Are Your Weight-Loss Efforts at Odds With Your Skin?

Working out is good for your skin. It boosts circulation, sending oxygen-rich blood to your cells; regulates your hormones, keeping inflammation-inducing hormones down; and more. Eating right is also good for your skin. Providing your body with the proper mix of lean protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies sends all of the nutrients to your skin cells. So by this logic, losing weight is pretty much the best thing you can do for your skin, right? Wrong. Well, at least partially wrong. If you’re not careful, losing weight can actually take a major toll on your skin. And Slone Mathieu, medical aesthetician and spa director at Boston-based Dream Spa Medical, has seen it happen. The first thing to go when you start shedding pounds? Skin firmness.

Trying to lose weight? Or thinking about starting a new weight loss program? Keep reading to find out which skin-sabotaging pitfalls you need to avoid!

Your Über-Restrictive Diet


Pepe Leon

As we all know, diet plays a huge role in healthy skin. Cutting corners to lose weight by cutting out necessary food groups and or an extreme number of calories will backfire on your skin (and your weight loss efforts). “Losing weight quickly, by means of fad diets and cleanses, will compromise the contours of your face, affect the health of your skin, and impact your overall success in keeping the weight off,” Mathieu says. “Establish a diet of healthy, collagen-boosting and antioxidant-rich foods.” She suggests adding lean protein, fish, leafy greens, red vegetables, citrus fruits, and berries to your grocery list to keep your waistline and your complexion on track.


Here’s a piece of beauty advice you’ve undoubtedly heard before: Drink more water. But do you take it seriously? “As your body burns fat during your exercise routine, the toxins stored in your fat cells are released directly into your system,” Mathieu says. “Drinking water flushes the toxins and feeds the deeper tissue. On the surface, a low-fat diet means lower levels of moisture in the skin, and dehydrated skin is quick to sag.” So don’t forget your daily and nightly moisturizer. Mathieu recommends something with hyaluronic acid to draw moisture in. We love BareMinerals Bare Haven Essential Moisturizing Soft Cream ($35).

Your Cardio Obsession


Pepe Leon

Yes, cardio is essential for calorie and fat burning, but Mathieu notes constant jumping and pavement pounding adds stress and can pull down skin that’s already lax. “Make sure your workouts focus on building lean muscle to replace the lost fat,” she says. “This layer of muscle will lessen the possibility of sagging.” Vary your workouts to include low-impact cardio like spinning and rowing, plenty of strength training, and sprinkle in running and plyometrics here and there.


“If your exercise regimen brings you outside, make sure you protect your face with a quality antioxidant and a high level SPF,” Mathieu says. “The antioxidant increases the efficacy of the sunscreen and establishes a collagen-building, cell-protecting shield. This combination fights free radicals to reduce the amount of cellular damage caused by exposure and aging. This is vitally important during this transitional time, when your skin is in need of optimum health and structural strength.” Our favorite combination is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and RéVive’s Soleil Superiéur Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen ($115).

Has losing weight affected your skin? Tell us in the comments below!