Five foods to stay away from for better skin

To maintain healthy-looking skin, here are the foods to avoid

We all know that what we eat has a big impact on the state of our skin, but it’s always tricky trying to figure out what’s bad for you and what’s not.

Sometimes people learn through trial and error what foods to avoid, having discovered how their skin reacts to certain foods, but there are specific foods that we should generally stay away from for better skin.

We spoke to Dermalogica National Skin Educator Diana van Sittert to find out what foods to avoid for healthier, more refreshed skin.

READ MORE: 4 ways you’re making oily skin worse

Any refined sugar in soft drinks or foods

“Sugar increases the process called glycation in our skin. In simple terms it can be explained as sugar crystallising the collagen fibres in our skin and breaking them, which leads to premature ageing,” Van Sittert says.


Very surprisingly, Van Sittert identifies milk as a food to avoid, saying that while milk is good for your body, it’s not necessarily great for your skin.

“Most milk sources are loaded with growth hormones due to the hormones cows are fed to increase milk production. These hormones can lead to increased acne and oiliness in our skin,” she says.


“Many margarines contain trans-fatty acids that decrease hydration levels in the skin,” Van Sittert says.

There was a study done a couple of years ago and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. It found a correlation between a high intake of margarine and increased wrinkling of the skin.

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Grilled meat

“Grilled meat when compared to over-prepared meat, creates AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End products) which prematurely ages the skin,” Van Sittert explains.


Last on Van Sittert’s list is salt. She says a high intake of salt can have devastating effects on your skin.

“The sodium in salt dehydrates the skin intrinsically and gives you that typical ‘crepe’ look,” she says.