What Processed Meats Can Do to Your Skin

Woman cooking bacon on the stove What Processed Meats Can Do to Your Skin

A consistent skincare regimen and cosmetic dermatology treatments are key to a glowing complexion. However, healthy skin comes from within. Research has shown that certain foods can be detrimental to your skin’s health, and processed meats are some of the worst. Here’s what you should know about how processed meat affects your skin and what you should eat instead.

What to Know About Processed Meats and Your Skin

How Processed Meats Affect the Skin

Many of us like eating hotdogs and pepperoni pizza from time to time, but foods like these can be harmful to the body if eaten in excess. Research shows that processed meats may be linked to diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And your skin may experience a few detrimental effects as well.

Foods like bacon, salami, and hotdogs are high in saturated fats, sodium, and sulfite. The ingredients in processed meats can cause inflammation in the body, which may lead to skin dehydration and weaker collagen. And this could cause your skin to look dull and show more signs of age.

Eating more meat, in general, may also throw off the balance of your gut bacteria, and research continues to show that gut health is essential for skin health. So, if you’re seeing more acne breakouts or eczema flare-ups, it might be worth taking a second look at your diet.

What to Eat for Healthy Skin

While you don’t have to give up charcuterie boards entirely, there are some skin-friendly swaps you can make to phase processed meats out of your diet. Keep in mind that munching on one superfood is unlikely to cure all your skin woes. However, eating well-balanced meals can help you maintain a smooth and clear complexion.

Try making these simple changes to support your skin’s health.

  • Pile on Fruits & Veggies: Eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day helps your body and skin maintain the proper levels of vitamins. Vitamin A-rich kale and tomatoes packed with vitamin C can help the skin stay smooth and supple. Fruits and veggies also give your skin a boost with antioxidants.

  • Opt for Legumes: Plant-based proteins like beans and lentils are excellent substitutes for meat. Incorporating these foods into your meals gives your skin another source of antioxidants and fights inflammation in the body.

  • Cook Some Fish: The nutritional content of fatty fish like salmon may have wrinkle-fighting powers, so cook some fish to enjoy smooth skin. Incorporating fish into your diet may also help your body fight free radicals.

  • Embrace Healthy Fats: Sources of healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts have numerous skin-boosting benefits. The compounds in olive oil may help decrease inflammation. Avocados and nuts contain vitamin E, which can help your anti-aging efforts.

Remember, no one food has the power to transform your skin, and avocados won’t replace your in-office wrinkle treatments. However, eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats can help you maintain your overall health. And, of course, this sense of well-being will show on your skin.


Eating well is essential for healthy skin, but you also need the right dermatologist on your side. The team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists is dedicated to supporting your skin health through medical, surgical, and cosmetic services. With locations in Seal Beach, CA, and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we’re here to help you maintain glowing skin. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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