Holiday parties mean decorations, dressing up, and all sorts of indulgent dishes. Most health-conscious adults know they should watch finger foods and heavy entrees for sodium, saturated fat, and overall excess calories. However, did you know that what you put on your plate can also transform your skin’s health and appearance?
To help you protect your complexion and make healthy decisions at the buffet table, we’ve rounded up a dermatologist-approved list of the best and worst holiday foods (and drinks).
- Creamy dips: The dairy in these can boost androgen, a hormone that increases oil production.
- Chips, pretzels, or other salty snacks: Excess sodium causes skin to puff up, reduces radiance, and makes fine lines more noticeable.
- Cookies, pie, and other desserts: Refined sugar releases free radicals in the body, which diminish the skin’s elasticity and damage it overall.
- Alcoholic drinks: In general, alcohol dries out the complexion, increases the risk of acne, and disrupts restorative sleep, but the antioxidants in red wine can actually help to protect the skin—as long as you don’t overdo it!
- Eggnog: Eggnog combines all the hazards of dairy, sugar, and alcohol, with the added disadvantage of high fat content, which can prompt your skin to supply more oil.
- Crudités: Carrots, in particular, have beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all antioxidants that defend skin against free radical damage and sun damage.
- Fish: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish promote collagen production and boost skin’s elasticity.
- Mixed nuts: Nuts contain both antioxidants and omega-3s, but watch out for nut mixes that overuse sugar or salt.
- Salads with leafy greens: Not only do leafy greens pack an antioxidant punch, but they also fight inflammation and promote good digestion.
- Cocoa: Again, it’s all about the antioxidants in dark chocolate, but be careful of eating too much sugar.
Of course, it won’t destroy your complexion if you eat an indulgent meal once in a blue moon. Most people do over the holidays! Just be sure that your diet is healthy overall, and your skin will thank you. That said, a healthy diet alone won’t guarantee good skin health. To truly protect your complexion, you should schedule a skin check
at least once a year. Our nationally renowned dermatologists, including current and former American Academy of Dermatology board members, are ready to listen to your concerns and help you make smart choices. Happy holidays, and enjoy the food and your good health!