Party food – unsurprisingly – is the most likely to cause you to age a tiny bit faster than you might have otherwise. This is largely due to an increased need for antioxidants to neutralise free radicals that cause our cells to have to fight harder to do their job well, and inflammation that breaks down collagen.
It’s true that a few wrong moves isn’t going to age you 10 years instantly, but if you overdo it over and over, you are going to be worse off. The main issue is anything that breaks down collagen in your skin, which is what all your beauty treatments aim to boost.
Sugar – glycation
Eating too much sugar can cause a process called glycation to kick off. Once your cells are full of sugar and can take no more, what’s known as ‘advanced glycation end products’ are produced that may damage collagen. This is all you have keeping your skin upright; don’t squander it with too many sweets.
Overdoing the booze – liver and antioxidants
When you drink alcohol, your liver has to metabolise it, and it does this in several parts. One of the parts is turning the alcohol into a carcinogenic compound that rolls around your bloodstream for a while before getting passed out of your body in phase two liver detoxification. You need antioxidants to ‘capture’ this carcongin, so it can’t damage your cells.
This is why alcohol has been found to cause seven types of cancer. If it’s causing cancer, what else is it doing?
Add to this that alcohol is dehydrating, staying up late makes you look tired, and high sugar drinks give you pimples, and you have a perfect storm.
BBQ’d and charred meats – poisonous, inflammatory hydrocarbons
Inflammation breaks down collagen. End of story.
Processed deli meats – sulfites, preservatives, inflammatory
Deli meats are full of inflammatory compounds which break down collagen.