The Real Reason What You Eat Affects Your Skin

It's almost as though nature is out to get us sometimes. (With all the pollution and waste, it's not really surprising though, is it?) But was there really any need to naturally make junk food so enticing and vegetables so boring in comparison? Think how strong and pumped with vitality we'd be if it was the other way around! And how much better our skin would look if pizza and burgers made us dewy and glowing. 

The unfortunate news is that research revealed by Eat This, Not That! has found what many of us already know to be true: That skin can definitely be damaged by eating too much of the wrong thing — and sadly that includes many delicious comfort foods.

The study, conducted by University of California Davis Health and published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, notes that diets high in sugar and saturated fats (cakes, cookies, fries, burgers, and many processed foods) prompt a greater risk of causing inflamed skin because they disrupt the levels of bacteria in the intestines and can disrupt digestive processes. 

Eating too much junk food increases the risk of skin issues

And it's not just acne either that can flare up, but also more debilitating and chronic issues like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.

"Earlier studies have shown that the Western diet, characterized by its high sugar and fat content, can lead to significant skin inflammation and psoriasis flares," said Sam T. Hwang, a professor at UC Davis Health who was a senior author in the study, a statement supplied to Eat This, Not That! "Despite having powerful anti-inflammatory drugs for the skin condition, our study indicates that simple changes in diet may also have significant effects on psoriasis."

The good news is that the research suggests making tweaks to our food routines may be able to make long-lasting changes for our skin. The study suggests getting away from fast foods and processed foods and instead instituting a more balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables that can be anti-inflammatory and cut down on skin reactions while also restoring gut health that will suppress systemic inflammation as well.

To keep skin looking and feeling its best, Patient recommends foods crammed with antioxidants, such as ginger and turmeric. Spinach, nuts, salmon, and strawberries are also great anti-inflammatory foods, says Harvard Health Publishing.