What are the best foods for skin? You’re in the right place to find out! Read on to learn more about what to eat for healthy skin.
How Your Diet Affects Your Skin
What you eat can have a dramatic influence on the health of your skin.
Certain foods can help protect against premature ageing by inhibiting free radical activity, promoting a hydrated skin barrier, and encouraging cell regeneration. Other foods - especially refined sugar - do the opposite and accelerate skin damage and ageing.
So, what to eat for healthy skin in general? Foods that are brimming with vitamins (antioxidant activity), minerals, and essential fatty acids.
The best foods for skin are packed with antioxidants.
Heavy-hitting vitamins with potent antioxidant activity (vitamin A, C, and E) can help decrease the risk of sun and other environmental damage, including pollution, by neutralising free radical damage. They may also help improve skin texture and, depending on the vitamin, offer a host of other benefits.
Essential fatty acids - omega 3 and omega 6
These two essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy skin cells and healthy cells translate to a happy complexion.
Omega 3 and omega 6 also play a key role in maintaining the strength of the skin barrier which is essential for hydrated, smoother looking skin.
Minerals like zinc, silica, and selenium play an important role in helping to keep the skin’s pH levels balanced, promoting the production of collagen, and helping protect the skin from oxidative damage.
Best Foods For Skin
If you want to eat the best food for skin, you’ve got plenty of tasty options to fill your plate!
One of THE best foods you can stick a fork in for your skin is salmon.
A fatty fish, salmon is packed with omega 3 fatty acids that help strengthen the skin barrier, encourage moisture retention, and serve as building blocks for healthy skin cells.
The antioxidants in salmon also help calm inflammation in the body.
Love a bowl of fresh, homemade guacamole? So does your skin.
It’s one of the creamiest fruits good for skin. Brimming with vitamin A, D, and E plus good fats and phytonutrients, avocados deliver a range of nutritional benefits to help fight free radical damage and support supple skin. The linoleic acid in avocados helps moisturise your skin from the inside while lauric acid has antimicrobial properties.
Increase your nutrition for healthy skin by snacking on almonds. One of the best foods for skin in the nut category, almonds contain high levels of Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that may slow the signs of ageing by minimising free radical activity.
This humble cruciferous veggie is harbouring skin saving superpowers.
Broccoli can aid in supporting healthy collagen and supple skin thanks to its vitamin C content. Then there’s vitamin E, which helps guard skin cells against oxidative stress that can accelerate premature signs of ageing.
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on your yoghurt or into your trail mix for a healthy hit of zinc.
Known as a “trace mineral” zinc is incredibly beneficial for skin thanks to its ability to halt the formation of damaging free radicals and protect cells. Its anti-inflammatory properties can aid in the healing of inflammatory acne.
Replete in vitamins B2, B5 and B12, Greek yoghurt can assist with maintaining the moisture balance of skin and helps in cellular regeneration. Any old yoghurt won’t do, make sure it’s Greek style to reap the full benefits for your skin.
One of the best foods for skin, olive oil offers skin regenerative benefits thanks to its levels of squalane. Polyphenols can also strengthen and improve skin texture while vitamin E can improve skin elasticity and moisturisation. Olive oil can also help your skin better absorb the nutrients of other foods. Bonus!
This healthy bacteria in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso can support in minimising acne and early signs of ageing and promote a brighter, more even skin tone.
These skin beautifying berries are rich in antioxidants that can help protect skin against the damaging effects of free radical activity.
A small but mighty food in the fight against premature lines and wrinkles, flaxseed contains Omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants to aid in the promotion of skin smoothness and hydration.
This leafy green is a skin health enhancer. Packed with vitamins C, K, and beta-carotene, kale can assist in maintaining collagen, skin healing, and increasing a healthy glow.
Whether you grate them for coleslaw or blitz them in a juice, carrots are incredibly beneficial for skin. They contain vitamin C and beta-carotene which helps minimise skin inflammation and can speed up the healing process after skin trauma.
Do the best foods for skin get tastier than dark chocolate? We think not!
Eating dark chocolate in moderation can provide your skin with vitamins and minerals - including copper, iron, and magnesium - that can assist in the production of collagen and help repair skin. Choose dark chocolate with at least 80% cacao content for maximum healthy skin food benefits.
It's no secret vegetables are good for skin and sweet potato is one of the best root vegetables to support a healthy complexion. They possess high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and magnesium. Collectively they target free radical activity and can encourage healthy collagen production.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the foundation of healthy skin cells and a strong skin barrier. Chia seeds are packed with Omega 3 - they’re one of the richest plant-based sources of this essential fatty acid. Sprinkle them on your salad, breakfast oats, or into a smoothie.
Dark leafy greens in general are some of the best foods for good skin and spinach is no exception. Packed with zinc and antioxidant zeaxanthin, spinach can help reduce inflammation, aid in breakout prevention, and promote a more even skin tone.
Foods To Avoid Or Only Eat Occasionally
Sugar increases inflammation in the body which fuels the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin leading to an increased number of fine lines and wrinkles. Existing skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema can also be exacerbated by refined sugar.
Fast food and food high in trans fats
Research has linked acne flare ups with a diet rich in calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates.
Many processed foods high in fat - like burgers, fries, and pizza - are high-GI that raise blood sugar levels quickly and cause insulin levels to jump. Like refined sugar, this triggers inflammation in the body which has the potential to worsen existing skin conditions.
Foods That Commonly Trigger Skin Issues
While not all skin concerns are caused by - or can be entirely solved by - your diet, some types of foods are more likely to trigger inflammatory skin conditions. These foods aren’t ‘bad’ as such, but many people react badly to them when it comes to their skin.
Studies have found a link between milk products and acne but to discover the impact dairy has on you, temporarily cut it from your diet and monitor your skin for changes.
If you have rosacea, it’s best to steer clear of foods that may trigger flare ups including tomatoes, citrus, cinnamon, and chocolate. Warming spices, hot sauces, and alcohol are also common culprits of rosacea redness flares.
If you are dealing with skin issues a change in diet may help but it’s not the entire picture. Take a holistic approach to include the right skincare, alternative therapies, or medication as needed.
Before making any radical changes to your diet, we recommend consulting with a health professional. We hope these suggestions will be helpful to steer you towards making the right choice in food for better skin.