Holiday Treats and Your Skin

Dr Aaron Pace Tacoma Dermatologist

By Aaron Pace, MD

Tacoma, Washington 98405

Physician (MD, DO), Dermatology


Everyone loves the delicious homemade food and deserts that surround us during the holidays. We are aware the way our favorite treats can affect our bodies, but what about its effects on our skin?

Holiday Cocktails: Alcohol can make our skin appear pale due to dehydration and it can make our face look puffy. Rosacea, particularly the redness of rosacea is worsened with alcohol because it dilates blood vessels.

Cookies: All that sugar and chocolate affects our appearances too! Sugar deteriorates collagen and also can make our skin appear dull. High glycemic index foods have been linked to acne as well. Chocolate as with any high sugar food, may trigger acne breakouts. It is thought that the insulin and growth hormone fluctuations with high glycemic index foods are the etiology of the acne flares.

But don’t worry too much, some holiday foods are good!

Sweet Potatoes: A delicious food that is high in Vitamin C which encourages the production of collagen and as an antioxidant can help wrinkles and has great general anti-aging properties.

Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate: While we said that chocolate is a bad holiday treat, it can be good too! Cocoa powder tends to be made of dark chocolate which is better for your skin. The antioxidants in dark chocolate, called flavonoids, help protect you against sun damage and also reduce the roughness of your skin. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar than milk chocolate varieties as well.