Diet disasters which can impact your hair and skin

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

For hair:

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes, along with foods including carrots, squashes, bell peppers and dark leafy greens, are high in vitamin A, high doses of which have been linked to hair loss. So if you eat all of these every day, you may want to cut back. It causes the hair follicles’ growth to speed up, meaning the growth period will end too quickly and cause hair to fall out as the body is unable to replace it fast enough. A daily recommendation of vitamin A is 10,000 IU, with too much classified as around double this.


If you’re contemplating a juice cleanse, stop right there; there’s hardly any protein in them, which is what your locks need to be strong and healthy. Plus there is tonnes of sugar in juices, which can lead to similar results as vitamin A in that the follicles will become inflamed, leading to hair potentially falling out.


Some fishes, including mackerel and swordfish, are high in mercury and mercury poisoning is linked to thinning tresses, often leaving bald patches. Obviously, more people are prone to the risk of falling ill, with other symptoms of poisoning including depression, chronic fatigue, and joint pain. Just make sure you eat small doses of fish which have high levels of mercury.

For skin:

Rice cakes

We were shocked when we heard this too; they may appear to be a light snack best enjoyed with peanut butter or hummus, but rice cakes are actually devils in disguise! They trigger a surge in your blood sugar levels, boosting the rate of wrinkles appearing. This is because the carbohydrates in the cakes are transformed into glucose, which halt and damage the proteins like collagen which fend off fine lines on the face.


This one is kind of a given as while sugar may taste amazing, we’re confident it isn’t any good for our bodies. Like the rice cakes, it’s a food that affects tissues in the skin, so it’s best to opt for indulgent treats that aren’t jam packed with the stuff. Nibble on a square of dark chocolate, which boast a high level of flavonoids that increase blood flow in the skin and protect it from outside damage.


A packet of crisps is just as bad as candy though as salt is known to increase the water retained in the skin, which can lead to puffiness and swelling. And with salt linked to high blood pressure, this too affects collagen levels.

Fried food

The oiliness from the frying process can clog up your pores, resulting in spots and an oily complexion. Fried foods also reduce the moisture in your body, leading to yet more oil and break outs.

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