The old adage, “You are what you eat,” absolutely holds up. The foods we choose to put into our body play a major role in how we look, feel, and even age. Let’s count down five skin aging offenders to avoid in order to look your youthful best.
You’ve probably already got a million reasons to quit sugar, but here’s one more to add to the list: it accelerates the aging process. Excess sugar causes the production of damaging AGEs as well as excess inflammation. The result? A loss in elasticity leading to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dull, dry skin.
We already know that trans fats clog arteries, which has a serious consequence on heart health. But did you know that clogged arteries and narrowed blood vessels can also age skin by promoting inflammation? Research further links these unhealthy fats with increased vulnerability to UV damage — the leading cause of aging. So step away from the processed foods to enjoy more resilient, radiant skin.
If you slather on moisturizer every day to safeguard your skin from environmental damage, you may be undoing your efforts every time you reach for the salt shaker. In addition to causing high blood pressure and kidney disease, salt’s dehydrating effects can also leave skin looking puffy and fatigued. Salt can be an insidious ingredient — vegetable juice, soup, and even ice cream are a few high-salt shockers — so be sure to check labels.
We hate to do it to you, but coffee — and all other caffeine products — has a diuretic effect. In other words, while that cup of java may help you feel more awake in the morning, it can actually have the opposite effect on your appearance by triggering a youth-zapping loss of moisture.
According to Dr. Oz, too much alcohol accelerates the aging process by taxing your liver, which is responsible for expelling the body’s toxins. Devoid of nutrients, excess alcohol can also lead to depleted levels of antioxidant vitamin A, which is responsible for cell regeneration and the production of collagen. One last reason to avoid too much alcohol? It can interfere with your beauty sleep. The takeaway? Think twice before polishing off that bottle: the more you imbibe, the greater the impact on your appearance.
While what we put into our bodies — for better or for worse — directly impacts how we look and feel, this doesn’t mean giving up all life’s pleasures. Rather, we choose to adopt another time-tested expression to guide the way, “Everything in moderation.”