Our skin is more than just a reflection of our skin care routine and the creams we use. It is affected by our lifestyle choices, including our diet and what we put into our bodies. Skin, derived from a primary tissue called the ectoderm, plays a vital role in protecting us from pathogens and allergens, regulating body heat, and connecting us to the outside world.
Maintaining the integrity and synergy of the skin’s layers is critical, and this is where our dietary choices come into play.
Approximately 2 kilograms of the human body consists of bacteria and fungi that feed on the food we consume. Therefore, providing a healthy diet with prebiotics is important as it supports the well-being of the microorganisms in our gut. Our gut, often referred to as our “second brain,” can synthesize vital proteins, produce important vitamins, and regulate immune activity to prevent intestinal inflammation.
Processed Foods vs. Alcohol: How Does It Affect Your Skin?
Processed foods rich in preservatives can have a direct impact on our skin. They can make acne worse by causing bacteria living in our mammary glands to ferment, leading to clogged pores and increased inflammation. Fast food, especially fried foods, can lead to excessive oiliness of the face and scalp, leading to seborrhea, causing redness, irritation and flaking of the eyebrows, nose and chin.
Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, gives dough elasticity. For people with celiac disease, and even those without preexisting conditions, gluten can cause digestive problems, abdominal pain, itching, skin rashes, and exacerbate autoimmune diseases such as thyroid problems, vitiligo, and psoriasis.
Certain foods can also change the color of our skin due to substances such as beta keratin. For example, eating an abundance of “orange” foods such as carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes can cause a noticeable change in skin color. In addition, favorite foods such as amba can lead to orange secretions, similar to a change in the color of sweat.
Eating spicy and spicy foods can cause blood vessels to dilate, increased facial sweating, and a burning sensation and discomfort on the scalp and body. It can also lead to excessive secretion of stomach acid and heartburn.
While sugar provides our body with the energy it needs to function properly, it can also be a source of inflammation, fuel bacteria, fungus and cancer, and contribute to obesity and heart disease. Sugar is an addictive substance and should be consumed in moderation to prevent inflammation, obesity and insulin resistance.
Salty foods are important for maintaining electrical activity in our cells. However, consuming excessive amounts of salt can lead to fluid retention, dilation of blood vessels, and swelling of tissues, which disrupts their normal function.
Fats: essential but should be consumed in moderation
Fats are essential for the normal functioning of our cells, including brain cells and other tissues. Although fat is necessary in our diet, consuming excessive amounts can lead to liver damage, thickening of blood vessels and increased risk of heart disease.
Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, may not cause harm. However, excessive consumption can cause dilation and damage to blood vessels, ranging from small vessels to those in the brain and legs. Long-term excessive drinking can cause irreparable damage to the entire body.
Caffeine, known for its stimulating and energizing effects, can also disrupt sleep patterns and cause restlessness when consumed in excessive amounts. As with other factors, moderation is key.
Our skin and our diet are closely related. The skin renews itself every month, with the basal cells leading to the shedding of cells on the surface of the skin. From age 20, we lose 1% collagen each year, and from age 30, we lose approximately one teaspoon of fat per year. It is important to note that while genetics play a small role in our overall well-being (approximately 7%), the majority (93%) is influenced by epigenetics, including our lifestyle, diet, happiness, physical activity, protection from the sun, skin care routines and aesthetic procedures.
Report by Dr. Monica Allman, expert in skin diseases and aesthetics.