We’re helping you discover which foods for healthy skin can help you reverse the signs of aging and get a glowing just-got-back-from-vacation skin. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of good quality skin care products, including non-toxic skincare and our favorite home remedies for acne, but what about the role of diet for clear skin?
In many ways, healthy skin is an inside-out job — what we put on the outside is important, but how we feed the skin from the inside really paves the way for long-lasting glowing and youthful skin. Your diet can have a big impact on your dermis, so check out our top foods for healthy skin with a youthful glow!
Green Foods for Healthy Skin
Dark leafy greens are full of skin-loving vitamins. With nutrients like vitamin A (aka retinol), collagen precursor Vitamin C, and antioxidants like Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll, it’s easy to see why leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, and arugula are excellent foods for healthy skin.
Dark leafy greens are also water-rich foods, so they help to hydrate the system. We recommend including greens in most meals. If you’re having trouble reaching your daily quota, or if you just want to boost your greens intake, a Greens powder is a great option.
Green tea is another green that’s good for the skin. Green tea is packed with antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation, thus reducing redness and inflammation from acne.
Good Fats for Healthy Skin
Healthy fats from omega-3 fatty acids are a must for plump, hydrated skin. These healthy fats, found in fatty fish like salmon, coconut oil, and avocado, are anti-inflammatory and help to hydrate the skin internally.
Omega-3 rich foods are great for inflamed, dry, irritated or itchy skin making these healthy fats helpful for skin conditions from acne to rosacea and eczema to psoriasis. Because healthy fats are also important for regulating hormones, they can help to reduce hormonal acne as well making omega-3s great foods for healthy skin.
Anti-inflammatory Calming Foods for Clear Skin
Inflammation is a major contributor to skin problems like acne. Choosing antioxidant-rich foods that protect the skin from inflammation and including foods with calming anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce inflammation and redness.
We’ve already mentioned anti-inflammatory factors as a benefit of some of our favorite foods for healthy skin, but a few more anti-inflammatory all-stars:
- Fermented turmeric
- Sweet potato
Drink and Eat Hydrating Foods for Beautiful Skin
Just like proper hydration in your skin care is important, proper hydration in your diet is important for your skin. Dehydrated and dry skin, or a lack of moisture in the skin, can be dry, tight, flaky, inflamed and uncomfortable. Even oily skin can be dehydrated — the sebaceous glands will actually over produce oil if the skin is dehydrated in an effort to balance out the lack of moisture. Surprisingly, an excess of oil from dehydrated skin often leads to acne.
Hydrating by drinking lots of water (about 8 cups per day), eating good healthy fats, and lots of water-rich fresh fruits and vegetables are all great ways to hydrate for healthy skin. Some of our favorite include the following:
Healthy Skin Starts in a Healthy Gut
The health and integrity of your gut can affect the health and integrity of your skin. When foods aren’t digested well or gut inflammation is present, acne breakouts and other skin irritations are more likely to occur. Some of the best foods for healthy skin support gut health and digestion include the following:
- Fermented vegetables like raw sauerkraut or kimchi
- Unsweetened coconut yogurt
- Bone broth
- Fermented beverages like kefir
Establishing balanced blood sugar is a foundational step in reducing stress (and inflammation caused by stress) and correcting a hormonal imbalance. This makes blood sugar stabilization a foundational step in resolving problem skin and leads to clear skin.
Cinnamon is a great ingredient that can be added to your meals to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Add cinnamon to your smoothies, put it in some tea, or sprinkle it on your gluten-free grains to keep those glucose levels steady. Additionally, eating regularly (about every 2-4 hours) and including long burning sources of fuel like protein, healthy fats, and fiber in meals and snacks will prevent big spikes and dips in blood sugar.
Focusing on these foods for healthy skin is a great step to get clear, glowing skin. A diet for healthy skin also needs to consider potentially problematic foods. In addition to filling the diet with nutrient-dense, whole foods we recommend avoiding certain foods that are more likely to cause inflammation like refined sugar, poor quality oils (often canola, soybean, corn or vegetable oils), processed foods, and alcohol. All of these factors are important when trying to build a healthy diet.
Food sensitivities can increase inflammation and irritation in the skin which is why many have seen improved skin appearance after using a 21-Day Clean Program to identify personal food sensitivities.
Written by the Clean Team