How Your Diet Is Impacting Your Skin

How Your Diet Is Impacting Your Skin

Healthy foods build the foundation for healthy skin. Eating the wrong foods can also cause acne and trigger flare-ups of chronic skin conditions.

Your skin requires so many nutrients. Rather than guessing about how to change your diet or spending money on supplements you may or may not need, you may want to consult with Rafael C. Cabrera, MD, FACS, and the team at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton to determine your exact nutrient needs. 

Here, we give you some of the highlights about how diet affects your skin and list a few of the most essential skin nutrients.

Sweets lead to acne

Over the years, advice about the impact of foods on acne has changed. Chocolate and greasy foods are no longer the top culprits. It turns out that milk and sugary foods are more likely to cause a breakout.

Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar, called high-glycemic foods, include white bread and rice, sugary drinks, and sweets. They pose a double threat because they boost insulin and have an inflammatory effect.

Foods that promote inflammation make acne worse. High insulin triggers hormonal changes that contribute to acne.

Diet choices may trigger flare-ups

There’s a strong link between your diet and some chronic skin conditions. For example, food allergies may contribute to eczema, but eczema is usually caused by an immune system response, genetics, and environmental irritants. 

By comparison, foods are one of the top triggers of rosacea flare-ups. The triggers differ for each person, but some of the most common include red wine, alcohol, hot drinks, and spicy foods.

If you have psoriasis and you have a gluten sensitivity, eliminating gluten may improve your skin. But if you’re not sensitive to gluten, removing it from your diet doesn’t help.

Eating a low-calorie diet and losing weight also helps reduce psoriasis. This effect is partly explained by the fact that fat cells contribute to inflammation. 

Balanced diets build healthy skin

The foods you eat provide the nutrients needed to build and maintain healthy skin. Three substances that support your skin — collagen (for strength), elastin (for resilience), and hyaluronic acid (for moisture) — are optimally produced with a steady supply of certain nutrients.

Here’s a rundown of the top nutrients needed for healthy skin:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen and elastin. As a strong antioxidant, it also protects your skin from damage caused by ultraviolet light. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A can offset some of the collagen damage resulting from sunlight. When used topically, vitamin A (a retinoid) smooths away fine wrinkles and reduces the appearance of age spots. Hyaluronic acid may help you fight the effects of sun damage by increasing the amount of vitamin A in your skin.

Vitamin D

Your skin uses this vitamin to support the growth and development of new cells and maintain the skin barrier. When applied topically, vitamin D protects your skin from sun damage, helping to limit DNA mutations.

Vitamin E

This is another vital antioxidant that prevents skin damage from sunlight. Vitamin E may also help fight inflammation.

Essential fatty acids

The essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, have a critical role in the appearance and function of your skin. They support the skin’s structural integrity and protect the barrier function. They also have a significant effect on inflammation in your skin. A deficiency in essential fatty acids increases inflammation and causes dryness as the skin barrier breaks down. 

Support your skin

You can get these nutrients from a diet that includes lean protein, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. If you have a deficiency, you may also need a supplement. 

You can improve the amount of fatty acids in your skin by taking supplements or by applying a topical product. Ask the team at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton about our medical-grade skin care products.

To learn more about the dietary changes you may need to make to support your skin, or to take advantage of our skin care services, we encourage you to call Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton today.

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