Back in the early days of computers, way back when a computer was roughly the same size as a washing machine, a phrase was coined: “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (also known as GIGO.) If bad data was entered, how could anyone expect a good outcome? Of course, computers are much more efficient (and smaller!) now, and have functions like autocorrect to help us avoid “garbage” input.
But the premise of GIGO also applies for the skin, which we all learned in school is the largest organ of the body. When we feed our bodies “garbage” foods, highly processed, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks, we can expect our skin to suffer. Drinking plenty of clean water is the number one, most important thing you can do to have healthier skin. Supplying your body with enough water not only plumps up skin cells at several layers deep, it delivers nutrients to your cells and removes toxins. You can also “eat” some of your water intake by eating fruits and veggies that have a high water content (a well as being loaded with vitamins, fiber and other nutrients), such as:
Cucumbers – 96% water
Lettuce – 96% water
Zucchini – 95% water
Celery – 95% water
Tomato – 94% water
Green cabbage – 94% water
Watermelon – 92% water
Strawberries – 92% water
Grapefruit – 91% water
Cantaloupe – 90% water
If water is your skin’s best friend, then your skin’s #1 enemy is refined sugar. Consuming a steady supply of sugar causes highs and lows, over and over in a single day’s time, which causes inflammation to build up in the body. Those dermatologists who used to tell us that soft drinks, potato chips, and chocolate caused our break outs were partially right, at least about the sugary soft drinks.
Acne and break outs are caused by the inflammation in the body, which can also create redness and irritation in our skin. Eating excessive amounts of sugar leads to dehydration as well, which makes your skin dry, dull, and puffy, and can even cause dark circles under the eyes.
Sugar will age our skin prematurely. It is quickly converted to blood glucose in our bodies and those glucose molecules will bind themselves to protein molecules, including collagen cells. This results in skin cells becoming less elastic, leading to sagging and wrinkling.
Sugar is delicious and highly addictive – some say it’s more addictive than cocaine. The more sugar you eat, the more you want; it fills you up with empty calories, so much that food without sugar begins to seem bland and lacking taste. Removing sugar from your diet, on the other hand, will revive your taste buds and activate natural hunger and thirst, so that instead of salivating over a piece of chocolate cake, you’ll be salivating over a salad bar.
The bottom line is this: we can buy the most luxurious, expensive, and trendy beauty products, go to the spa for facials and exotic treatments, and even get rid of products with harsh, synthetic ingredients – but healthy, beautiful skin begins from the inside with the building blocks of plenty of clean water and nutrient-packed food.