Generally, if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, it will show on your face. Scientists have argued for years over the link between diet and skin problems, though there are some things that everyone agrees can negatively impact your skin's appearance and aggravate existing problems. The good news? You can eat chocolate - as long as you stick to a low-dairy, low-sugar choice. But here are the types to avoid:

Dehydrating Foods

Getting enough moisture to your skin is imperative, and unfortunately our internal organs metabolize most of the water we drink before it reaches our skin. So any foods that dehydrate you are doubly bad for your skin. Stay away (as much as possible) from alcohol, caffeine, and salty snacks, deli meats, or high-sodium canned goods.

High Glycemic Foods

There's no doubt that foods with a high glycemic index like cakes, pasta, and white breads, will affect your weight. But there seems to be a link between these foods and break-outs as well. An Australian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a low-glycemic diet actually reduced acne by 50%. Some studies have linked blood-sugar problems - which can be caused by too many sugary and high glycemic foods - to acne.

Trans-Fat and Fried Foods

It's probably no surprise that these chief health offenders are also bad for your skin. Though doctors still debate the link between these and acne, they do know that these fractionated oils can damage skin's free radicals, leading to premature aging. And many do feel that they can contribute to trapping bacteria under the skin, leading to break-outs.

Not Enough Fat

While you should stay away from "bad" fats, good ones help maintain your health - and skin. The National Institutes of Health states that fat is crucial for maintaining healthy skin, so be sure to include healthy, unsaturated fats like fish and olive oil in your diet.

Food Intolerances

You may not realize that you're mildly allergic to foods like nuts, dairy, or gluten products. Reactions to these intolerances can show up on your skin, often in pigmentation problems, minor rashes, or even eczema breakouts. Consider cutting these from your diet or getting tested for sensitivities if you're having skin issues.

Dairy & Meat

Some studies have shown that cutting milk products and red meat from their diet showed skin improvement. However, these contain important vitamins and minerals, so you should speak with your doctor about how to replace these in your diet.

According to Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., an expert from the Mayo Clinic website, "If you're interested in healthy skin, you might simply focus on a balanced diet." And it seems that this approach does indeed make the most sense. Focus on a healthy you - and your inner health will show up on your skin.



The Mayo Clinic

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Medline (publication of the National Institutes of Health)