July 20, 2015 Diana Crisan Spotlight

How Your Guilty Pleasures Could Be Affecting Your Skin

We all have our guilty pleasures. Whether it’s binging on Netflix or eating pizza until you drop (or both — perfect combo!), there are some consequences to these “habits.” Although their effects may vary, it’s good to know what’s happening to your skin while indulging! That’s why we turned to Boston-based dermatologist Emmy Graber and LA-based esthetician and owner of Pampered People, Stacy Cox for some professional advice on the matter!

Guilty Pleasures

Your caffeine addiction. So, you can’t function without your morning latte or iced green tea? Guilty. But, are you paying a price (other than the $5 a day!)? According to Dr. Graber, it’s actually hot beverages that can cause issues — specifically in patients with rosacea, as the drink can trigger flare-ups! And how about that creamer you’re dumping in there? She states that there is a suggestion that certain dairy products can also cause flare-ups in skin. “I tell everyone to keep a food diary for a few weeks and to look back on it during flare-ups to see if they notice any correlation between food and skin issues,” she says.”

Your late-night fast food run. Trying to justify that 2 a.m. Taco Bell run? Well, according to Cox, an occasional fast food run shouldn’t really affect your skin. “This is an urban myth. However consuming it consistently is never going to be good for your digestive tract and when this gets off track, it's a trickle-down effect that could impact the wellbeing of your skin.”

Your chocolate indulgence. How about sugary foods, and our favorite sweet treat, chocolate? Cox states that the idea that chocolate causes acnes is pretty much a big fat myth and not true. “Researchers have tried to find the link between the two but there's no evidence to support the claim,” she says. “The wiser option with chocolate is always to go with dark. It's lower in fat and may have health benefits — it's been reported to lower fat and cholesterol.” What a relief!

However, both Cox and Dr. Graber mention that studies show that foods with a higher glycemic index (like bread and pasta) have been linked to causes of acne, but it’s hard to say if that’s the case for everyone.

Your consumption of “adult beverages.” So, you had one too many last night. Here’s what’s really happening — other than the hangover. “Regular consumption of alcohol will tend to contribute to a dehydrated complexion. Not to mention the sugars in alcohol contribute to glycation. Glycation is an aging process in the body for which your sugar intake accelerates the rate at which we age,” says Cox. Yikes!

She suggests countering the alcohol with lots of water to flush it through your system as efficiently as possible and looking into skincare lines that make products that address glycation. Like SkinCeuticals A.G.E Interrupter, which restores water and nutrients to skin in order to correct visible signs of aging caused by excess sugar molecules that bind to collagen and elastin fibers.

And while we all love our red wine, Dr. Garber mentions that it can really flare up rosacea. “We know that for most people, beer does not trigger a flare-up of rosacea and hard liquor is also unlikely to trigger it, so someone who is prone to flare-ups might want to consider drinking cocktails or beer,” she says.

Wondering if you need to cut out all of your guilty pleasures? You may not have to — well, not entirely. “The key to everything in life is moderation. Take time to evaluate and to experiment with what works best for you and your body chemistry because no two bodies are exactly the same,” says Stacy Cox. Whew!

More concerns? Check out our other skincare tips here!

Photo: thinkstock

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    About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.