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The 5 Worst Foods That Are Aging You Faster, Says Science

Eat these foods in moderation to help keep your skin healthy and supple.

Not only does prolonged sun exposure (especially without sunscreen) accelerate the aging of your skin, but so do certain dietary choices. And we hate to break it to you, but there's definitely more than just one food that makes you age faster.

Below, you'll see just five examples of foods that could potentially expedite the aging of your skin. And after, be sure to check out 33 Best Foods for Glowing Skin That's Blemish-Free.


Spicy foods

crushed red pepper flakes

Look, we're not saying to not ease spicy foods here—that'd be a crime! However, spicy foods can aggravate skin that's prone to rosacea, a skin condition that's common in menopausal women. Spicy foods dilate the blood vessels, which can cause your skin to redden or look blotchy.


Processed meats

charcuterie summer board
Courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking

We love a charcuterie board, however, it's best to go easy on the party platter if not for your heart health, then for your skin. Processed and cured meats including hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, and sausage are all high in saturated fat, sodium, and sulfites—all of which dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen (a major component of your skin) by causing inflammation.



Woman's hands holding slice of white bread and knife. Opened plastic pack of light yellow margarine on pastel blue desk

Margarine is never the answer. Always use butter over this heavily processed, junky alternative. The spread is loaded in partially hydrogenated oils, aka trans fats, which can make your skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation (UV). Now that it's summertime, the last thing you want to be thinking about as you head to the beach is whether or not you're going to damage your skin—even after multiple applications of sunscreen!




Alcohol is very dehydrating, which directly affects your skin. After all, 64% of your skin is water. Not to mention, a night after heavily drinking booze can leave your skin looking puffy. It may even cause a loss of collagen or promote wrinkles. Sip on alcohol in moderation not only for your skin but for your overall health, too!


Sugary foods

sugary snacks on a white plate

Having a sweet tooth isn't all that bad, so long as you have it under control. If you eat too many processed foods that are loaded in added sugars, your body will develop more advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which damage collagen. In fact, this AGE process stimulates when your sugar levels are high. Satisfy that sweet craving this summer with a fruit smoothie or dark chocolate.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne