I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
In magazines, beauty blogs, on TV, basically anywhere, we always hear that what we put into our body reflects how we look. The foods we eat determine if we are super-glowy goddesses or dull, under-the bridge trolls. Obviously, celebs are used as an example of this.
“OMG GWYNETH PALTROW AND JENNIFER ANISTON LOOK SO YOUNG. IT’S OBVI BECAUSE OF THEIR HEALTHY DIETS AND NOT THEIR ABILITY TO SPEND MORE MONEY THAN YOU CAN EVEN FATHOM ON DERMATOLOGISTS, CREAMS, AND FACIALS.”
But has a regular plebe like me even tried this? Like, if I eat healthy, will it really reflect on my skin if I’m still using my poor-people creams and haven’t yet sold my soul to the skin demon for everlasting youth?
I decided that I was going to conduct a little experiment Bill Nye style. I’m going to eat healthy for a few days, eat super-crappy for a few days, and then drink A LOT for a few days and see the effect on my skin. In between each set of “experiments,” I ate normal for a few days just to get my skin/body back in my typical, Jessica rhythm.
Here’s what my skin looks like in the beginning:
For the first experiment, I researched the foods that dermatologists and magazines say make skin look good. Some of the foods that kept coming up were turkey, veggies, whole-wheat stuff, and the spices in curry.
I’m not on the Aniston budget, so I tried to do this how a normal person would. I went to the grocery store and spent what I usually do on groceries, but bought healthier foods. No Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this week. I also avoided alcohol and sweets.
I took turkey salads to work all week and my dinners consisted of fish or curry. One of my FAVE meals from the week was whole-wheat pasta with turkey sausage and tomato (really good for your skin, say doctors) sauce.
So after three days of eating healthy and avoiding alcohol (ugh!), this is what my skin looked like:
It looks a little brighter to me, and it felt a tad smoother. I didn’t notice a huge change, but maybe because I already eat a lot of vegetables/good skin foods (I chow down on fish like crazzzy) already in my diet, so the change wasn’t huge.
Also! I got a pimple on my chin during this week! But I think that should be blamed on the fact that my uterus was shedding instead of the dietary change.
The next part of the experiment is the whole reason I pitched this article. I needed an excuse to go to the White Castle near my apartment and not feel bad about it. It’s for science!
So for a whole weekend (Friday to Sunday), I ate the WORST FOODS EVER FOR YOUR SKINS (but the best for your mouth!). It had greasy food, sweet food, is-this-edible food, and a lot more.
On Friday, a million greasy dumplings and a sesame pancake sandwich that had buttery juices just oozing out. On Saturday morning, I got a 5-star brunch at the nicest restaurant in town. LOL JK I got MCDONALDS. And then throughout the weekend, just continued the pattern of nastiness. Here’s my favorite meal:
Once the weekend of joy was over, my skin looked like this Monday morning:
Ew, right? I look ROUGH and run-down and just really tired. There’s no brightness, or glow. It’s just bleh.
Throughout the day, my face started to look worse and worse. By noon it was inflamed and hot, and I just wasn’t feeling my best. So even though the healthy-eating portion of this didn’t show some huge results, this lesson was pretty clear. If you put crap into your body for three days straight, your skin is going to look haggard.
For the last part of the experiment, I kept my diet pretty normal for me, but I added a lot of alcohol. I went out three nights in a row and drank the bars dry. I gulped liquor and beer but no wine. I’m not really a wine at the bar person. I’m not going to include any pics of my drinks here because we all know what a beer looks like.
After that weekend, here’s how it affected me:
It isn’t as bad as the fast food, but I still think I look kind of run-down. One thing that the camera didn’t pick up was that my skin felt so dry the day after my binge-drinking weekend. Obviously alcohol dehydrates you--you don’t need a super qualified xoVain beauty scientist to tell you that, but I don’t like my skin being dry! I don’t mind if I’m thirsty all day, but don’t hurt my skin.
At the end of all the experiments, I think it’s pretty easy to tell that bad foods reflect on your skin in a bad way. The good foods made my skin brighter but the change wasn’t MAJOR. Maybe if I had more money and could really throw down some cash on extremely healthy celeb food, then the outcome might have been better for that portion. Also, maybe the results would show more if I did each one longer, but hey, some of us are on deadline here.
I think we all knew how this would end in the back of our minds. If greasy food was good for our bodies and skin, I’m sure some of us (or just me) would be eating McGriddles for every meal. But actual proof on a normal human just cements the good foods = good skin and bad foods = bad skin rule into my brain a tiny bit more.
Do you guys notice the effects of junk food and alcohol on your skin? Do healthy meals make your skin look better? Could you tell the difference between me and Gwyneth Paltrow?