The Best & Worst Holiday Treats For Your Skin

No matter what the holidays mean to you, something I think most of us look forward to around this time every year is the food. But before you go ham on the, well, ham, you may want to know what some of the best and worst holiday foods for your skin are. Because, unfortunately, even when something tastes delicious, it doesn't mean it won't wreak havoc on your skin later. So to find out which holiday treats you can willfully indulge in and which ones you may want to have in moderation, I emailed with an expert.

Paula Simpson, holistic beauty expert and co-founder of ZSS Skincare, let me in on what you should use to season your holiday dishes to keep your skin glowing, and why overdoing it on desserts can be acne-prone skin's worst nightmare. Of course, this isn't to say that you shouldn't eat whatever makes you happy. Part of the holiday spirit is spreading cheer after all. But if you are slightly more concerned with how what you put in your stomach will affect your skin, here are three of the best and two of the worst holiday ingredients and foods for your complexion. You know, so your skin can stay clear and bright.


1. Turkey

To keep your skin looking healthy and youthful, you'll be happy to know you can load up on the turkey. According to Simpson, turkey contains carnosine which is a natural anti-aging component that supports elasticity. It also fights damaging reactions that could deteriorate healthy, firm, and smooth skin. And what's more is turkey is also an excellent source of zinc, which Simpson says "encourages skin cell renewal and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin." So go ahead and get seconds.

2. Cinnamon

For some added radiance, try adding cinnamon to your drinks and desserts. As Simpson explains, this ingredient helps stimulate circulation thereby "delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin for natural radiance and glow." Note to self: Put cinnamon on everything.

3. Sage

In addition to its ability to help reduce bloating, sage is also known for improving skin circulation and renewal, says Simpson. So if you feel your complexion has been a little on the dull or lackluster side, try seasoning meat or side dishes with this herb.


1. Eggnog

As delicious as it may be, according to Simpson, eggnog has the power to aggravate skin. She explains that experts hypothesize that dairy can cause excess oil production, pro-inflammatory reactions, and even interrupt hormonal activity. So especially if you have blemish-prone skin, sip slowly, as the excess dairy found in this festive drink could wreak havoc.

2. Desserts

Although it's no secret that desserts aren't the best for health, they're also not the best for your skin either. Because foods like cake, cookies, and pies can trigger blood-sugar levels to fluctuate and spike, Simpson explains that this can have a damaging effect on the skin. "Consistent, high blood sugar levels cause fluctuations in hormones that may over-stimulate the oil glands, triggering blemish flare-ups in acne-prone skin," she says. As if that weren't enough, Simpson further reveals that "sugar molecules can impair collagen in the skin." This means that those sugar-highs can come with duller, textured, and dehydrated skin. No thanks.

So while you may not want to go into a food coma sampling different types of pies, if you can't help but go for a second glass of 'nog, just sprinkle on a little cinnamon. Some holiday-staple ingredients are good for your skin, after all.

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