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Reader Q&A: What Kind of Exercise Will Improve My Complexion? (And, What Foods Should I Avoid for Clear Skin?)

Posted 04/25/11 at 03:05PM by Audrey Fine

This week's reader question, a two-parter from Anna in New Jersey, is about getting a clear complexion, namely; which one food group should I banish from my diet if I want my skin to look great? And, is there any sort of exercise that will improve my skin?

Not surprisingly, when it comes to "banishing" a food group to improve the quality of one's skin, celebrity fitness and lifestyle coach, Ashley Borden is quick to say "any processed food." Many experts also recommend avoiding fatty foods, refined carbohydrates (any white bread or pasta or potato) and sugar if you're trying to improve your complexion and suggest drinking plenty of water (the old eight glasses a day trick) and eating fiber-rich foods like whole grains and beans. Caffeine, too, is often cited as a skin wrecker and should therefore be consumed in moderation. Also, several top dermatologists, like Dr. Jessica Wu for one, say that dairy is a bad skin culprit and recommend that patients with issues like acne eliminate it from their diets.

As for an exercise that will improve the skin, Borden recommends "any type of cardio where you are breaking a sweat and getting the circulation going." She also stresses the importance of not wearing makeup while you work out and washing your face when you're finished so that any dirt and grime that was in the gym (or on the mat) won't find its way into your pores. Don't freak out, there are ways to look pretty while exercising without caking on the makeup as this video demonstrates.

Have a question for Ashley? Submit it on the My Beauty Life homepage.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 6 Comments

  • Posted by EricaC123 on 04/13/13 at 03:18pm


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  • Posted by Bon_Bon on 05/20/11 at 11:28pm

    exercising is great for your skin, but it's a definite must to wash skin right after.

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  • Posted by ladyboarder9669 on 05/15/11 at 10:55am

    There are so many great benefits from exercizing..better skin, better health, improved mood, and better sleep.

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  • Posted by kenya on 05/14/11 at 09:08pm

    i believe eyeliner, mascara, and lipgloss are the most makeup you should wear while working out. and i believe that fish oil helps with improving skin too!

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 04/28/11 at 03:32pm

    Really good advice. I really need to reduce the amount of processed food that I eat--but I need to work on my cooking skills!

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  • Posted by makeupbyjanalyn on 04/27/11 at 03:25am

    Great article! No wonder why I have problem skin! I eat and drink mostly all of those on a daily basis and I barely have time for any exercise =(

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