some plant products like palm oil. Trans fats is the second, which are added to a number of pre-packaged foods to preserve them, so check all labels. Dry skin is often caused by a lack of good fatty acids according to the National Institute of Health, so this is one dietary change that will make a big difference.

  • Skip fried foods. Not only are fried foods brimming with bad fats that fill you up so you don’t seek out good fats, the oil they are fried in becomes oxidized, which impacts protection against free radicals and oxidative stress. Fried foods can also contribute to high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. There are many healthier versions, often baked, that allow you to indulge in your cravings while protecting your skin.

  • Avoid yeast. Many breads and baked goods contain Candida, a type of yeast, and can lead to glycation so skin appears to age faster and lose its plumpness. The CDC reports that there are 20+ types of Candida yeast naturally in the human body, and it can easily spread through the body particularly through your diet. This can lead to rashes, breakouts, and dry skin.

  • Withdraw from caffeine. Caffeine, which is often mixed with dairy in chocolate or a latte, dehydrates you and can ultimately lead to a “toxic overload” that wreaks havoc on your skin. Caffeine triggers your stress hormone, cortisol, to go into overdrive, causing you to feel as if you’re in a stressed-out state. This stress appears on your skin, causing a dull complexion, accelerating the aging process, and creating fine lines and wrinkles from lack of hydration.

  • Stay away from artificial sweeteners. While they might save you a few calories, it’s at the expense of your complexion. Insulin resistance can exacerbate acne, and although sweeteners aren’t really “sweet,” you’re tricking your brain into thinking you’re consuming sugar. It may not cause negative skin reactions in everyone, but if you depend on artificial sweeteners to get your fix but suffer from complexion problems, it’s worth experimenting to see if stopping the sweeteners will stop your complexion woes.

  • Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol dulls your complexion due to causing dehydration. Overindulgence may also cause acne flare-ups as well as facial flushing or red, spidery veins that will be difficult to fade. For every drink you have, drink one glass of water to ensure that you stay hydrated.

In order to make the most of your anti-aging skincare, follow an anti-aging lifestyle to the best of your abilities. It’s okay to indulge in a slice of cake, pizza, or cheeseburger every now and again, but just be sure to keep everything in moderation. Sticking to an anti-aging eating strategy allows you to engage in the anti-aging lifestyle full-circle—from the outside with your skincare routine, and the inside with your diet.

Source: Lancer, Harold M.D. Younger: The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin. p. 184-191.

Source: Mishkin, K. “Dairy sensitivity, lactose malabsorption, and elimination diets in inflammatory bowel disease.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (1997). February 6. 2:564-7.

Source: USDA staff. “Profiling Food Consumption in America.” USDA. (2014).

Source: Medline Plus Staff. “Gluten Sensitivity.” US National Library of Medicine.

Source: CDC Staff. “Candidiasis.” CDC.