The occasional guilty late night trip to the cookie jar may not age you overnight, but a continuously poor diet can accelerate the aging process of your skin and teeth over a period of time. This is why your skin may feel or look unusual after vacations, holiday parties, and even barbeques, where typically overindulgence is celebrated. However, watching what you eat is not just about the weight gain that can add inches to your waist, it can also subtract years from your life.

Nutrition, not age, is what determines the body’s internal chemistry, and the proper functioning of your organs, cells, and system in the body. What you eat plays an active role in the quality of your skin, bones, and brain and connective tissue. Therefore, it becomes a health issue when your dietary lapses turn into daily habits that can subtract years from your life, and at the same time add years to your physique.

As you age, the skin’s oil production begins to slow down, and leads skin cells to lose the ability to repair themselves as easily, says Medline Plus. Less collagen — a type of protein that keeps skin firm, elastic and plump — is produced, making the skin look thinner and more prone to wrinkles. To prevent premature aging, nourish your skin from the inside out and slow the effects of time by eating healthy and avoiding unhealthy food habits accelerate the aging process.

1. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol the night before can severely dehydrate you the next morning and cause your body to metabolize the little water it body has before it actually reaches the skin. However, it is the amount and frequency in which you drink alcohol that really matters when it comes to aging you. Alcohol consumption can lead to premature wrinkles, loss of collagen, elasticity, redness, dehydration, and puffiness.

Overindulging in alcohol over a long period of time can lead to the growth and enlargement of blood vessels. Dr. De Fiori, dermatologist at the Rosacea Treatment Clinic in Melbourne, Australia, told Medical Daily in an email, “[If] anyone drinks alcohol long enough the ability of the brain to control blood vessels will fail enough that a pink or red face develops.” Moreover, if liver disease develops, then “the skin and eyes can also turn yellow (jaundiced) and/or develop hyper-pigmentation (dark patches).”

Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of skin cancer and can reduce the absorption of nutrients from the diet, which can contribute to dry skin, rashes, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis. Extreme ramifications for alcohol abuse include bacterial and fungal infections such as tinea, cellulitis, and hives. This is all the result of impairment of the immune system.

2. Artificial Sweeteners And Colors

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame have no nutritional value and can actually irritate the body if you have a sensitivity or allergies. These products can cause inflammation and histamine reactions, as the body stores these chemicals in the tissues. The use of artificial sweeteners has been seen to lead to over-consumption of high glycemic index (GI), according to Fiori, because they foster sugar cravings, which would heighten the aging effects of glycation.

The sugar-free alternative may help curb weight gain, but it could also lead people to replace the lost calories through other sources, which can offset weight loss or health benefits, according to the Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School. Using artificial sweeteners can make consumers dislike healthy, filling, and nutritious foods in favor of more artificially flavored foods that contain less nutritional value, and therefore, harm your skin’s health.

3. Carbohydrates

White breads and pasta are example of carbohydrates and high GI foods that can damage collagen and fibers on the skin. Everyday foods like refined breakfast cereal, baked potato, and white-flour pasta have a high GI load of 20 plus, which is linked to acne since the body begins to show an increase of glucose and insulin levels, says the Harvard School of Public Health. Whole grain options can reduce inflammation, since they’re high in antioxidants, unlike their white counterparts.

4. Spicy Foods

Indulging in spicy foods not only makes you break a sweat and boosts your metabolism, it can be harmful to sensitive individuals, particularly those with rosacea. “[They] are also triggers to vasodilation which can cause chronic facial redness due to capillary dilation and breakage” Fiori said. Capillaries can make the skin look less clear and youthful, since the blood vessels are dilated. The flush experienced by most people without skin sensitivities are likely to have a mild and temporary reaction.

5. Sugar

A diet high in sugar activates enzymes that reduce healthy collagen, leaving behind unhealthy fragments of this skin-firming protein. When the skin’s healthy collagen cells “bump” into these fragments, they shut down and stop making collagen because they get confused. Like carbs, foods that convert sugar quickly to the bloodstream and have a high GI encourage glycation. This process degrades the quality of collagen, Fiori said, leading to skin which is more prone to wrinkling and sagging.

Avoid these five food habits to maintain clean and clear healthy-looking skin to heal yourself from the inside out.