Food, Diet And Skin Health

Glowing, healthy skin means avoiding foods that harm the skin and embracing foods with minerals and vitamins

All Dermatologists are aware of the impact of exogenous and endogenous factors that affect skin health. While hormones, environmental factors such as the sun and pollution, stress and genetics all affect the appearance of our skin, our skin is also affected by what we eat.

The right foods help our skin tissue produce collagen, maintain a healthy bacterial and ph balance and fight inflammation. The wrong foods trigger inflammation – causing redness, irritation, and more severe acne.

We are what we eat, so the best home care routine for skin starts with a healthy diet! At Grace Skincare Clinic we believe in a holistic approach to skin health; that’s why we have asked specialists and done our own research on some of the best and worst foods for skin health, minerals and vitamins for healthy skin, and the importance of hydration for your skin.

bad foods for skin health

High-Glycemic Foods

If your diet includes a lot of sugar and high-glycemic foods, you are unknowingly harming your skin.

Foods that are high on the glycemic index, such as rice, potatoes, white bread and other refined carbohydrates, trigger inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation can cause skin redness, itchiness, and stinging; it is also directly linked to acne outbreaks and can contribute to skin aging over time.

high glycemic index is not good for skin health
High glycemic index is not good for skin health

Sugary foods also cause glycation: the breakdown of your skin’s collagen, and substance that promotes elasticity, smoothness, and ‘glow’. When sugar molecules attach themselves to the collagen in your skin, they inhibit that collagen from doing its job, and will lead to sagging, dull and rough skin.

High-glycemic foods also contribute to skin pigmentation over time, leading to dark spots and discolored patches. And in the hot temperature of Ho Chi Minh, it can only make pigmentation related problems worse.

High-glycemic foods that you want to cut down or avoid:  rice, fried foods, soda, pizza, potatoes, white bread, packaged chips, cookies, cakes, pastries and cereal

Healthy Fats vs Unhealthy Fats

The idea that all fats are bad for you has been disproven through medical research. In reality, our body needs certain fats to fight inflammation and maintain healthy skin. So, it’s important to know the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Omega-3 fats: Omega-3 fats have benefits for your entire body, from heart health to brain function. When it comes to your skin, Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, decreasing the severity of acne and other inflammatory conditions, and potentially easing the onset of skin aging symptoms.

Food high in Omega-3 fats in food:   Seeds and nuts (like chia, hemp, walnuts), avocado. seaweed and algae, seafood (especially cold-water fish), Beans (like edamame and kidney), eggs and grass-fed beef

Omega-6 fats: In contrast to Omega-3s, Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation, exacerbating acne and skin aging. There is a growing trend in Vietnam for people to eat more Omega-6 fats than ever, and less Omega-3 fats – a concern for overall health as well as skin health.

Omega-3 fats have benefits for your skin
Omega-3 fats have benefits for your skin

The best way to make sure you’re not getting too much Omega-6 is to avoid certain plant oils (particularly soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil), which have high ratios of Omega-6 fat to Omega-3 fat.

Caffeine and Alcohol: Skin dehydrators

Coffee and alcohol may be some of your favorite things, but they both have a dehydrating effect on our skin (and sweetened condensed milk and alcohol also are high in sugar, making it a double-whammy). While moderate coffee intake may be perfectly healthy (and even beneficial) for most individuals, it’s important to make sure that you’re not overdoing it.

coffee causes skin dehydration
Coffee causes skin dehydration

When your skin is hydrated, your skin cells are better able to perform their metabolic and other cellular functions. This means that hydration significantly boosts your skin’s short-term and long-term health, keeping it looking refreshed and youthful in the moment but also preventing damage further out. Living in Ho Chi Minh heat and being exposed to the hot sun means you need to drink plenty of water to satay hydrated. And no, beer is not hydration.

When you consume caffeine or alcohol, remember to replenish your body’s hydration levels with an equal amount of water. If you think that your caffeine or alcohol intake may be causing skin breakouts, dullness, and/or sagging, try cutting down your intake to see how this change affects your skin.

Antioxidants and Your Skin

Anti-oxidants help to scavenge free radicals, reducing the extent to which they can damage your skin. This makes antioxidant-rich foods incredibly important for skin health. By eating plenty of antioxidants, you can help your skin to look youthful and healthy, limiting the severity of skin damage.

Antioxidant-rich foods that promote skin health: Leafy greens (about two handfuls per day), pumpkin, fruit, especially citrus fruit, red- and blue-pigmented berries, tomatoes, beets, onions, chocolate (yes, you read correctly), kale, spinach, artichokes

Important Minerals and Vitamins for Healthy Skin

Many of us are also deficient in certain key nutrients, and the lack of these nutrients can make it harder for our skin to properly heal and restore itself. Food sources are normally more effective than supplements when it comes to delivering vitamins and minerals to your body.

Here are some of the most important minerals and vitamins for healthy skin, and some foods in which they can be found:

Magnesium: Leafy greens, bananas, tofu, certain nuts and seeds

Selenium: Brazil nuts (about one per day), fish, red meat

Vitamin B: Avocado, broccoli, lentils, eggs

Biotin: Nutritional yeast, almonds, cauliflower, sweet potato, spinach, liver, salmon, dairy, eggs

Copper: Dark chocolate, leafy greens, some nuts, shellfish

If it seems frustrating and stressful to have to worry about the foods you eat, we recommend taking steps to get yourself excited about healthy food!  While maintaining a skin-healthy diet can take patience and planning, it’s a worthwhile endeavor that can be a breakthrough for anyone looking to improve their skin’s appearance.

Contact Us

Grace Skincare Clinic
An international cosmetic dermatology clinic in Vietnam using FDA and CE-approved medical devices and treatments.

Mayfair Suites, 102ABC Cong Quynh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam
Book your appointment:
Tel: 0822-531-223
Hotline: 0961796809

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