When your mom said, “Don’t eat greasy junk food; it’ll give you bad skin,” she wasn’t quite right … or wrong, either.
There’s no evidence that certain foods give you blemishes or even cause acne, but there’s no question that diet affects overall skin health. Skin is actually the largest bodily organ, and eating a balanced, nutritional diet has a positive effect on cell regeneration and healing.
Pimples from acne and other skin irritations are caused when pores and hair follicles are blocked with excess oils (sebum) and keratin (a protein that gives skin strength and flexibility) and then become irritated. The oils your body produces have no connection to oils in foods -- though if you wipe greasy hands on your face, it could contribute to blocked pores.
Men in particular can have problems with pimples and irritation because of the large number of hair follicles that make up the beard.
I recommend eating a balanced diet with lots of vitamin A (good sources are apricots, leafy vegetables, liver and eggs), C (found in oranges, lemons and broccoli) and E (potent in nuts, spinach and broccoli). These vitamins contain powerful antioxidants that help repair skin damage.
In particular, vitamin D has been shown to help prevent premature aging and other damage to skin cell structure. Exposure to sunlight helps skin produce vitamin D naturally, and cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, halibut and trout are all excellent dietary sources of the nutrient.
So in a way, mom was right. It’s not that junk food itself makes your skin bad, but eating it won’t help you achieve a balanced diet that promotes good skin health.