Jennifer Freitas
COLUMNIST

Pretty potions, quick fixes, spot treatments, healing serums and so on, yet you are still missing what you covet most: clear skin. This month, “Pure& Local” gives a low-down on repeat, pore-clogging offenders found in your kitchen.

COFFEE
This one is hard for me to write because I just love this black liquid – but I maintain a one-a-day rule. Why? Because caffeine burdens your liver and it’s acidic, so not the greatest for your body. Plus, if you have a hard time falling asleep, excess caffeine will surely exacerbate that problem.

DAIRY
I’m not convinced milk does the body good; in fact, I’m rather convinced it does the opposite. Non-organic dairy products contain antibiotics and added hormones that spike insulin in the body which lead to break-outs. These unwanted hormones can also throw off your body’s natural hormone balance. In addition to the unwanted hormones, dairy can be a food intolerance for most people, which in turn can cause digestive issues that prevent your body from properly breaking down and taking the essential nutrients from other foods.

POP
Seriously, I maybe have 2 a year; I’ve never really been a fan and knowing that pop is chock-full of empty calories and refined sugars gives me the extra fire to stay away. Highly refined sugar is a major bur- den on your body, couple that with the highly acidic nature of pop and you should also be motivated to stay away – unless of course, you’re looking for difficult-to-manage skin.

SUGAR
In one sentence, steer clear of it! Sugar is a source of advanced glycation end products (think free radicals on the inside of the body) and these bad boys contribute to wrinkles, age spots, blemishes – essentially, everything you don’t want going on, on your skin. It also contributes to collagen breakdown and steals nutrients and hydration.

Don’t believe me? Go two weeks without sugar and see what your skin says.

PROCESSED FOOD
It isn’t really food; it’s shelf stable, designed to last years and it does not have the ability to provide your body with the fuel it needs to be healthy by warding off unwanted illnesses and inflammation. These tempting options are full of preservatives, additives, and dyes. Need to eat on the go? Fruits and vegetables are surprisingly portable as are nuts and seeds, even more rich with phyto-nutrients, good fats and skin-loving compounds!

Take stock of how you’re fueling yourself next time your skin goes through turmoil. Minor reductions in any of the above options can help, but are only pieces to the puzzle that is clear skin.