We're in the thick of holiday season, which often comes with endless alcohol, oily foods and carbs galore. Needless to say, it can be incredibly difficult to resist these foods; after all, is it really a holiday if you're not indulging, feasting and treating yourself?
But whether you like it or not, a lot of foods we tend to eat around the holidays can trigger unwanted skin reactions, from acne, to irritations, to puffiness and beyond. If you're keen to avoid breakouts and stressed out skin this season, here are 4 foods you should try to steer clear of:
1. Salty Snacks: Potato chips
Salty nibbles are the ultimate party snack and pre-dinner finger food. However, foods that are covered in salt can lead to dehydration and excess water retention, paving the way for dry, puffy skin. What’s more, salt is highly addictive, and you can easily find yourself trying to balance out every salty bite with a sweet drink.
2. Sugar: Cookies, Chocolate & Baked Goods
Sugary treats, chocolate and sweet baked goods are staples at Christmas and New Years all over the world. Unfortunately, however, sugar is one of the leading acne culprits and eating too much of it can lead to inflammation.
While it's hard to cut sugar out completely during the holidays, think smaller portions and aim to be more mindful of your sugar intake as a whole. Reach for fruits to get your sweet fix if you can and try swapping out milk or white chocolate for dark chocolate (at least 70%). Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that can protect your skin against oxidative stress (alcohol, greasy foods) and boost your blood flow.
3. Alcohol: Avoid Eggnog & Sugary Cocktails
Most of us are aware of the repercussions of consuming too much alcohol—it’s super dehydrating, and hangovers are no fun. But a lot of alcoholic drinks are full of sugar too, such as cocktails or more traditional festive drinks like Eggnog, which is high in cholesterol, calories, sugar, and saturated fats.
So, consider toasting to the holidays with a glass of red wine instead. In moderation, red wine contains antioxidants which can restore the collagen levels in your skin (the thing that keeps it plump and youthful) and boost your blood circulation. White wine, no so much.
4. Dairy: Cheese in Moderation
If you're one to dabble a little (or a lot) in cheese boards like us, or like to top your pasta with lots of Parmesan, you're not alone. Dairy is, however, a major acne culprit, so eat it in moderation or avoid it at all costs. Additionally, aim to stay away from dishes like mac & cheese (or at least reduce your portion sizes of it), which are jam packed with cheese and cream. And that means ice cream too!
Avoiding or minimising your consumption of these 4 foods throughout the holidays means you won't have to panic buy skincare remedies post Christmas. It's not an easy feat, but your skin will definitely thank you for it!