Singaporeans are pretty diverse, but the one thing we can agree on– our love for food!
However, the hot and humid climate can play havoc with our skin and our food choices may magnify the problem.
This is not to say that you must cut these things out of your diet entirely, but if you’re experiencing a particularly bad bout of acne or have a big event coming up, maybe skip that 3rd cup of coffee or the spicy curry you were planning to have, and ease up on the snacks for awhile 😉
When you overload on sugar, not all the sugar will be picked up by your liver. This excess sugar will then be passed into your collagen layer, breaking it down (along with elastin).
Collagen is integral to the health of our skin and is the secret to staying younger for longer, so don’t mess around with that!
Excess sugar also causes inflammation in the body and make you break out, or worsen your existing acne.
We love our mala hotpot, sambal dishes, and chilli crab. But spicy food can trigger flare-ups in skin and cause ‘heatiness‘, which also comes with it a bunch of other health issues if you consume spicy food in excess e.g. sore throat, bad breath, and ulcers.
Acne and other inflammatory skin conditions like eczema are often a sign of excess heat in the body, and eating spicy foods will further exacerbate this.
We all know that fried food is bad for your overall health when consumed in excess, so we won’t keep harping on that.
Just remember, fried food affects blood circulation, so while your mum’s claim that eating too much oily food gives you oily skin is probably just another old wives’ tale, your skin won’t look that great either.
With poor blood circulation, your skin will look more dull and dry, and will be more likely to age faster. So take those chicken wings in moderation!
While tea contains many good things like antioxidants and minerals, bottled sweetened teas can contain between 5-10 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Bottled teas are often marketed as a healthier choice compared to soft drinks, but in reality they aren’t that much healthier either, with lots of artificial flavorings and preservatives packed in to make it more delicious and appealing.
This will undo any health benefits you were hoping to get.
If you want the real deal, skip the bottled teas and brew your own!
Many dermatologists recommend skipping dairy or reducing your intake for several reasons:
1) It can aggravate existing acne and eczema as it is a pro-inflammatory food.
2) The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (US) has stated that around 75% of the world population is intolerant to lactose, the sugar found in dairy. Most people aren’t aware they are intolerant to lactose, or associate any pains or bowel movement after taking coffee with milk to coffee’s laxative effect.
Consuming large amounts of food you are intolerant to can likewise trigger an inflammatory response in your body, which may manifest on your face as well
3) Growth hormones and antibiotics are often found in conventional dairy products, which will affect your own body’s hormones and may trigger hormonal acne.
The high levels of caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants in these drinks will keep you buzzing and full of energy– but suffocating your skin cells.
Avoid all-nighters and get more sleep, or swap to coffee (in moderation!). You can also try other alternatives like green tea or oolong, which contain caffeine in smaller amounts and have many other benefits besides.
Red wine is often touted as a healthy indulgence for its high antioxidant levels, but it should be taken in moderation. Alcohol is dehydrating and makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture, which in turn increases your chances of having breakouts and signs of ageing.
If you wake up with dark circles under your eyes the next day, it’s not just because of the late nights you’ve been having… it’s the alcohol. When you are dehydrated, the blood vessels on your face become more prominent.
If you’re drinking sugary cocktails and mixers, that’s a double blow on your skin.
Remember to stay hydrated while on a night out (not with extra alcohol!), and drink a cup of water before you go to bed.
Potato chips and other salty foods can max out your recommended salt intake for the day with just one serving.
Extensive snacking causes your body to hold on to water longer as a result of all the salt in your body, leading to water retention in your body and face.
Puffiness and swelling isn’t pretty, and these snacks are bad for your overall health as well. The next time you have cravings, substitute for healthier alternatives like homemade vegetable chips from an airfryer or unsalted popcorn.
Coffee has antioxidants and polyphenols in them, which promotes younger and healthier skin. However, caffeine can dehydrate skin, magnifying the appearance of fine lines. If you take it first thing in the morning like most coffee drinkers do, you’re definitely going to be dehydrated.
A double whammy against coffee: many take their morning cuppa with lots of sugar and milk, which are bad for skin as well.
If you are consuming large amounts of coffee or taking coffee too late in the day, it may also increase your cortisol levels and make it harder to go to bed at night. This messes up your hormones, increases likelihood of inflammation, and slows down skin recovery. Yikes.
Some people opt for margarine instead of butter, hoping for a healthier alternative with less cholesterol.
Not all fats are created equal, though.
Butter contains a lot of saturated fat, while margarine has a mix of saturated and trans fats. Trans fats dehydrates your skin, and makes you more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines.
Choosing oils to cook with instead will be a better and healthier option. However, it may difficult to substitute the aroma that butter brings to dishes in western cooking– so consume in moderation!
Hot dogs, ham, and salami are both high in fat and sodium.
If you really must eat that ham and cheese sandwich, choose brands that use less preservatives and salt per serving, and eat these processed meats in moderation with lots of water.