Skin solutions

We sat down with Dr. Alan Logan, co-author of The Clear Skin Diet to chat about the correlation between acne and poor nutrition. Read on to discover how what you eat can affect how you look.

May 01, 2008
Lara ceroni

I have heard eating dark chocolate is good for the skin. Is this correct?
A: It may be healthy for the skin because the cocoa within dark chocolate contains health-promoting antioxidants. However, what seems to get lost in translation of the research is that dark chocolate is dense in calories and saturated fat, and most of the research has been on high-antioxidant cocoa extracts rather than commercially available dark chocolate bars.

What is exciting is that the cocoa extract, low in calories and fat, is now coming to the North American market. Studies using the 329mg of cocoa extract have shown that in otherwise healthy women it can improve blood flow to the skin, improve hydration of the skin, decrease roughness and scaling and decrease those inflammatory chemicals that can wreak havoc in the skin.

Please explain what the difference is between being alkaline and acidic?
A: The typical Western diet is rich in processed grains, fatty meats, dairy - these foods are acidic in the human body, while fruits and vegetables are, in general, very alkaline in the human body. Over time a diet top-heavy in acid forming foods promotes production of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn may influence all chronic skin conditions, from acne to the visible signs of aging.

In addition, a consistent diet of acidic foods leaches minute amounts of calcium from the bones, leading in turn to osteoporosis and loss of facial bone structure which promotes sagging skin.

What is fish collagen and why is it good for skin?
A: Fish collagen from marine fish is structurally similar to our own collagen - the important proteins that make up the scaffolding of the skin. Through the aging process the production of collagen slows and its breakdown become more apparent. It had been theorized by Japanese researchers that oral fish collagen might help to maintain our own collagen and therefore slow down the visible signs of aging associated with weakening of collagen.

Oral fish collagen has been a mainstay beauty product in Japan for years, and recently, studies have shown that when used alone or in combination with antioxidants, it can improve the texture of the skin and reduce the fine lines and wrinkles associated with the aging process.

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