September 10, 2021

We are all aware that eating healthy has an impact on weight, which (of course) affects our overall health. But did you know that what you eat can also affect your skin?

Having great skin requires more than just drinking the recommended amounts of water daily, and even that is dependent on your size and weight. But certain foods can help contribute to great skin – and some can wreak havoc on your face.

If you want great skin, here are some suggestions for foods to eat and some to avoid.

Quick note: this is more about what the foods contain rather than the actual food itself. So, I’m going to focus on the nutrients and vitamins to look for, then I’ll recommend some foods that contain them. It is up to you to determine which foods fit into your diet.

The Good

Omega-3 Fats

Food rich in omega 3 fatty acid and  healthy fats. Healthy eating concept

These fatty acids help manage many inflammatory skin conditions including acne and dermatitis. Omega-3 fatty acids improve skin hydration and help regulate oil production.

Found in…

…most often, fish. So, look for salmon, mackerel, or herring. There are some seeds (like chia and flax) that contain Omega-3s, but your body must break those down before achieving the benefits, where the ones found in fatty fish get straight to work.

Alternative option

If you are not a big fish person, you can consume the above-mentioned seeds or take a fish oil supplement.

Vitamin A

This vitamin helps control oil production which means it can help contain acne breakouts. This is due to retinoids in the vitamin that help promote healthy skin cells.

Found in…

…several different types of food, including sweet potatoes, apricots, carrots, and leafy greens like kale and spinach.

Vitamin B12

Natural sources of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Top view

A pivotal part of cell production, B12 helps reduce redness and inflammation. People with B12 deficiency may notice vitiligo (patchy loss of skin color) or hyperpigmentation (darker patches of skin).

Found in…

… many foods of animal origin where it is naturally present. B12 can be found in meat (beef, chicken), fish (salmon, tuna), and eggs.

Vegan options

If you absolutely won’t do food with any kind of animal connection, B12 can also be found in fortified soy, almond milk, fortified cereals, and nori seaweed.

Vitamin C

A major producer of collagen, Vitamin C helps with skin elasticity. It can also reduce the dark circles under your eyes and brighten a dull complexion.

Found in…

…citrus like oranges and grapefruit, which is well-known. But it is also in bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E

Natural Foods high in  vitamin E.

A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E helps protect the body from free radicals. It is also known to heal wounds (like acne scars) and lessen the angry appearance of other lesions. There has also been evidence of effective reduction of photoaging when combined with Vitamin C.

Found in…

…leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and some nuts (almonds, peanuts) and seeds (sunflower). Many vegetable oils, including sunflower and soybean, also contain Vitamin E.

Vitamin F

Another anti-inflammatory, Vitamin F is considered a building block of ceramides, which help promote skin cell integrity.

Found in…

…plant oils like olive and flaxseed, almonds, and egg yolks.

The Bad

Dairy Plant. Conveyor with milk  bottles.

This is actually fairly controversial (believe it or not) because most dairy contains calcium, which we know is vital to building strong bones. However, dairy also contains sugars (see below). People who are lactose-intolerant will most likely notice an increase in acne and skin problems that are linked to their dairy intake.

However, there is also some evidence that hormones given to cattle may be present in the milk they have produced, which you then consume. Since milk is present in pretty much every dairy product (think cheeses and yogurts), you’d have to eliminate consumption to see if that changes your skin health.

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