Coffee, alcohol, fats, preservatives: How food impacts skin health

Science and Health

Our skin is more than just a reflection of our skincare routine and the creams we use. It is influenced by our lifestyle choices, including our diet and what we put into our bodies. The skin, derived from a primary tissue called ectoderm plays a vital role in protecting us from pathogens and allergens, regulating body heat, and connecting us with the outside world.

Maintaining the integrity and synergy of the skin layers is crucial, and this is where our dietary choices come into play.


Approximately 2 kilograms of the human body are comprised of bacteria and fungi that feed on the food we consume. Therefore, ensuring a healthy diet with prebiotics is important as it supports the well-being of the microorganisms in our intestines. Our intestines, often referred to as our “second brain,” can synthesize vital proteins, produce important vitamins, and regulate immune activity to prevent intestinal inflammation.

Processed foods vs. alcohol: How does it impact your skin?

Processed foods, rich in preservatives, can have a direct impact on our skin. They can worsen acne by causing the bacteria residing in our mammary glands to ferment, leading to clogged pores and increased inflammation. Fast food, particularly deep-fried items, can result in excessive oiliness on the face and scalp, leading to seborrhea, causing redness, irritation, and scaling on the eyebrows, nose, and chin.

Gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye, gives elasticity to dough. For individuals with celiac disease and even those without preexisting conditions, gluten can cause absorption problems, abdominal pain, itching, skin rashes, and exacerbate autoimmune diseases such as thyroid issues, vitiligo, and psoriasis.

Certain foods can also change the color of our skin due to substances like beta keratin. For instance, consuming an abundance of “orange” foods like carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes can cause a noticeable change in skin color. Additionally, beloved foods like amba can result in orange-colored secretions, similar to a change in sweat color.

Eating spicy and spicy foods can cause blood vessels to dilate, increased facial sweating, and a sensation of burning and discomfort on the scalp and body. It can also lead to excessive stomach acid secretion and heartburn.


While sugar provides our body with the energy it needs to function properly, it can also be a source of inflammation, fuel for bacteria, fungi, and cancer, and contribute to obesity and heart disease. Sugar is an addictive substance and should be consumed in moderation to prevent inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance.

Salty foods are important for maintaining electrical activity in our cells. However, consuming excessive amounts of salt can lead to fluid retention, blood vessel dilation, and tissue swelling, impairing their normal function.

Fats: Essential, but should be consumed in moderation

Fats are essential for the normal activity of our cells, including brain cells and other tissues. While fats are necessary in our diet, consuming excessive amounts can lead to liver damage, thickening of blood vessels, and an increased risk of heart disease.

Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, may not cause harm. However, excessive consumption can lead to the dilation and damage of blood vessels, ranging from small vessels to those in the brain and legs. Long-term excessive drinking can result in irreparable harm to the entire body.

Caffeine, known for its stimulating and energizing effects, can also disrupt sleep patterns and induce anxiety when consumed in excessive amounts. As with other factors, moderation is key.

Our skin and our diet share a close relationship. The skin renews itself every month, with basal cells giving rise to shedding cells on the skin’s surface. From the age of 20, we lose 1% of collagen each year, and from the age of 30, we lose approximately a teaspoon of fat annually. It is important to note that while genetics play a small role in our overall well-being (approximately 7%), the majority (93%) is influenced by epigenetics, including our lifestyle, diet, happiness, physical activity, sun protection, skincare routine, and aesthetic treatments.

Report by Dr. Monica Allman, an expert in skin diseases and aesthetics.