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Protect Your Skin by Paying Attention to Your Diet

Lovely woman with melanated skin smiling while eating a salad frown a bowl

It’s no secret that the food we consume can impact our digestive system, alter our bacterial balance, and even affect the appearance of our skin. If you struggle with skin challenges such as acne, it’s important to pay just as much attention to your diet as you do your skincare routine.

With the holidays being right around the corner, it’s completely normal to trade in your diet for a plate of home-cooked food. But before you reach for a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, bear in mind what foods could have a negative impact on your skin.

Consider cutting back on certain foods

It’s human nature to want something we’re told we can’t have. The point here isn’t to starve yourself of all your guilty little pleasures. Instead, it’s to take the time alongside our skincare journey to pay attention to the products and foods that can push us forward or set us back.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, acne affects up to 50 million Americans in the United States, making it the most common skin condition. And while there’s still much research to be conducted on the relationship between diet and skin conditions such as acne, skincare experts (along with the AADA) agree that foods with a high glycemic index (GI) tend to agitate acne-prone skin.

Why? Food high in GI tends to increase your blood sugar and inflammation which, in turn, can cause your body to make more sebum which is the oily substance that gets trapped under the skin and causes acne. What foods are high in GI? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are a few examples of foods to be on the lookout for when it comes to protecting your skin from breakouts:

  • Bread, such as white bread and bagels
  • Cereals that are sweetened such as corn flakes and puffed rice
  • Starchy potatoes like white potatoes, potato chips, and fries
  • Desserts such as doughnuts or pastries

This isn’t to say that your acne will disappear if you stop eating these foods completely. However, reducing your intake can lead to fewer breakouts.

That being said, there are foods you can eat

Concerned about what you are going to eat? Don’t worry. There are plenty of foods that are low in GI. These include fresh veggies, fresh fruits (as long as you take note of GI content), beans, and steel-cut oats. The good news? These foods are perfect for those of us trying to live an all-around healthier lifestyle.

You should also keep in mind that making small sacrifices when it comes to drinking choice during family meals is also a step in the right direction. Instead of washing down your meal with soda or a drink high in sugar (like sweet tea), opt for water.

If you cave, stand by your skincare routine

When it comes to snacks and certain staples on the family dinner table, I understand how hard it is to say no. That’s okay! If you decide to indulge in certain foods that have caused a breakout or two in the past, the best thing you can do is stand strong in following your normal skincare routine.

Before letting your food coma take over, make sure you give your skin extra TLC. If your skin is acne-prone, pull out all the stops and grab all of your favorite acne skincare products. And in the morning, if you find a couple of zits, reach for a spot treatment you can depend on.

Maintaining a diet that complements your skincare routine can seem challenging. However, if you approach the dinner table with caution and pay attention to the content of the foods you’re eating, the task will be much easier than you realize.

For more tips on maintaining flawless skin, be sure to visit Urban Skin Rx’s Glow-Up Guide often.