The Real Reason Margarine Might Be Making You Look Older

At one point, margarine was considered a healthy alternative to butter, but attitudes have changed in recent years as growing evidence suggests that the trans fatty acids in margarine are not doing you any favors (via Mayo Clinic). That goes for your heart as well as your skin. Namely, the skin on your face. You might be surprised to know that margarine might actually be making you look older.

One reason trans fats cause the skin to look older is because they make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light radiation, which can cause long-term damage, which includes some skin cancers, notes to the American Cancer Association. According to Verywell Health, this radiation creates free radicals that damage cells, which can lead to cancer. UV radiation also breaks down collagen as it reaches the middle layer of the dermis, creating an accumulation of elastin. This process contributes to wrinkles and sagging.

Trans fatty acids cause inflammation and dehydration

Trans fatty acids also cause inflammation and dehydration, which contribute to aging. Timothy Harlan, MD, told WebMD that aging is a "chronic inflammatory state," and you can definitely look older if you eat inflammatory foods. Along with margarine, other culprits are sugar, highly-processed products, breads, pasta, and alcohol. Always check labels, and avoid anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils or any vegetable shortening if you want to beef up your anti-aging strategy. When it comes to hydrating your skin, trans fats are not your friend. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, MD, told Eat This, Not That! that the trans fat in margarine "destroys hydration, and the less your skin is hydrated, the faster the wrinkles appear." According to Medical News Today, hydration is essential for healthy skin, and anything that dehydrates skin causes dryness, which leads to wrinkles.

If you're looking to add healthy fats to your diet that can help fight aging, look for foods that contain healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, and seeds, according to Everyday Health.