Are Your Favorite Comfort Snacks and Cocktails Aging Your Skin?

Are Your Favorite Comfort Snacks and Cocktails Aging Your Skin?
Are Your Favorite Comfort Snacks and Cocktails Aging Your Skin?

Whether its date night with your sweetheart or stress eating after a long day, there are certain treats that play a big part in our life with sugar, dairy and wine likely included in that role for most of us. But are our favorite forms of feeding our soul consequently destroying our skin?

Sugar and Wrinkles
Apparently, the sugar we love is terrible for our skin. In fact, it’s probably aging us. “Sugar can give you wrinkles, it’s a process called glycation; sugar attaches to, and damages proteins in your blood, making you more vulnerable to skin damage and premature wrinkles. Dryness and lack of elasticity occurs when these proteins are damaged,” says Cynthia Steele, a medical aesthetician and a member of the SPSSCS (Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists).

Stressed about looking older than you feel? Well, you probably shouldn’t be eating any chocolate and ice cream to feel better since the results on your skin will probably make you feel so much worse - a vicious cycle, indeed.

Diet
We are what we eat. We’ve all heard it before. We also know it simply by how we look in jeans to how well we sleep (or don’t) at night and how we feel upon rising in the morning. But, it also impacts our physical appearance in ways we don’t necessarily expect. Our skin is a clear window to our diet.

So how do we enjoy our favorite treats and not suffer the negative results? “Only allow sugar in your diet in moderation. Try reaching for an orange, or dark chocolate and get those beneficial antioxidants,” says Cynthia. Find natural alternatives and you may continue to have naturally beautiful skin, longer as you get older.

And the same goes for our after-work cocktail. “All alcohol dehydrates skin! Clear shots (vodka, gin, tequila, rum,) have no extra sugars, salt or other harmful ingredients. Dark liquor contains extra fermentation, which may contribute to more skin aging. Sugars can lead to swollen skin and bloating,” notes Cynthia. “Minimize aging risks by having a glass of red wine, but keep in mind it can cause the release of histamines which can cause puffy, swollen eyes or skin rashes. White wine contains sugar and salt and sugary drinks are known to give you a “sugar hangover” which may result in sallow skin. The salt of course can also lead to bloating and puffiness evinced in the skin.” So – word to the wise: When you do have these special treats, drink lots of water to try to detox your body. Water is always your best friend.

Triggers
The frustrating part of these sugar, dairy, and alcohol issues is that each of us are going to be impacted in different ways at different times, so we really have to feel things out and see how our individual body responds to each.

“Specific triggers like red wine and gin (juniper berry) can trigger rosacea. If you flush after a glass, you probably have rosacea symptoms. Sugar also causes acne by spiking your insulin levels, causing inflammation throughout the body,” explains Cynthia.

Once you find your triggers, enjoy them sparingly, or not at all. The last thing you want is to be broken out and flushed at your next special occasion!

About the Author

Aly Walansky is a lifestyles writer with over a decade of experience covering beauty, health, and travel for various esteemed publications. Her blog, A Little Alytude (www.alytude.com) was launched in 2006 and continues to be a strong voice in the lifestyles arena. Based in the ever-trendy Park Slope area of Brooklyn, she divides her time between her shih tsu Lily, her soap opera addiction, and scouting out fun new martini bars.