The food you eat directly affects your skin’s appearance! Here, Dr Vincent Giampapa, author of The Anti-Aging Solution and The Gene Makeover: The 21st Century Anti-Aging Breakthrough reveals several skin care tips. He also shares info about how food affects your looks.
Before his tips, a quip from actress Gwyneth Paltrow: “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin,” says Paltrow. “That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”
If you don’t have the right lipstick or don’t feel naturally beautiful – but still have beauty goals to achieve! – try these skin care tips from Dr Giampapa. Read The Anti-Aging Solution: 5 Simple Steps to Looking and Feeling Young for more details about skin care, and read on to learn how food affects your skin’s appearance.
How sugar affects your skin
To improve bad skin, avoid sugar! “Sugar is the worst thing for your skin. Every doughnut, candy bar and soda adds to a toxic excess of blood sugar or glucose that shows up on your face,” says Dr Giampapa. “Frequent consumption of refined carbohydrates, which are ubiquitous in the American diet, can bump up cortisol levels. This can interfere with hormone balance and increase inflammation.”
Dr Giampapa explains that sugar also raises the blood levels of insulin (the hormone that regulates insulin receptors to glucose). Glycation and cross-linking of proteins is stepped up, collagen weakens, and wrinkles deepen. Here’s a medical skin care tip: glycation ultimately causes production of extremely toxic by-products known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
How sugar affects your appearance (your weight!)
“Sugar causes fat to accumulate in your belly, making it harder to maintain a trim appearance, particularly if you are over 40. As your waistline girth increases, so does your risk of heart attack and stroke.”
When you look in the mirror, you’ll see fine lines appear that deepen over time. Here’s a skin care tip that’s easy to apply: avoid sugary foods and alcohol because they cause the skin above and under your eyes to puff up. Puffiness is also increased if you aren’t drinking enough water. By the way, you especially need to increase your intake of fresh mineral water when traveling.
According to Dr Giampapa, knowing how food affects your looks and following certain skin care tips, can reduce the lines, wrinkles and puffiness within just a few days.
Here are Dr Giampapa’s skin care tips:
- increase your intake of lean protein
- increase your intake of foods high in omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 oils (fish, nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, olive, flax and hemp oils)
- use only the highest quality (and darkest) of oils when cooking
- include antioxidants in your diet: these free-radical fighters help keep sugar from attaching to proteins, so replenishing their supply by eating more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, and vegetables (i.e. cranberries, walnuts, and red bell peppers) and having antioxidants in your nutritional supplements is the correct route toward younger looking skin.
- keep added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories
- control stress – stress can also lead to elevated cortisol levels, so controlling oxidative stress is also crucial in reducing skin wrinkling and puffiness.
How herbs and spices affect your skin
“Spices that are rich in anti-oxidants include Turmeric (a purifying and potent antioxidant), Cumin, fenugreek, black pepper, ground cloves, cinnamon, and oregano,” says Dr Giampapa. “Although these spices are rich in antioxidants, they are generally consumed in much smaller amounts than antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, which should be incorporated into a diet for skin and overall health.” Certain foods affect your appearance by eradicating free radicals (that’s what anti-oxidants do, and it improves your skin).
How green tea affects your looks
“Green tea is an antioxidant-rich drink that should be the substitute for coffee addicts worldwide who are concerned about skin health,” says Dr Giampapa. “Making that switch from coffee to green tea can be difficult for Starbucks regulars, but the effects will show up in the overall clarity of your skin. In addition, theanine in green tea gives off a calming effect which can help with keeping stress levels in check.”
Bonus skin care tip: instead of tanning in the sun, try Self-Tanners: Tanning Without Burning.