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Pizza Face: From Your Skin to Your Mouth and Back Again

Updated on November 1, 2012

Pizza is one of the great dishes to make. It encompasses several food groups depending on what ingredients and toppings are used, so it can be considered a healthful food in some respects. However, the reason why nutritionists often discount pizza as a smart choice of cuisine is the fat and grease content. While there are ways of contending this fact, let us consider what greasy pizza dishes (and others) do to our bodies. For the most part, it may be unavoidable.

As any health teacher can tell you, you are what you eat. Your body absorbs nutrients into the bloodstream to absorb vitamins and produce the energy needed to function. However, your skin is also an important player in this process, a fact that is often overlooked. Just like your hair and clothes absorb certain smells from your living space or surroundings (such as smoke), your pores secrete oil. Although most of this occurs naturally in your body (particularly in certain areas), this is also due to food and drink intake. While the smell of alcohol can be on your hair and clothes by proximity or direct spill contact, imbibing it also allows the smell to vacate through your pores. Also, it's called pizza face for a reason. The more greasy foods you eat, the more oil secretes through your pores and causes acne to flare up. While air bubbles on pizza are caused by yeast, the grease on pizza that causes the acne your face can come from heated ingredients (especially bubbling cheese) or in some cases any added olive oil or butter (in the case of certain types of crust or bread sticks).

One way to remedy this - aside from moderating your intake of greasy foods like pizza - is to find a less greasy alternative. If your favorite take-out or frozen pizzas are still too greasy for you, you might try making your own out of simple ingredients like English muffins and shredded cheese. Use or look for prepared foods that use low-fat ingredients. Dessert pizzas are not greasy, but they may contain chocolate or other irritants. Nevertheless, it is a taste experience you must allow yourself to try at least once if you know your limits. In any case, it's important to cleanse your pores with soap and warm water when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night (or periodically throughout the day if need be). If you have sensitive skin which may react negatively to certain creams or makeup, then not all remedies are for you. Consulting with your primary care doctor is also imperative as everyone experiences skin problems differently.

There was a demonstration that teachers presented to us in grade school to illustrate how much grease and fat could be found in our lunches. They had us spread out our lunches on paper towels and let them sit there a while. The paper towels absorbed fat and grease from the food, showing us that even foods that didn't seem greasy weren't healthful choices, including baked goods (but who didn't dip their chocolate chip cookies into their vanilla pudding cups when they were kids?). A few of my classmates discovered they could also get the same effect by wiping the paper towels on their faces - a rudimentary pore strip. While one look at a take-out pizza box could tell you the same thing about grease content and absorption, you can always be surprised by what you think is a health-conscious food choice (with the exception of fresh fruit and vegetables).


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