There are two main culprits that accelerate the aging process of our skin: sun exposure and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs form when protein or fat combine with sugar. While these aging culprits aren’t 100 percent in our control, using sunscreen and taking the mind of your overall diet can help with how our body protects and heals our skin.
1 Trans fats weaken the blood flow to the skin
Trans fats can be found in fast food, deep fried foods, margarine, canned frosting, any junk food, and the list goes on and on. Not only do they raise the risk of developing heart disease, but they also stiffen the arteries or constrict the blood vessels. This weakens the blood flow to the skin and causes premature aging and wrinkles.
Don’t believe the packages with labels that say, “Zero trans fats” because the products inside might still contain under 0.5g of it.
2 Low consumption of healthy fats
Healthy fats are essential for your health and your skin’s youthfulness. They reduce inflammation in the skin, encourage hair growth, and build strong cell membranes that reduce water loss in the skin cells, among other advantages.
Here are the healthy fats that should be consumed regularly to maintain healthy skin:
- Chia seeds
- Wheat germ
- All nuts and seeds
- Dark green leafy veggies
- Omega 3-fortified eggs
- Coconut oil
3 Alcohol builds up toxins.
A rare glass of wine won’t do any harm to your body, but drinking regularly will affect your liver. When your liver works well, toxins are expelled naturally through your body. But if these toxins build up in your liver, and they aren’t broken down properly, it can cause damage to your skin, like acne, sallowness, and wrinkles, loss of collagen, loss of elasticity, redness, dehydration, and puffiness.
4 Sugar destroys protein and lipids.
Sugar is responsible for weight gain, creating wrinkles, making your skin saggy, and harming your health in general. Eating too much sugar starts a process called glycation: consuming more sugar that you can process makes glycose bind with proteins and lipids. This process damages your skin’s collagen (because these proteins are responsible for the firmness of the skin) and encourages the development of wrinkles.
5 Salt makes you retain water.
Excess salt can be found in a lot of popular products: cheese, pepperoni pizza, chips, crackers, cereals, etc. Salt causes the body to retain water and leads to a “puffy” look. It also causes the cells to shrink and leads to dehydration. Not enough water leaves the skin with wrinkles and, as a result, makes it age faster.
6 Processed meats cause dehydration.
Loved by many, sausages, bacon, and deli meat contain a lot of salt and preservatives. The consumption of processed meats leads to dehydration and triggers inflammation. Moreover, these products reduce vitamin C in the body, which is important for collagen formation. Try to swap processed meat with chicken or turkey instead. If it seems a bit too hard for you, just try to eat just less of it and add some veggies to your sandwich.
7 Charred meat harms the skin.
Black char on your meat may contain pro-inflammatory hydrocarbons, which are very inflammatory to the body. This can break down essentials for your skin like collagen, which leads to an aged appearance. Though there is no need to give up on BBQ with your friends, just make sure that you remove the black char from your meat.
8 Fried potatoes use up important minerals from your body.
Potatoes almost instantly break down into sugars once they get inside of our bodies. Foods fried in oil at high temperatures release free radicals and this causes cellular damage to the skin. If you want to enjoy your potato in the most harmless way — bake it!
9 Coffee and caffeinated drinks leave your skin dry.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which makes you excrete fluid and creates a lack of moisture in your body. This makes your skin dry and fragile. But luckily this problem can be solved: just drink an extra glass of water for each cup of coffee you consume. Also, don’t forget to hydrate your skin.
10 Spicy foods cause redness and puffiness.
Spicy foods can cause rosacea on your skin since it dilates the blood vessels. This, in turn, can cause the skin to look red, blotchy, and less youthful. There is nothing bad about eating something spicy occasionally, but regular flare-ups could lead to spider veins, puffiness, and/or permanent redness.
11 Refined oil
Another key to maintaining healthy skin is avoiding refined, processed oils and fats—think corn, soybean, safflower, and canola oil and fried foods—and focusing on healthy anti-inflammatory fats like fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olives, says Purdy.
12 Energy Drinks
Energy drinks can really do a number on your smile. These drinks can damage the enamel in your teeth eight times more than soda does, says Ficek. This erosion makes your teeth look yellow, unhealthy, and old.
13 Saturated fat
It’s not news that a diet high in saturated fat is bad for your heart, but saturated fat may also be a major contributor to aging skin. Research has found that older women who had a diet higher in fat, specifically saturated fat, experienced more wrinkles than those who ate a lower fat diet, says Ficek. As a general rule of thumb, consuming just 30-percent of calories from fat is considered a low fat diet. Steer clear of saturated sources like butter, fatty meat, full fat dairy, and processed meats as well.
14 Sprouted bread for white bread
Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, can cause inflammation in the body, which is directly linked to the aging process.
15 Switch out rice cakes