When it comes to sensitive skin, treating your symptoms holistically is one of the most effective ways to keep outbreaks at bay. And when we say holistically, we don’t mean using wooden necklaces to magically heal symptoms! We mean holistic in the literal sense — by looking at the system as a whole, rather than treating bits and pieces of the body.
Sensitive skin and diet have been proven to have a strong connection. Just ask someone with a food allergy who deals with eczema, or a person who avoids spicy foods as to not set off their rosacea. If you have sensitive skin, eating right for your skin type is just as important as choosing the right skin care products.
If you have sensitive skin, it is more reliable to avoid certain foods rather than eat certain foods. You may find that some foods help your sensitive skin, but as you’re getting started, try cutting out the following foods to see if your skin condition improves.
Dairy is a common trigger food, especially for eczema. You don’t have to be lactose intolerant to avoid dairy — dairy allergies are entirely different, but just as legitimate. Whey and casein (milk proteins) are usually the allergy culprits, so also avoid food products made with those ingredients. Great dairy alternatives include nut milks, rice milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk.
There’s probably a lot of groaning for this one, but it’s important. The tannins found in wine (especially red wine) can be a skin irritant, especially for those with rosacea. Wine tannins can cause skin flushing and hives, and is also a dehydrator. White wine might be ok in small amounts, but be sure to be aware of how your skin is looking and feeling after you indulge.
Artificial colors, preservatives, artificial flavors, MSG…Additives are unhealthy for the system, so they’re unhealthy for your skin. Canned, frozen, and boxed foods generally contain additives, but you also have to watch out for foods masquerading as healthy but hiding a list of additives. These foods can include yogurt, diet snacks, and so much more.
True, being gluten-free has become very popular in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean that genuine gluten allergies don’t exist. Celiac disease causes people to be unable to eat gluten without suffering from awful symptoms, including itchy, blistering rashes called dermatitis herpetiformis. Even those without celiac disease can have a gluten intolerance, which can cause skin issues like acne and eczema.
Egg whites (and sometimes the yolk) can cause a skin rash by triggering your body’s histamine response. Sometimes this reaction happens within minutes of eating an egg, while other times you may not notice a rash until hours later. In extreme reactions, the rash will turn into hives and you’ll have a full-blown allergic reaction on your hands. If you suspect eggs to be causing your skin issues, remove them from your diet for two weeks and see if your skin condition improves.
Avoiding common foods is certainly inconvenient, but seeing your skin regain health, beauty, and comfort will be the incentive you need to stick with it.