Some experts think that temporarily restricting your diet (whether with a cleanse, a juice fast, or a similar detox plan) can clarify your complexion and make your skin glow.
Does it work?
"Most people's skin improves when they do a cleanse because they're removing foods that have a pro-inflammatory effect—and inflammation is the root of many skin issues, including rosacea, acne, and premature aging," says Frank Lipman, MD, an integrative physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness in New York City. Although it's best to have an integrative medicine expert guide you in the cleansing process, it's possible to see benefits on your own. (Here's more on how an elimination diet helped this writer clear her skin.)
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Dr. Lipman says avoiding caffeine, sugar, dairy, gluten, and meat for a few weeks can offer a short-term boost to your complexion. Research supports this theory to some extent (gluten intolerances have been linked to skin issues for some people, and several studies have shown a correlation between dairy consumption and acne). However, Mary Lupo, MD, a dermatologist, says there are no studies showing that a temporary cleanse—no matter what types of food are restricted—can reduce cellular inflammation or provide long-term skin benefits.
A cleanse won't turn back the clock, but eating less sugar and fewer starchy carbohydrates could be beneficial in the long run, and help you determine what's potentially throwing off your body chemistry. "These foods can spike blood glucose levels, and that accelerates aging of all organs, including the skin," says Dr. Lupo.