If you’re like most women, the older you get, the more wrinkles become a concern. Remember your teenage years where you would blissfully lay out in the sun for hours with nothing more than baby oil and a bikini? Ah, the good old days before we used to worry about things like marionette lines…how times have changed. Today, you probably slavishly apply a sunscreen with a high SPF, put on sunglasses to avoid squinting/crow’s feet, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and limit your time in direct sunlight.
And that’s just when you’re heading outside on a sunny day! We’re sure that additionally, you’re religious about slathering on AM and PM anti-wrinkle lotions, creams, and serums. While naturally, all of these activities are helpful when it comes to preventing wrinkles, did you know that there’s something else you can do that few women realize?
We’re talking about paying close attention to your diet, because what you put into your mouth may be no less important than how you treat your skin.
Your Diet Affects How Youthful Your Skin Looks
Have you ever heard the phrase, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips”? It’s meant to imply that what you eat impacts your body weight but honestly, the statement doesn’t go far enough. The food you eat also affects your appearance. For instance, there are several foods that are more likely to cause wrinkles than others. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of some of the foods and drinks most likely to show up on your skin.
1. Iced Coffee
For many of you, this might be the saddest thing you read all day. We’re sorry, we apologize in advance. We know how much people appreciate their cups of joe. Iced coffee makes this list, because caffeine can impact the quality of your sleep, resulting in premature aging of the skin. Worse still, the repetitive motion of puckering your lips to sip through a straw can lead to fine lines around the mouth. Still want to enjoy your java? Skip the straw and consider getting a decaf iced coffee instead.
Bacon is delicious, so of course it makes this list, right? While it does make the list, there’s good news and bad. The bad news is that processed meats—like bacon—contain nitrates which cause inflammation, ultimately aging skin. The good news is that there are multiple varieties of nitrate-free bacon available. Oink, oink.
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Not only does booze age you more rapidly, but it also causes premature wrinkles, dehydration, puffiness, and the loss of collagen and elasticity. However, if you drink in moderation, any effects you’re likely to experience will be mild. So, the next time you go out, enjoy a mojito. Just make sure to follow it up with a glass of water afterward!
4. Fiber-Added Foods
What??? What’s this doing on the list? It’s true. According to Dr. Layke, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, the word “added” on a food package is an indicator that the food has been overprocessed. Further, he says that overprocessed foods are more likely to include harmful ingredients like corn syrup and vegetable oils which create free radicals, ultimately destroying the proteins that make skin young and supple-looking. Rather than seeking out fiber-added food, go straight to the source and choose foods that are naturally high in fiber like raspberries, pears, beans, nuts, artichokes, peas, and broccoli.
5. Sweets High in Sugar
Actually, anything high in sugar can age skin but when we typically imagine sugary foods, sweets are the first thing that come to mind. When you eat sugary sweets, your body’s insulin level spikes, leading to inflammation. And if you recall from our discussion on bacon, inflammation is a skin no-no. That’s because inflammation “produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.” We’re not suggesting that you give up sweets altogether, but we would recommend that you consume them in moderation. The average American consumes a whopping 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends that women limit themselves to 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, and men strive to consume less than 9 teaspoons.
6. Bread and Pasta
Sure, technically, this is 2 items but don’t they just seem to belong together? A bowl of fettuccine is always more delicious with garlic bread on the side. But we digress. Bread and pasta should be limited for the same reason as sugar—because simple carbohydrates cause insulin levels to spike. A healthier choice would be to select whole wheat breads and pastas which have a more moderate effect on insulin. However, there is a caveat. As Dr. Leyke points out, some people “splurge” by eating lots of whole wheat pasta and bread. As with any other item on this list, carbohydrate lovers should practice moderation. Eating whole wheat breads and pasta to excess will negate their healthy effects. Dr. Layke
The Final Word on Wrinkle-Causing Foods
If you want to eat for your skin, your best bet is to avoid highly processed, insulin-spiking foods. Instead, opt for healthier fare like beans, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. However, above all, we’d recommend that you don’t sweat the details too much. Just practice moderation and you’ll be fine. After all, worrying about what you eat too much causes, you guessed it…wrinkles!