Beauty

Could this be the unusual cause of your skin pigmentation?

Could this be the unusual cause of your skin pigmentation?

Could this be the unusual cause of your skin pigmentation?

An expert explains the link between a high-protein diet and the common skin condition.

Images: Instagram@jesshart / @zoetheysay

Protein is everyone’s favourite macronutrient these days, and with good reason – high-protein foods not only build and repair muscle, they also help you feel fuller, longer and may even spike your metabolism a little bit.

Though protein is an important part of a healthy diet, our obsession with it for those body gains, might actually be showing up on our faces. Yikes.

As skin expert and national trainer at Skinsitut, Roxanne Cavalieri, explains your high protein diet can limit essential nutrients and antioxidants.

“When a client consumes a high protein diet, they may inadvertently delete essential nutrients and antioxidants from the diet that are essential for protecting against oxidization of the skin (pigmentation or browning),” explains Cavalieri.

In other words, when you’re existing on eggs, chicken and Greek yoghurt on high rotation, you’re limiting your chances of eating the rainbow – and those protective antioxidants that reduce pigmentation.

“Two of the most important insults that the skin sustains are oxidation and glycation. Oxidative damage is caused by dermal protein damage from reactive oxygen species or free radical damage. These reactive oxygen species can be created by UV radiation and combustion by-products interacting with the oxygen present within the skin. Glycation is a second insult to the skin protein, and it is caused by the linking of sugars with dermal proteins.

“The linking of sugars to proteins is a common reaction, resulting in the brown colour of toasted bread, the dark grill marks on meat and the simulated tanning of the skin from dihydroxyacetone-containing self-tanning creams. Over time, this same glycation reaction occurs in normal skin,” says Cavalieri.

Yep, that blotchiness and uneven skin tone is pretty much your skin being grilled or toasted.

And while not all pigmentation is caused by high-protein diets, it is worth considering as a contributing factor if it’s a skin concern of yours.

Rather than a specific shopping list, Cavalieri recommends filling your trolley with a rainbow of coloured fruits and vegetables, avoiding excessive sun exposure, wearing SPF, adopting relaxation methods, reassessing your skincare routine, and seeing a skincare professional who can help.

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