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Five Foods that Age Skin

Update Date: Aug 05, 2014 03:11 PM EDT

Foods provide different kinds of nutrition for the body. Some can boost energy levels whereas others can expand waistlines. Since people mainly focus on how foods might affect overall physical health, they often forget that foods can affect other physical features, such as one's skin.

"What you eat affects your skin-for better or worse," said Ariel Ostad, MD, fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, reported by TIME.

Here are five things that are bad for your skin:

1. Sweets

People who consume too many sweets can trigger a process known as glycation. During glycation, the extra amount of sugar that the cells can no longer process starts to combine with proteins, resulting in something called advanced glycation end products (AGES). According to Dr. Ostad, AGES have been linked to damaging the collagen in the skin, which causes the skin to lose its firmness and youthfulness. Not only do sweets age the skin, they can also speed up teeth decay and cause teeth discoloration.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can age the skin in many ways. First, alcohol negatively affects the liver. When the health of the liver is jeopardized by alcohol, it prevents the organ from properly expelling toxins out of the body. The toxins will then build up in the liver, which can lead to skin complications, such as acne, sallowness and wrinkles. Alcohol has also been linked to triggering rosacea outbreaks. Second, alcohol dehydrates the body, which can dry out the skin and cause premature aging. Third, alcohol disrupts sleep and a lack of sleep has been tied to premature wrinkles and uneven pigmentation.

3. Salt

Salt is a seasoning that goes into almost every food product and dish across the world. Even though salt can enhance flavors, too much of it can be detrimental to the skin. Since salt can be found in many products, people might not realize how much salt they are eating every day. Excess salt causes the body to retain water, which can lead to puffiness. In order to calm the puffiness, people can use a moisturizer with caffeine.

4. Charred Meats

Charred meats can surprisingly age the skin. In some cases, the black char contains pro-inflammatory hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can cause the collagen in the skin to break down, which leads to premature aging. Dr. Ostad stated that instead of giving up BBQ, people can avoid this by cleaning the grill, particularly scrapping off all the black char before cooking on it.

5. Processed Meats

Processed meats, such as cold cuts, bacon and sausage have been linked to many health complications, particularly heart disease. Not only are they bad for the body, they are also bad for the skin. According to Dr. Ostad, "Many of these meats have sulfites and other preservatives, which can trigger inflammation in the skin, and accelerate the appearance of aging." On top of that, these meats tend to contain high levels of salt, which as mentioned before, can be bad for the skin.

If people want to delay signs of aging, they can start by avoiding these items.

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