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Expert opinion: how foods affect our skin

Kate Hudson

For many years scientists claimed that there was no link between the skin condition and what you eat, no. However, every second dermatologist advises to give up chocolate or cheese, if you have acne or eczema, and bloggers tell how to get rid of pimples in a couple of weeks, only eliminating from the diet of sugar. SPLETNIK.RU together with experts tried to figure out whether it was true that the secret of beautiful and healthy skin lies in the diet.

We are what we eat?

It is believed that the fatty acids contained in nuts and fish, is essential for maintaining protective functions of the skin, whereas the protein that is rich in meat and eggs that are needed for production of collagen, it makes skin supple and smooth. However, Dr anjali Mahto, a dermatologist at London’s Cadogan clinic, explains that while the useful elements absorbed by the body, will take a very long time, and their concentration will be so small that little benefit they will bring.

That is why high doses of vitamin C, often contained in dietary Supplements, which are recommended to take to improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin, just useless. As it is unlikely that our diet affects the hormone levels in the blood (it is believed that because of the increased testosterone pimples). Scientific research on this subject is not enough, — said the expert.

Sports nutritionist, fitness trainer, founder of the project “Friendly body” Xenia King, too sure what to say about the direct link between a specific product and rashes in the spirit of “we all have acne because of eating the cheese”, absolutely incorrect.

First, rash on the skin — cause factors, which includes improper care, hormonal, and even psychological aspects (in a psychosomatic rash on the skin — the rejection itself or the situation, described in detail in the Handbook of Liz Burbo, “Your body is telling: love yourself”).

Second, each person’s body will react differently to certain products. It is necessary to consider each person individually, gathering information about the state of his health, the diet of its food and analyzing the reaction to those or other products in the dynamics.

Dr. Mahto is confident that diet for skin simply doesn’t exist. If you eat properly, the entire body (and skin) will thank you. Here we have to rely on classic tips: eat lots of vegetables and fruits that contain vitamins and minerals. There are several small studies published in the Journal of Dermatology & Therapy, which prove that a diet high in omega-3 may exert anti-inflammatory effects. And, because many skin diseases are associated with chronic inflammation, possible, two to three servings of fatty fish per week will benefit.

What about products that are not worth it? Mahto advised not to follow the fashion and without the advice of a dietician not to give up mindlessly from meat, milk or gluten. But to reduce the consumption of sugar is always a good idea. There is evidence that refined sugar contributes to the appearance of acne. According to one theory, the surge of blood sugar leads to increased insulin levels (the hormone that helps deliver glucose into the cells), it affects insulin-like growth factor-1, or IGF-1, which, as scientists believe, increases the size and activity of sebaceous glands (which appear acne).

Dairy products

In the fifties and sixties according to the expert, the standard advice of a dermatologist was, “Give up dairy products and sugar.” Then, in the sixties and seventies there is a new study, which said that between diet and acne no link.

Nature invented milk for feeding offspring, therefore, not surprising that in addition to proteins, fats and carbohydrates are substances that accelerate the growth and maturation of calves. According to Dr. Frank Lipman, more than 60 kinds of hormones, mostly steroids (those used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass).

Milk without hormones does not exist. Any dairy product contains a certain amount of testosterone, progesterone, insulin, insulin-like growth factor, and other stimulating substances.

Anabolic steroids and sex hormones, consumed with milk, according to some, by themselves, can cause acne. However, there is another mechanism why the skin becomes problematic. Lactose (milk sugar) stimulates the synthesis of insulin, which further enhances the effect of steroids on the skin. So, a glass of milk raises the level of this hormone by 300 per cent. Therefore, clean skin is another weighty argument in favor of a diet focused on low insulin index foods.


Many people believe that acne appear when they eat chocolate. However, it’s not really chocolate, and sugar which it contains. It’s really need to be careful, studies have shown that people who regularly consume foods with a high glycemic index (i.e. high in sugar or simple carbohydrates), acne becomes aggravated more and takes more space on the face than those who are on a diet with a low glycemic index.

Spicy food

The leadership of the British Association of dermatologists has proven that people with rosacea (a chronic relapsing disease of the skin characterized by redness and expansion of small and superficial vessels of the skin) should be excluded from the diet spicy food, and foods with a vasodilating action (for example, red wine). All in capsaicin, it is found in spicy red peppers and some other spices, and cinnamaldehyde contained in cinnamon, tomatoes, citrus and chocolate — they can act as triggers to exacerbation of the disease.

Anna Iwaszkiewicz, nutritionist, clinical psychologist, nutritionist, member of the national Association of clinical nutrition begs to differ and believes that a daily diet directly affects the condition of the skin. To preserve the beauty, she recommends eating foods rich in fiber.


The average consumption of 30 grams of dietary fiber per day (100 grams of wheat bran) will help to prevent many diseases from cardiovascular to gastrointestinal. The beauty of your face (and skin generally) depends on healthy microflora.


Consumption of products such as fatty fish, vegetable oils (linseed, soybean, corn), eggs, nuts will not only help to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation, but to improve the functioning of the Central nervous system. Omega-3 reduces symptoms of allergies, struggling with various types of dermatitis and inhibits skin aging. This acid is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging the skin.

Green coffee

Most studies confirm the fact that the green coffee the highest content of chlorogenic acid (antioxidant). In the roasted beans, it is also there, but in the green its many times more. This acid helps fight the virus causative agent of herpes, E. coli. In addition to coffee antioxidant you can find in a barberry, potatoes, sorrel, not roasted sunflower seeds, artichokes, eggplant, apples.

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