2 Skin-Prettifying Holiday Foods to Eat This Season (and 2 to Avoid)

by Lexi Petronis

Romulo YanesRomulo Yanes You're well aware that the holidays bring with them a ho-ho-heck of a lot of food options. Navigating the vast buffet isn't always easy--but here's something else to consider while you survey the spread. Some holiday foods can actually benefit your skin. Dr. Aurora DeJuliis, anti-aging skin expert and founder of The Aurora DeJuliis MD European Medical Spa, says there are two particular foods that you should pick in order to reap some extra glow.

DO eat plenty of...pumpkin! Pumpkin is filled with vitamins C, E, and A, as well as powerful enzymes that help in cleansing the skin--and pumpkin pulp is filled with carotenoids. "Carotenoids are known skin-savers due to their ability to neutralize free radicals that fast-forward the aging process," says Dr. DeJuliis. Pick pumpkin seeds, which are packed with zinc that aid in the creation of new skin cells and collagen formation. Zinc also helps control the production of oil in the skin and adds color and brightness to the complexion.

See more: 13 Sneaky Habits That Can Cause Acne

DO savor...sage! The herb is all over the place this holiday season, used in classic dishes like roasted chicken and stuffing. It also has skincare benefits. "Along with stimulating cell renewal and increasing blood circulation, sage oil can also reduce redness and improve acne," Dr. DeJuliis says.

But, she says, there are also a few holiday foods to keep off the good-for-your-skin list:

DON'T go overboard on the sugar cookies. Sugar just might wreak havoc on the collagen and elastin in your skin, which could emphasize wrinkles. Dr. DeJuliis says that simple carbs, like refined sugar, cause your insulin levels to spike, which could lead to inflammation throughout the body. "Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles," Dr. DeJuliis says. "Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea."

See more: The 7 Worst Fashion Trends of 2013

DON'T get too crazy with cocktails. In a lot of cases, holiday parties equal holiday drinks--which is OK! As long as it's not a regular thing. Too many cocktails dehydrate your body--and your skin, which can make you look more tired than you really are. "Your body metabolizes what little water it gets before it has the chance to reach your skin," says Dr. DeJuliis. "Alcohol can also cause vasodilatation, which aggravates rosacea, and make your skin look dull."

Are there any foods that you've noticed impact your skin--good or bad? What dishes are you looking forward to eating over the holidays?

More from Glamour:
The Best Celeb Haircut for Your Texture
11 Dating Don'ts You Should Stop Doing Now
25 Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Want Bangs
10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Own