Naturally, everyone's skin may respond individually to certain foods, but minimising the intake of the following is definitely recommended when you're going for clear and balanced skin.
Sugar. If I'd have to name one food to cut back on, it would definitely be sugar - it just has such a holistic effect on the well-being of the whole body. It weakens your immunity and metabolism, and many high-sugar buns, cakes, biscuits, etc. are also high in additives, dyes, and preservatives, to which many are hypersensitive or even allergic. Rash, redness, pimples etc. can sometimes simply be the result eating candy, and cutting back sugar is the “easiest” way to cleanse your diet.
Coffee. Finns drink huge amounts of coffee and because caffeine is a diuretic, i.e. a dehydrating substance, it dries dry out the body and skin. Reducing coffee to one or a maximum of two cups a day is recommended. Also avoid decaffeinated coffee and instead go for herbal tea, or green tea, which is rich in antioxidants.
Milk. Even if dairy products alone do not cause problems, drinking plenty of cow’s milk has very few health benefits. Many find that skin clears up quickly when milk is removed from the diet, and if calcium intake is a concern, sour milk products and cheese can be used in small amounts. However, when treating e.g. eczema or acne, I always recommend complete elimination for a few months.
Alcohol. Like coffee, alcohol is also a diuretic, a nutrient trap - and a high-sugar skin aging agent. Regular drinking has a huge impact on skin brightness, elasticity and well-being. Wrinkles and fine lines are also more visible on dry skin. The use of alcohol should be minimized when you're aiming for healthy skin.
Hot spices. Many spices have health and e.g. digestive benefits, but for sensitive skin and those dealing with with e.g. rosacea and perioral dermatitis, hot spices such as chili can cause symptoms in the form of redness and flare ups.
Finnish-born nutritional therapist Sonia Wahlroos is the founder and CEO of UK based Nordic Nutritionist, which offers a wide range of nutritionist services. Sonia specialises in women’s health, fertility and weight issues. She doesn’t like to dwell on calories, carbs, fats, proteins or to create lists of restrictions of good and bad foods, but prefers working with clients to create a roadmap to their health, with a top-to-toe approach. All Sonia’s dietary programs are based on seasonal eating, with an emphasis on good-quality ingredients and simple cooking methods.
Sonia is member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutrition Therapy (BANT) and the Complimentary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
Visit www.nordicnutritionist.com for more info and bookings. Sonia consults online in Finnish and English.