Common skin problems everyone faces could be a result of poor diet choices. This is according to naturopathic doctor and skin care specialist Nigma Talib who recently wrote the book ‘Reverse The Signs Of Ageing: The Revolutionary Inside-Out Plan To Glowing, Youthful Skin’. She treats celebrities like Sienna Miller, makeup guru Charlotte Tilbury and has been featured in Vanity Fair Magazine.
Talib is convinced that what we eat and drink has a direct impact on our faces. She recognizes and calls this collection of symptoms “dairy face”, “wine face”, “sugar face”, and “gluten face”.
In her book, Talib states:
“The second a patient walks into my clinic I can immediately tell the sort of foods they tend to over-eat just by checking the way their face is ageing. In fact, I often find myself reading random faces in the street. I want to run up to strangers and tell them to cut milk out of their diet or hold back on the pasta as it is so clear from their complexion that their diet is doing them harm. For some people, just one wheat-heavy day – cereal for breakfast, bread for lunch and pasta for dinner – is enough to cause bloating and puffiness. A couple of glasses of wine can trigger fine lines around the mouth and eyes, and – if you are intolerant – a creamy sauce or a piece of cheese might trigger a spotty break-out or dark circles under the eyes.”
Face mapping has been commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but many medical professionals in the western world are not trained to look for these more subtle signs. However, alternative practitioners like Dr. Talib can tell when someone walks into their office with a drinking problem because it is written all over their face.
What one eats or eats too much of determines how the face will age.
“Any issues with the digestion of certain foods – perhaps you have an unknown intolerance, or you eat more of a food than you can comfortably digest – can cause a cascade of chemical and hormonal changes that speed the ageing process internally and externally, with the results swiftly showing on your face. Certain food groups appear to be particularly damaging: gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Each taxes the body in specific ways, contributing to a cluster of ageing symptoms such as spots, puffiness, changes in skin tone, premature fine lines and wrinkles or sagging.
Where you age can indicate which organs are overburdened and even the root cause.
The part of your face that is most affected – whether it is your forehead, chin, cheeks or eyes – will depend on the part of the body being put under most stress by the food group. Here is how Dr. Talib identifies the what is going on with her clients:
Symptoms: Pronounced lines or redness between the eyes, droopy eyelids, enlarged pores, dehydrated skin with feathery lines across cheeks, flushed cheeks and nose, deep nasolabial folds.
Although called wine face, these signs can occur in anyone who tends to consume a high level of alcohol weekly. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, affects the liver, and a large amount of sugar found in alcohol tends to destroy skin elasticity.
How to Fix It: Take a break from alcohol for three weeks and then follow the 80/20 rule. Abstain 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time.
Symptoms: Lines and wrinkles on the forehead, sagging under the eyes, gaunt look to the face, painful pustular spots all over the face, thinning of the skin, a grey/pasty white hue to the skin.
It is easy to get into the habit of reaching for a sugary treat when our energy is low at 2 pm, it is an instant pick me up. However, what goes up, must come down. When high blood sugar levels inevitably plummet, it creates a vicious cycle that can leave you craving more and more.
As stated earlier, sugar can destroy skin elasticity. According to face mapping, the forehead is associated with the process of digestion, which is why ‘sugar face’ may manifest as blotches or wrinkles on the forehead.
It can also throw off the delicate balance of our gut bacteria which wreaks havoc not only on our face but digestion and the entire body.
How to Fix It: Just stop eating processed sugar. One can gradually remove sugar from their diet if cutting it off completely is too difficult. Even if you just cut your intake in half and gradually wean yourself off sugar, you will notice rapid improvements in your complexion. Try using more natural options like fruit, honey or dates in place of refined white sugar.
Not all sugar is bad for you. Check out what David Wolfe has to say!
Symptoms: Swollen eyelids, bags and dark circles under eyes, small white spots and bumps on the chin.
Overtime, most people lose the ability to digest dairy properly. This causes inflammation as the body tries to fight off the dairy with the inflammation inducing chemicals.
For example, the same inflammatory process that causes redness, swelling and heat around a sprained ankle or splinter, can trigger puffy eyelids, under-eye bags and dark circles on your face.
Also, most of the milk on the market is full of artificial hormones that are fed to the cows. These also cause problems by disrupting your hormone system and shows up in the chin area which in face mapping represents the reproductive organs.
How to Fix It: If one feels that they may have an intolerance to dairy, they should remove it completely from their diet for three weeks and observe any changes in their complexion but also their digestion and energy levels!
Symptoms: Puffy red cheeks, dark pigmentation patches or spots around the chin.
A reaction to gluten takes its toll on the immune system, in turn disrupting the delicate balance of reproductive hormones, resulting in spots or dark pigmentation on the chin, the area associated with the reproductive organs.
Some patients who have been suffering for years from Rosacea – a skin condition characterised by a red rash over the cheeks – have found it much improved, or entirely controlled, when they remove gluten from their diets.
How to Fix It: If gluten is the problem, cut it from your diet. When it comes to gluten, “cutting back” won’t do the trick, it has to be completely removed. Drink plenty of water and get enough fiber. This will help balance out the skin and redefine your cheekbones.