Is Your Diet Ruining Your Skin?

Is Your Diet Ruining Your Skin?

Most of us know that what we put on the outside of our skin can affect the way our skin looks and feels. But skin is affected by what we put on the inside, too — specifically, what we eat and drink.

Soheila Rostami, MD, and Joseph Davidson, MD, are dedicated to helping patients at Rostami OPC maintain healthy skin with custom skin care treatments and medical guidance tailored to their individual needs. That includes helping patients improve their eating habits to keep their skin looking and feeling its best at every age. 

Your diet and your skin

Your skin is an organ, and like any organ, it needs nutrients to stay healthy. Likewise, unhealthy foods can have the opposite effect, depriving your skin of nutrients or making it look worn, dull, and prematurely aged

Knowing which foods to limit (or eliminate entirely) can help you optimize your diet for better skin health.


Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it draws moisture out of your body. We all know how much skin loves moisture: Dry skin is a lot more prone to wrinkle formation, and it can also leave your complexion looking dull. 

Try replacing that alcohol-based drink with a seltzer beverage that’s refreshing and delicious — and doesn’t cause dehydration.

Processed sugars

Candy, cakes, cookies, pies — they’re all delicious, but sadly, they’re not good for your skin. Sugar causes your body’s inflammatory process to kick into high gear, and all of that inflammation can dull your skin and make it more prone to breakouts. 

A healthier habit: fresh fruit that provides a touch of sweetness, along with vitamins your skin needs for better health.

Refined carbs

Highly processed carbohydrates, like the ones found in white bread, can raise your blood sugar levels, stimulating the inflammatory cascade and possibly even leading to acne breakouts. Opt for whole grains whenever possible, and leave the processed products behind.

Fried foods

Whether we’re talking potato chips, fried chicken, or a delicious corn dog, fried foods all have one thing in common: 

Eating too much can lead to problems with your circulation. Skin needs good circulation to provide it with plenty of oxygen and to whisk away toxins. Limiting circulation deprives skin of these benefits, and it can make your skin look dull and puffy too.


Too much sodium (or salt) raises your blood pressure and causes water retention, interfering with circulation and making your skin look puffy. Sodium is sneaky, because it mimics many sugars in that it hides in foods where you least expect it — even foods that otherwise seem healthy. 

Read labels closely, limit high-sodium foods like potato chips and french fries, and go easy on the salt shaker.

Improve your diet, improve your skin

In general, skin benefits from the same dietary guidelines as the rest of your body: very little sugar and unhealthy fats, limited processed foods, and plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. 

There are, however, some nutrients that have been specifically associated with good skin health, and including plenty of those foods in your diet can help your skin look its glowing best. These nutrients include:

The good news: These nutrients are found in abundance in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy sources of fat, like salmon, tuna, and avocados. 

To wash it all down, reach for water, not soda. Water is the beverage of choice for healthy skin, and most people should aim for about eight glasses a day. Don’t like plain water? Flavor it with cucumbers, lemon, mint, or fresh berries for added refreshment.

Enjoy beautiful skin at every age

Skin responds beautifully to good care, and that includes eating a skin-healthy diet. To learn what you can do to keep your skin healthy or to find out about our custom skin care treatment options, call 571-568-8716 or schedule an appointment online at our Reston, Virginia, office today.

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