By Victoria Revay, Postmedia Network
Old Man Winter may not be the only one to blame for your tired-looking skin this spring. According to experts, some of the foods we eat, and may not know we are sensitive to, could be causing us to look older.
London-based skincare specialist Dr. Nigma Talib – who counts model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, actress Sienna Miller and makeup guru Charlotte Tilbury as her clients – is one expert who says too much sugar, dairy, and gluten found in many foods we eat, as well as wine, could be wreaking havoc on our complexions.
In her book, Reverse the Signs of Ageing: The Revolutionary Inside-Out Plan to Glowing, Youthful Skin, Talib draws on her naturopathic medicine background and face mapping, (an ancient idea that links parts of your face to organs in the body) to explain how dark circles under the eyes, permanently flushed cheeks and swollen faces are telltale signs that our bodies aren’t working optimally. She groups some of the main symptoms into faces called “dairy face,” “wine face,” “gluten face “and “sugar face.”
As an example, Talib says if you notice puffy eyelids, blemishes and dark circles underneath the eyes, all other conditions ruled out, you could have a slight sensitivity to dairy, which causes the release of inflammatory chemicals that can cause these symptoms to appear. Talib recommends adding a spice like turmeric, often used in Indian cooking, to salad dressings and marinades, to give the skin the ultimate inflammation fighting boost it needs. “It acts like a police officer that patrols inflammation,” she says.
If you want a more glowing complexion, Talib says to eat more foods that have “Vitamins A, C and E in them, as well as foods rich in amino acids, like avocados and sweet potatoes. Talib says this “dynamic trio” of vitamins works wonders for skin because they can help fight premature aging.
“They all work together at healing, repairing and increasing collagen synthesis,” says Talib. Collagen is a connective tissue made up of fibrous protein that adds firmness and tone to the skin, while “foods rich in amino acids can help repair the gut from a condition called leaky gut, which can cause redness,” says Talib. (Leaky gut happens when the lining of the small intestine breaks down and lets substances leak into the bloodstream.)
Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett agrees that the healthier you are the better your skin will look.
“To be healthy, you have to eat vegetables and fruits, anything with minerals and vitamins in them,” says Kellett. “Thick, green leafy vegetables and orange fruits, they have lots of antioxidants in them so that is good for your skin, and in fact we know that from an evolutionary point of view we are better off as mammals getting nutrients from foods rather than supplements. We’re made to get our minerals from food, that’s how our digestive system works.”