Is the election making you break out? Giving you frown lines? Lost your appetite for politics? Well, I'd like to give you some food for thought about skin care, diet, and the 2016 Presidential Election from the perspective of a first-time, undecided voter. 

cake, sweet, chocolate, pastry, cookie, cream, candy
Kristine Mahan

So, you're watching the debate. You can't help but notice Hillary's (honestly creepy) smile and Donald's wrinkled face. You may not know much about politics, but you know things aren't looking so good. You start snacking because watching the debate is more like watching an episode of Scandal. And before you know it, you've broken out in zits. Great. 

While these zits may be from stress about the election, they may also be from what you've been eating and how you've been taking care of your skin. You end up googling "how to clear acne in 1 day" or "why did I randomly break out???" And yes, you may find some strange quick-fixes like putting toothpaste on your zits (please don't do this). 

Elizabeth Layman

But, why settle for a quick fix, which is most likely more skin damaging than anything else, when you could have stopped your zits from showing up to the party in the first place? Your skin is your largest organ and it will reflect how you've been treating your body.

1. Cut the Dairy

milk, cream, coffee, dairy product, yogurt
Stephanie Lee

Get rid of the cheese, the milk, the butter—all of these highly processed dairy foods aggravate acne, wrinkles, and rashes. High levels of hormones not only break down and age your skin at an accelerated rate, but also stimulate oil glands. This is basically asking your face to break out in zits. Speaking of hormones, why don't we take the inflammatory accusations out of the politics? Let's focus on the real issues.

2. Less Oil...More Omegas

blueberry, cereal, sweet, milk, yogurt, muesli, berry, oatmeal, porridge
Becky Hughes

Grease goes in, grease comes out. I wouldn't recommend cutting all oil out of your diet, good oils exist! But, the processed, bad oil leads to premature aging, a dull complexion, and again, acne. Now don't get this mixed up with cutting out fats. The good fats, like Omegas 3 and 6, are proven to be great for your skin. The healthy fats found in avocado, chia seeds, walnuts, and grains will plump up your skin and actually reduce redness and inflammation.

But like I said, grease goes in, grease comes out. That's why I think it's time that the candidates stop trying to hide the not-so-appetizing truths about their pasts. Lay it all out on the table. No more sketchy leaks, no more unreliable accusations. Also, use your avocado to make some guacamole. Consider each candidate's stance on immigration and guac the vote.

3. Antioxidants All-Day

condiment, tea, salad dressing
Margaret Huang

Antioxidants—more like anti-aging...anti-acne...anti-wrinkles...and anti-anythingyoudontlikeaboutyourskin. You've heard about infamous super foods (cue açaí). But, how can you consume more antioxidants without going to an expensive juice bar? It's easy, eat more foods like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, raisins, apples, pecans, plums, cacao, sunflower seeds...and the list goes on (and it includes dark chocolate and red wine). Cleanse and detoxify yourself through antioxidants.

And while you're at it, consider breaking down the election for yourself. Dig into the candidate's platforms and core beliefs rather than relying on the media or celebrity tweets. How would either of them make a change, if one at all?

4. Water Up 

Maddie Cleeff

Drink your water or eat your water (yes, eat it). Whatever it takes for you to consume more water. Dehydrated skin triggers your oil glands. Also, staying hydrated will keep your skin from getting dry and flaky. By increasing your water intake, you plump up your skin, which in turn makes your skin less likely to allow external particles in, causing irritation and acne. 

While sipping on water all day is great, I understand that water isn't the most flavorful or exciting on its own. Good news. You can eat your water. Most fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon (duh), cucumber, tomato, pineapple, and strawberries, to name a few, have high water concentrations (and are usually filled with great nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber too). In fact, eating your water means slower absorption of water, which means staying hydrated for longer. Double win. Unfortunately, that's not so much how I'm feeling about this election. I'm actually feeling more like lose-lose...lose-lose-lose...

5. Lotta Sugar = Lotta Problems

tomato, vegetable, cucumber, pepper, salad
Lynden Orr

Refined sugar that is. Refined sugar has an extremely high glycemic index. The high glycemic index of sugar will cause a sugar spike in your blood, which, you guessed it, means it's break-out time. Not the break-out in dancing kind of break-out. The break-out in pimples kind of break-out. Also, refined carbs can lead to glycation.

Glycation is when sugar molecules bind to proteins and fats that are good for your skin, like collagen and elastin. When this happens, the good proteins become weak and less supple. And— a recurring theme here—what happens on the inside, shows on the outside. Damaged proteins manifest themselves on your face through wrinkles, sagginess, and a dull complexion. You can find these refined sugars in cereal, soda, candy, frozen food, condiments, and more.

Likewise, don't let other people mold your voting decision in the same way that the sugar molecules alter the good proteins and fats. Even when people get riled up and angry when talking about politics, stay strong and express your opinions in a calm, open manner. Having an open-minded conversation about the election, rather than an angry argument, may actually help you to make your decision.

But Always Remember...

sweet, egg yolk, egg
Michael Chlumecky
Ultimately, balance is key. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don't let the idea of a "perfect skin" diet actually push you away from implementing any of these tips at all. A "better skin" diet is still better. Simply use the tips that work for you and don't forget to treat-yo-self. Similarly, don't let the fact that you may not be voting for your perfect or ideal candidate stop you from voting. Do your research and exercise your right to vote. If you want to learn more about the upcoming election, learn some more about the candidates, or explore some of the major issues being addressed throughout this election season, check out theSkimm. Get out there and vote.