7 Foods Dermatologists Would Never Eat

Certain foods can ruin your skin. Keep these off your plate for a clear complexion.

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How your diet affects your skin

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Bad news for those of us who love a late-night fast food binge: What you put in your body is as important for your skin as what you put on it. Antioxidant-rich foods are some of the best foods for your skin and a few simple diet adjustments can help brighten, plump, or lock in moisture. Other foods can be acne triggers in some people, or can cause redness and irritation. We talked to the derms about what ingredients they've banished from their plates in the name of good skin.

Diet soda: Bad for cellulite

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You’ve certainly heard to skip the soda (yes, even diet!) for your waistline, but the acidity in diet soda is especially harsh on your skin. According to cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, the acid will cause “fat cells to swell”—have you ever heard a more upsetting phrase?—which means cellulite can look worse. Here are 12 things that can happen to your body if you stop drinking diet soda.

Spicy foods: Makes rosacea worse

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If you have rosacea, Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, recommends skipping Taco Tuesday. “Any foods that cause your blood vessels to dilate and make you flush may cause a flare,” he says. Here are other foods that can trigger rosacea.

Platefuls of pasta

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Let’s take a moment to consider the cruel phrase “carb face”—a puffiness that occurs when you’ve eaten too many carbs (and which we can all agree is sometimes worth it.) Dr. Frank reminds us that simple carbs like pasta can exacerbate acne and cellulite growth and change fluid levels in the body. Minimize your intake in favor of lean proteins and veggies. On the other hand, these healthy carbs don’t spike your blood sugar.

Dairy

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I once sat down for a facial in which the esthetician took one look at my skin and said to me: “You’re eating too much dairy.” Dairy can be a “pro-inflammatory,” says Dr. Frank,” which means it can “exacerbate any condition, like acne, that involves inflammation of tissue.”

White bread

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If you’re concerned about acne breakouts, try making the switch to whole wheat. Dr. Frank recommends avoiding the carbohydrates in white bread (not to mention white rice and other simple carbs.) Here’s what dermatologists do at the first sign of a pimple.

Potato chips

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Ever see a dermatologist (or a celebrity, or a plastic surgeon, or anyone with fabulous skin) eating processed snacks like potato chips? Avoid store-bought, prepackaged snacks that are high in the acidity that can cause inflammation, and supplement with these healthy snack recipes instead.

Cupcakes

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Dr. Zeichner recommends avoiding foods with high glycemic loads (read: dessert). Those office cupcakes can lead to inflammation and cause “glycation,” a stiffening of collagen fibers that makes skin more wrinkled over time. These are other habits that your skin hates.

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