14 foods that make you look older

1 Sweets

When people consume more sugar than their cells can synthetize, excess sugar molecules bond with proteins and trigger a process that can affect the skin collagen (the protein that keeps the skin elastic and youthful). Also, sugar damages teeth causing tooth decay and discoloration.


2 Alcohol

“When your liver is functioning well, toxins that could potentially affect the skin are expelled naturally through your body. But if toxins build up in your liver, and aren’t broken down properly, your skin can develop a variety of issues, like acne, sallowness, and wrinkles,” says Dr. Ostad. Alcohol is also bad for your sleep because it dehydrates. “Inadequate sleep is linked to wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and reduced skin elasticity”.


3 Charred meat

Black chars on grilled meat contain pro-inflammatory hydrocarbons, which could cause the collagen of your skin to be damaged, Ostad explains. You don’t necessarily need to avoid barbecuing, but, in any case, you should make sure you scrape off the black chars and clean the grill when you’re finished.

carne bruciata

4 White wine

White wine can damage your enamel and stains your teeth. Here is what not to do: brush your teeth immediately after drinking white wine (or any other acidic drink). If you brush already acidic teeth, you encourage the erosion of your enamel. “You need to give your teeth time to re-mineralize after being bathed in an acidic beverage”, explains Maureen McAndrew of the New York University School of Dentistry. “I’d wait an hour after drinking before lifting a toothbrush.”

vino bianco

5 Salty foods

Salty foods retain water and cause a “puffy” look. It is advisable to season with little salt and go for fresh foods, rather than preserved or pre-cooked foods.

cibi salati

6 Processed meat

Sausages, bacon, Vienna sausages and so on. “Many of these meats have sulfites and other preservatives, which can trigger inflammation in the skin, and accelerate the appearance of aging”, says Ostad. They also tend to contain large amounts of salt.

carni trasformate

7 Trans fats

Besides being harmful for the heart, trans fats also cause your skin to age. “They promote inflammation”, says Dr. Ostad. They could even make your skin more vulnerable to UV rays. It is better to avoid products that list hydrogenated oil on the label.

olio di palma

8 Red meat

“Fatty meat generates free radicals”, says Dr. Ostad. Free radicals are molecules having one electron instead of two, which makes them unstable and prone to snag electrons from other molecules, thus turning them into unstable cells that will, in turn, snag electrons from another cell etc. Free radicals affect the ability of the skin to protect itself and generate collagen. Ostad suggests to eat lean meats such as turkey and chicken and to consume large amounts of fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants.

carne rossa

9 Spicy foods

According to Ostad, spicy food aggravates rosacea (blotches) and could do damage during menopause, when blood vessels in the skin are more reactive. You should not necessarily avoid consumption of spices, but it is recommendable not to eat them if you don’t want to suffer from spider veins, puffiness and redness.


10 Energy drinks

They give you energy but they have an ageing effect on your teeth. If you really need an energy drink, make sure you sip it from a straw to limit the contact with your teeth.

bevande energetiche

11 Caffeine

“Caffeine is like any other diuretic; it can make you excrete fluid, and deplete your body of moisture”, says Dr. Hirsch. “Anything dehydrating can dehydrate your skin, making it look dull and aged”.


12 Coffee

Besides dehydrating your body because of caffeine, coffee damages your teeth. “Acidic beverages can create microscopic pores on the surface of the enamel, causing erosion over time”, says McAndrew. In order not to eliminate this beverage from your diet, which has many positive effects on human health, it is sufficient to drink a glass of water after the intake of coffee. “Water has a neutral pH, which washes away the acid”, says McAndrew.


13 Sugared lemon juice

According to experts, lemonade could damage the enamel of your teeth. Keep in mind to sip a mouthful of water after drinking lemonade, wait at least an hour before brushing your teeths and, last but not least, don’t add sugar to your lemon juice to avoid tooth plaque.


14 Black tea

People who drink tea often can have stained teeth due to the high tannin content. However, a study published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene reveals that the casein in milk reduces the risk of tooth stains, while the citric acid contained in the lemon makes your enamel more porous and your teeth more vulnerable to stains.