The MOglow

Food + your skin. How to eat with your skin in mind!

Food + your skin. How to eat with your skin in mind!

We quiz dietician and head of Nutrition at Lysa + bust some myths in the process.

It’s now officially Autumn! Which means big comfy jumpers, heavier moisturisers and generally more food. Autumn is my favourite season and I was revelling in the orange leaves when a friend of mine recently stated that she felt like her skin suffered during the colder months. She thought this happens, not because of the dryness of winter (which she tackles with an extra hydrating skin care regime) but because she drinks more alcohol and consumes more dairy. (Vin chaud + hot chocolates anyone?)

I’ve heard quite a few theories about the relationship between certain foods, food groups and skin concerns like acne and premature ageing. However, I’ve read so many conflicting reports I’m still not sure what is what.

That’s why I decided to get in touch with Katarina Burton. A registered dietician and head of nutrition at Lysa. If you haven’t heard of Lysa, it’s an app that aims to be your personal nutritionist, that you can talk to just like a normal person and who is full of food and nutrition facts that are all evidence based. Katarina is the one making sure Lysa’s knowledge is up to date and correct, and just like Lysa, is a treasure trove of information that is trustworthy and based on science. Which is perfect when we need to clear the confusion that is so predominant around skin and food.

Katarina Burton

Katarina - Nutrition + Food Boss

Could High glycaemic index foods lead to acne?

‘While there is some evidence that people who suffer from acne have a diet which is rich in high glycaemic index foods, we must remember that correlation isn’t causation. Other factors, such as heredity, stress level, environmental pollutants, hormonal differences or disease states may contribute to acne development.
For example, acne is less prevalent in less industrialized regions of the world, which would argue that perhaps stress levels or environmental factors may play a more important role.  Similarly, people with parents who suffered from acne are a lot more likely to develop acne themselves. 

We also do not usually eat foods in isolation. We eat foods in the context of a meal, so it is more appropriate to look at glycaemic load of a meal rather than the glycaemic index of a specific food. This means that foods which are high in starch, such as potatoes or rice, when eaten in an appropriate portion, as a part of a meal, have a lot smaller effect on blood sugar.  Eating regular, well balanced meals is the best way to keep healthy, which often goes hand in hand with a healthy skin!’

Could Alcohol lead to Rosacea? 

‘The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown; however, alcohol has been identified as a trigger for relapse in people suffering from rosacea.’

Does sugar contribute to premature ageing?

‘There still isn’t enough evidence to support this claim. It is true that too much added sugar can contribute to obesity, and obesity is a pro-inflammatory state that increases levels of inflammation, which could possibly lead to premature aging. But it would be a bit of a stretch to then claim that any amount of sugar causes premature aging. Avoiding added sugar in the form of sugary drinks and caloric desserts just makes sense in terms of a healthy, well-balanced diet and weight control, but there is definitely no need to obsessively avoid sugar to prevent ageing of the skin.’

Is dairy likely to cause acne and inflammation?

‘Much like in the case of the high glycaemic diet, milk consumption and acne is not as simple as it seems at first. Although several studies showed correlation between increased milk consumption and acne, there were so many problems with the design of these studies that they proved not to be convincing enough to formulate or implement guidelines based on them. For example, information is based on self-reported data, which can be very inaccurate as it relies on the participants’ memory. If you like milk, go ahead!’


GlowMo team pizza a week ago 

So, what foods should we eat that can help contribute to healthy skin?

  •  …everything. In moderation!
  •  Instead of concentrating on trendy “superfoods” think of variety – ensure a good mix of food that will provide vitamins, minerals, protein fats and carbohydrates. 
  •  Eat the colour of the rainbow! Choose lots of colourful fruits and vegetables – all the different colours are associated with different antioxidants, which help to protect from harmful environmental pollutants and radiation. 
  •  Foods rich in vitamin C, which can help our skin stay supple – vitamin C is important in collagen formation. Note: (We’ve also done a recent post about Vitamin C)
  •  Ensure adequate hydration, by drinking around two litres of fluids and limiting caffeine and alcohol as they can be dehydrating.
  •  Lastly, maintaining a healthy weight.  Being overweight encourages a pro-inflammatory state, which can affect skin.
  •  Don’t fall for food fads, always consider the source of the information.

    Thanks to Katarina for being our guiding light here + If you want to check out Lysa click here!

    Or check out their social pages.


    If you are worried about what to eat, or whether what you are eating is contributing to a skin concern you have. I hope this helped in clear it up for you! + If in doubt, aim for a Rainbow plate (which also has the benefit of being Instagram friendly!)

     Poppy Out xoxo.

    Leave a comment