Popcorn, cappucinos, bottled water—some of the most delicious (or most boring) foods can be hard on your skin if you overdo it.
White bread, bagels, popcorn… “Foods with a high glycemic index give you a sugar rush that will be terrible for your skin,” says Ava Shamban, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. “When you increase sugar levels in the blood stream, the sugar that’s not picked up by the liver can get into your collagen, which your body may then identify as damaged goods and chew up. It can also cause inflammation that could make you break out.” You can find out a food’s glycemic index at http://uristocrat.com/2012/11/a-trak-presents-fools-gold-radio-november-mix/ —anything under 55 is considered low.
Red-velvet cupcakes, pistachio ice cream cones… Sweet stuff that’s irritating on your Instagram feed—looking at you, artfully arranged plate of macarons—is even worse for your skin. Once again, too much sugar can break down collagen and elastin, making your skin look dull and causing wrinkles over time. When you can substitute for sugar, “honey is the best sweetener since it’s loaded with antioxidants,” says Shamban.
Yogurt, cappuccinos… Dairy gets a lot of flack for being bad for your skin, but the truth is “we don’t have enough data to know for sure, so we can only say it’s a potential culprit,” says Shamban. So far, studies have shown a correlation between dairy and acne but not causation, and anecdotal evidence is less reliable than you’d think. “If you gave up eating yogurt or drinking skim milk every day and had fewer breakouts, you wouldn’t know if it were because of the dairy or its sugar content,” says Shamban. Your best bet is to look for dairy that’s made a) without added sugars and b) from cows that are not treated with hormones. “The hormones cows are fed can be steroid analogues, which can make you break out,” she says.
Bottled water. “The BPA in water bottles is another steroid analogue, which means it could act like hormones in your body,” says Shamban. “You don’t think about your bottled water breaking you out, but we don’t know yet—and anyway, there are a thousand reasons not to use plastic bottles all the time.”
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