It’s often said that “we are what we eat” and with countless studies to substantiate these claims, we are now more than ever, aware of all the consequences to our daily diet. We’re breaking down for you the most potent food culprits that leave pure skin anything but glowing. There are easy ways substitute these foods with healthier skin-friendly alternatives, as featured below.

Alcohol: All in moderation and if possible try to stick to red wine. Alcohol contains a ton of sugar which can cause glycation (the breakdown of the proteins in skin (collagen and elastin), ultimately causing skin to sag and age. Glucose also causes cells to be malformed and irregular thus creating free radicals.

Substitution: Drink 1 – 2 X per week!

– White Sugar: Leading the cause glycation breakdown, this is a big one to stay clear of. Try adding non-processed sugars or fruits into your diet.

Substitution: Cinnamon can also be substituted and it helps with inflammation! Honey and/or Cacao are great alternatives to actual sugar and they are both super foods.

– White bread: Contain extremely high glycemic levels. Foods that have a high glycemic level raise blood sugar and can cause inflammation. This can cause a puffy look to the skin and face.

Substitution: Look for breads listed as low glycemic. Our favorite is Ezekiel bread!

Fried foods: Fried foods also have high glycemic levels and can be full of preservatives which can cause bloating.

Substitution: If you are cooking with oil, try and use olive oil or coconut.

Soda: Whether it is the sugar or the artificial sweetener, stay away from drinking soda. Soda causes bloating and can dehydrate the skin.

Substitution: Kombucha or Sparkling Water

Preservatives:  can cause inflammation. Inflammation inside the body is a very bad thing and looks pretty bad our your skin too. Preservatives are in many foods. Stay clear of deli meats, pre-packaged snack foods and try cooking from scratch instead of reaching for the chines food.

Substitution: When cooking at home use natural ingredients buying processed food. Use ingredients to season food like garlic, tumeric and ginger. All three are extremely healthy and aid with inflammation.

Meat: All meat if not organic will contain hormones that the animal has been fed. Hormones can need to eat organic in order to not ingest hormones the animal has been fed.

Substitution: Aim for fish instead. Salmon, arguably the most healthy food, is the best because of omegas.

Dairy: Does nothing but cause inflammation.

Substitution: There are so many dairy alternatives including almond and coconut derived non-dairy products. For a complete listing see here: Non-Dairy.

Our “IT” List: Water, oily fish such as salmon and sardines, avocado, berries, citrus fruit, nuts, seeds, green vegetables, red wine in moderation, green tea, rooibos tea, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and plain yogurt.


By Rhea Cortado

Photo Jun 17, 11 12 29 AM

You’ve been there—working extra long hours, you order greasy takeout on the regular and the stress breaks out in pimples on your skin. Or the morning after a bingefest, those dark bags under your eyes look like you got punched in the face. It’s clear that what foods you put into your body affects your skin.

To find out more about how to prevent skin aging through the right foods, I asked my friend Dr. Michelle Davenport who is the Director of Nutrition at Zesty, Inc., a mobile app based in San Francisco in which you can find healthy take-out food.

Michelle specializes in the aging compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and says, “Aging of skin is caused by (AGEs) that can: 1) cross-link to collagen in our skin and make it weaker and 2) cause inflammation and skin damage.”

To lower the amount of AGEs that exist in our bodies, she gives these three tips to remember when cooking at home or going out to eat.

1. Avoid foods that have been cooked in high, dry heat. For example, swap out the barbecue for the steamer, or incorporate more raw foods into your diet (i.e. sashimi vs. teriyaki salmon). Also, I don’t advocate for a raw diet, just incorporating more raw foods into our diets overall.

2. Cook with water and lemon. Water-based cooking methods (i.e. steaming) and acidic marinades (i.e. lemon or lime juice) can inhibit the formation of AGEs throughout the cooking process.

3. Eat your fruits and veggies. These superfoods contain properties that can fight the damage caused by AGEs and slow the aging process.

And lastly, not food related, but Don’t Smoke! Cigarettes are basically little AGE sticks. The curing of tobacco forms AGEs, so it’s not surprising to find chronic smokers look much older than their identical non-smoker twins, as recent studies have found.

Visit for some healthy recipes and stay tuned for more food tips for anti-AGEing from Michelle soon.