By now, we're well versed in the foods and drinks that help our skin look younger.

And while it's great to stock up on skin-loving foods like avocadoes, salmon and berries, did you know there's some foods and drinks that can do the opposite - and actually age your skin?

Here are the worst offendors...


If all the recent press about how bad sugar is for us doesn’t quell your sweet tooth, this should: it’s one of the worst things you can eat for your skin.

Overdose on the sweet stuff and you could be helping your body speed up the wrinkle process. Sugar damages the collagen and elastin in your skin, the two vital ingredients for keeping skin smooth and young.

[Related story: 22 foods guaranteed to make you happy]


Hot peppers and spicy foods may be good for your metabolism but if you’re prone to rosacea, steer clear. Spicy foods can dilate blood vessels which cause rosacea – a redness in the skin, usually around the face - to flare up.

But don’t worry if you’re not prone to it - the flush of a bowl of hot chilli or a spicy enchilada can give you a healthy – and temporary - little glow.

Plate of hot chillies

Fried food

Saturated fat is the problem here – studies have even found that people who eat a lot of butter and oil experience more wrinkled skin than those who do not.

But why? Turns out sat-fat can react negatively with collagen, causing your skin to wrinkle more than it should. Try grilling instead or switch to a margarine low in saturated fat.

Diet fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks, especially caffeinated ones, can actually dehydrate your body and when you add the artificial sweeteners of diet drinks into the mix you’re adding fuel to the fire.

These artificial products can react to sensitive skin or if you have allergies and can even cause inflammation. Better to skip the fizz altogether.


Simple carbs like white bread and white pasta have a high glycemix index, which inflames the skin and eventually works against collagen to break it down.

Complex carbs, like brown rice and wholemeal bread, are broken down more slowly by the body and skip the ageing process altogether.

White crusty bread


Just like sugar, we’re constantly being told to cut down on salt and for good reason.

When it comes to your skin, salt can cause the tissue to swell, making you look puffy and rather unhealthy. It has also been linked to causing breakouts and dehydrates you, making you look tired and worn out.

Try and get into the habit of checking how much salt the food you are eating has in it, as it’s often a lot higher than you think.

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