The Worst Lifestyle Mistakes to Make for Your Skin

Closeup of a beautiful young Asian woman.

Lifestyle factors can have a big impact on your complexion. (Image: Darren Baker via Dreamstime)

Skin problems can become obvious and naturally disturbing quite quickly if you’ve eaten something, done something, or are missing something your body needs. Environmental stress, lack of nutrients, and food allergies — or a combination — are common causes.

Some of the most obvious mistakes to make leading to skin reactions are:

Lack of pure clean water

When cells are dehydrated, they lose their plumpness and structure. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses (2 quarts) of water or herbal tea a day. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like black tea or coffee don’t count! They actually increase your need for water.

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Excess white sugar

Sugar speeds up the aging process, and it causes wrinkles and dull skin. It damages your collagen and elastin, which are the important fibers that keep your skin firm. Also, high glycemic foods such as pasta, white bread, and cakes have been linked to an increase in acne, so stick to whole grains or gluten-free grains like quinoa, brown, or red rice.

Excess alcohol on a regular basis

Alcohol dehydrates the skin and burdens the liver, so toxins can’t be eliminated as easily.

Lack of adequate sleep

Sleepy young woman in bed with eyes closed extending hand to alarm clock.
Adequate sleep is essential. (Image: Tawanlubfah via Dreamstime)

The rest and repair state is essential for good organ function. Always remember your skin is reflecting what’s going on inside your body.

Too much worrying or stress

Wrinkle lines across your forehead can become fixed if your mind isn’t relaxed or calm as often as it should be. Look in the mirror and watch those lines disappear when you relax and say positive things to yourself.

Too much refined salt

Most salt makes your face look puffy by causing fluid retention in the tissues — hence, they swell.

Lack of essential fats in the diet

Essential fats can be found in raw nuts and seeds and oily fish like salmon. Without these good fats in your diet, your skin can become dry in certain areas, but if eating excess sugar at the same time, can also be oily or have acne in others.

Lack of vitamin C or fresh fruits and vegetables

Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to have smooth, healthy skin.
Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. (Image: Anne Stephenson via Dreamstime)

Always think more green veggies. Vitamin C, found in many fruits and veggies, is essential for making collagen, which is the protein that keeps the skin firm and supple. Numerous studies have found that those who consume enough Vitamin C-rich foods had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who had a diet low in Vitamin C.


Nothing increases your body’s need for vitamin C and collagen repair more than smoking. It really ages the skin and causes free radical damage in the body.

Other conditions that affect your skin are:

  • Low thyroid function, which can make the skin appear dry.
  • Food intolerances and allergies where the digestive system needs attention.

As with many conditions, it’s best to seek a health professional’s help, as you may not be able to see the full picture of what’s really going on just by looking online.

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