Before you reach for that second piece of bread at dinner, consider this: the foods you are eating are showing up in your face as wrinkles, blemishes, bags and more.
If you can identify and eliminate your skin-aging triggers, you are also able to heal your gut, stop the process of “digest-aging” and reverse these effects on your skin.
As a naturopathic doctor, I noticed some secondary effects when treating my patients’ primary health concerns. Patients frequently came in for consultations and health advice on how to eradicate nagging issues, such as eczema. When discovering the root cause of chronic symptoms, I prescribed a lifestyle change, including foods to incorporate and to avoid, all according to the patient’s unique DNA. I realized that by applying these principles, my clients have since commented on the way their skin glows, increased levels of energy and an overall increased sense of well-being, which included a minimization of the originally treated ailment.
Further investigation and research has led me to identify four main culprits for premature skin aging: Gluten Face, Dairy Face, Wine Face and Sugar Face.
Typically, gluten face will have a blemished forehead, cheeks and the chin area. Dark patches around the chin area are very characteristic of this face of aging. Puffy and red cheeks will complete a textbook case of Gluten Face. Gluten has a protein that can cause “leaky gut syndrome,” which means food proteins can escape into the circulatory system, thereby causing inflammation.
Cow’s milk is meant to feed baby cows. For humans, it contains over 60 different hormones in just one glass. It changes your natural hormone levels that can cause acne, inflammation and puffy eyelids. The facial symptoms of diary face are seen through swollen eyelids, widespread acne and pronounced blemishes with a concentration on the chin area. Pale and lifeless cheeks with unattractive bags and dark circles around the eye area underline these undesirable symptoms that dairy brings about.
Arguably the most common face found in nearly all adults at one point or another is Wine Face. Alcohol not only dehydrates the skin, but it also extends the element of fermented sugar that adds to the effects that wine and alcohol have. Symptoms for Wine Face include pronounced lines and blemishes between the eyebrows and forehead area. Droopy and “lazy” looking eyelids paired with enlarged pores and feathery lines across your cheeks makes this one of the most unattractive and dangerous skin agers.
Sugar is an addiction that affects many children and adults without realizing the real and dangerous effects of it. Sugar causes glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. Your face will tell the tale when you have been indulging in your favorite sugary treats. Sugar Face shows up through lines and wrinkles on the forehead, sagging eye lids, a very gaunt and lifeless look that is grey and pasty, and thinning skin with pustular/cystic acne.
It is not all doom and gloom, and the idea is not to stop living your life. The four-week program in my new book, "Younger Skin Starts in the Gut," will give you a chance to reset your lifestyle regime. After you have completed the four weeks and reverse the signs of the four faces of aging, then you can incorporate some of your favorite treats back into your diet. Apply the 80/20 rule—eighty percent of the time, follow the good principles of the four-week program. During the other 20 percent, when in Rome, enjoy that bowl of pasta and cup of gelato.
Dr. Nigma Talib is a world-renowned naturopathic doctor, aesthetician and leading authority on holistic health who has become celebrated for her expertise in the treatment of anti-aging. Her celebrity clients include Penelope Cruz, Sienna Miller, Kate Bosworth, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and many others. She lives in London, England. For more go to her website healthydoc.com .