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You may have heard that acidic foods can cause irritation on the skin it touches. While this is true to some extent, it's important to understand the whole story before making any sweeping changes to your diet. Let's take a closer look at the real skinny on acidic foods.
What is acidity?
Acidity is a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being the most basic. Vinegar, for example, has a pH of 2-3, while baking soda has a pH of 9.
How does acidity affect the skin?
The pH of our skin is somewhere around 4.5-5.5, which means it is slightly acidic. When we eat highly acidic foods, the acids can travel from our mouth down to our stomach and then up through our esophagus into our throat and mouth. If these acids come into contact with our skin, they can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation.
People prone to breakouts, orange juice may be the cause. So, if you do drink orange juice daily or on a regular basis and have breakouts, it might be beneficial to eliminate or limit your consumption until your skin has cleared up (with the aid of a good skincare routine and getting regular facials)
Are all acidic foods bad for the skin?
Not necessarily. While highly acidic foods can cause problems, moderate amounts of acidity are actually necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. In addition, some acidic foods are actually good for the skin! Tomatoes, for example, contain lycopene—an antioxidant that can help protect against UV damage. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production and can help brighten the skin.
The bottom line is that moderation is key when it comes to acidic foods. A little bit of acidity is necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, and some acidic foods can actually be good for your skin! So don't be afraid to enjoy your favorite citrus fruits and tomatoes—just be sure to rinse your skin afterwards if you're going out into the sun.
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