I’ve battled acne throughout my life, minus my first blissful 12 years. So my face never looked as good as this random, plant, zen lady’s on the left. But up until recently, I didn’t find that eliminating certain foods reduced my acne one iota. Now as I approach the big 4-0, what I put into my body does impact my skin. I’m like an old model car that needs high-end gas to run properly. Don’t fret though, it’s not as if I eat only nuts and berries these days. Barbara Lincoln, our Classic Freedom (ESFJ) nutritionist, debunks a few widely believed myths about skin care and food.

Barbara Lincoln (ESFJ) 

I just got back from LA where seemingly everyone has glowing skin and lustrous locks. Whether it is from good genes, healthy habits or a little ahem (surgical enhancement), LALA land is filled with beautiful people. I had the privilege when I was here to hit the spa for a phenomenal facial and the aesthetician gave me a lecture on what to eat to “feed” my skin. Not that I have bad skin she said but I could definitely stand to drink more water, eat more antioxidants and of course slather on the sunscreen.

So I thought I’d devote this week to debunking a few myths about what to eat for glowing skin.

1. Chocolate, fried foods and dairy make you break out/cause acne:

Chocolate has actually been shown to be a good source of antioxidants which actually helps prevent free radical damage (environmental toxins). Look for a very good quality dark chocolate and remember moderation. There is no direct link to eating fried foods and acne, however when you are eating French fries (and onion rings) you aren’t eating other more healthy things and you are consuming a lot of unhealthy fat with little nutritional benefit. There is a link to dairy. If you have been suffering from acne, especially adult onset and/or cystic types, it has been suggested that the hormones in dairy can contribute to outbreaks. Try to go dairy free to see if it helps and also if you must consume dairy, look for hormone and antibiotic free versions of your favorite kinds.

2. You can hydrate the skin from the inside out:

Look everyone could stand to drink more water. But if your skin is dry and flaking I would first suggest exfoliating and getting a good moisturizer and then from a nutritional standpoint I would eat more healthy fats such as avocados, wild salmon, olive oil and nuts. And perhaps consider a fish oil supplement.

3. Juicing gives you a clear complexion and glowing skin:
Okay, I’ll admit that I got a little suckered in to drinking some green juice while out there but drinking too much juice and also consuming too much sugar (in the form of juice or otherwise) can actually harm your skin. Again, everyone could stand to EAT more leafy greens, vegetables and fruit (all filled with antioxidants) but from a scientific standpoint too much sugar breaks down the collagen in your skin and contributes to premature aging so watch it with the calorie laden juice based smoothies.