If only the adage “You are what you eat” wasn’t true, life would be so much easier (and more delicious). Alas, a naturopathic doctor from London affirms this cliché is completely true. In her new book, Younger Skin Starts in the Gut (available March 2016), Nigma Talib tells us some of our favorite treats are causing some unwelcome skin issues and preventing us from the soft-focus filtered complexion we all desire.
According to Good Housekeeping, Talib claims she can tell exactly what foods someone is overeating simply by looking at their skin. And she has diagrams and names for them, too: Wine Face, Dairy Face, Sugar Face or Gluten Face. Let us (grudgingly) explore.
Not everyone might be diagnosed with celiac disease, but there are still many of us who are sensitive to it, according to Talib, who adds that gluten triggers chronic inflammation, which causes dark spots, patches, puffy cheeks and a spotty forehead.
This might sound like a sweet pet name, but what it actually means is that your cupcake overload is causing issues with your collagen (the protein that’s so important to keeping your skin plump, uplifted and free of deep wrinkles), which then creates lines on your forehead, under-eye sagging, breakouts and a gray complexion. Talib says you can have sugar once in a while, but stay away from it as much as possible.
Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, Talib explains dairy can cause a lackluster, tired, swollen and rough complexion, a bumpy chin and swollen eyes—thanks again to chronic inflammation. If you really want some milk, try an alternative like almond or coconut.
A single glass of merlot can be great for you, but drink too much and your skin will get thirsty, wrinkly and flushed, says Talib. "On top of the fact that it's full of sugar—as well as potentially pesticides and sulphites—wine causes dehydration," she told Good Housekeeping.