Foods That Promote Healthy Skin: Eat Your Way to Perfect Skin
Reviewed by Jaimee Gooley, R.D.
Written by Hannah Marchese
It might sound cliche, but it’s true — you are what you eat. What we put into our bodies directly affects everything from stomach issues to our skin, to our hair and nails, and our overall health.
If you’ve got an issue going on with your body, there is a chance it could be food-related. We aren’t saying there aren’t health issues that arise that are unrelated to food and diet (because there totally are).
The point is, food really can be healing and helpful in every aspect of your health. Even if you need to take a certain medication, adjusting your diet can only help. One issue that people seem to struggle with is their skin health.
We’ve all been there; the skin struggle is real.
Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, your skin goes rogue and does its own thing. This can be so frustrating, and honestly, downright depressing at times.
You can take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. In fact, 54% of women have reported experiencing some sort of acne, and 22% of adult women deal with consistent acne. And that’s just one example of countless different skin issues women have to deal with!
Here at Kalumi, we’ve got your back. We know achieving perfect skin seems like an impossible struggle, but we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at some foods that promote healthy skin. You’ll be glowing in no time!
Foods for the Best Skin of Your Life
If you’re serious about improving your skin health and getting glowing skin, your diet is the first place you need to start. Oftentimes, skin issues can be a quick fix if your diet is the root cause of the issue.
For example, people with acne often say that cutting dairy out of their diet helped clear it up. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple, but addressing your skin concerns through diet is one of the best ways to see progress with your skin.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
If you want the glow factor in your skin, vitamin C is key. It works to strengthen skin by assisting with collagen production. This allows your skin to stay strong, supple, and glowy. Normal, healthy skin contains high levels of vitamin C. This also helps to prevent UV damage.
Eating your vitamin C is far more important than topically applying vitamin C to your skin. If you want to up your vitamin C intake, try incorporating these foods into your daily diet:
- Citrus fruits, especially grapefruit and oranges
- Black currant
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Did you know that vitamin A is essential for a strong skin barrier and skin function? It actually works to boost collagen production. It can help your skin on a cellular level, promoting cell turnover and strengthening the barrier.
Here are some foods you should be eating that are high in beta carotene and vitamin A:
- Sweet potatoes
- Black-eyed peas
- Sweet red peppers
- Pumpkin seeds
If you aren’t already consuming collagen on a daily basis, you could consider incorporating collagen into your diet. Collagen is the basis for our skin health. It’s what keeps our skin bouncy, hydrated, and glowing. Your skin elasticity is directly related to how much collagen you have in your body.
Collagen isn’t just for skin, either. It is also found in other parts of the body, including our joints, bones, and organs. Basically, collagen is everywhere, and it’s super important to our overall health.
Our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars contain 12 grams of marine collagen, which is the cleanest type of collagen you can find on the market. If you want to increase your collagen intake, this is the best way to do so.
The bars are packed with clean and delicious ingredients, such as almond butter, sweet potato, cashew, and cocoa.
Pro Tip: If a bar isn’t your thing, we have other options for you. Our collagen powder is one of the cleanest collagen powders available. The only ingredient is wild-caught marine collagen. Just two tablespoons offer 12 grams of collagen and 11 grams of protein.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This essential nutrient can work wonders for your skin. This dietary fat is one of the good fats that you need to incorporate into your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most essential nutrients you can put into your body, and you will see the results in your skin.
You will find this healthy fat in:
- Fatty fish, especially salmon, one of the best sources of omega3-fatty acids
- Cod liver oil
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Besides collagen, you should definitely make sure to focus on adding this nutrient to your diet. If you are deficient in omega-3, you will see signs of it in your skin .
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens are absolutely packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for preventing and repairing skin damage, such as the damage that comes from sun exposure and pollution .
Antioxidants are also great for combatting signs of stress in the skin, like the stress hormone cortisol (which can greatly damage your skin when your levels are too high) .
The good news is, leafy greens are probably the easiest thing to incorporate into your daily diet. Throw a handful into your morning smoothie, saute some for a quick side, or eat a small side salad with every meal.
Some of the best leafy greens that contain antioxidants are:
- Bok Choy
- Romaine lettuce
Yep, you heard that right! Research shows that dark chocolate is good for your skin (and your soul, let’s be honest) . The key here is to avoid eating high amounts of dark chocolate that contains tons of added sugar. Opt for pure cocoa to reduce the amount of sugar intake.
Also, try not to eat too much before bedtime as chocolate also has a high caffeine content.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants. You want to choose one that contains at least 70% cocoa in order to reap the benefits.
Eating a whole chocolate bar will just act as a sugar bomb for your body. But, if you want to eat a few pieces of it for dessert each day, consider this your go-ahead. In fact, we encourage it.
Life’s too short not to eat chocolate every day, right?
That morning cup of tea is actually doing wonders for your skin. Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which work to improve your skin health in multiple ways, such as:
- Reducing the risk of illness
- Reduce redness and swelling
- Lowering cholesterol levels
Green tea also contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from sun damage. A plain cup of green tea each morning can give your skin the antioxidant boost it needs (plus, it’s a great energy booster).
You can also try using skin care ingredients that contain green tea. The caffeine in green tea works great for boosting blood circulation, which is why many people try eye creams with green tea.
If you have skin issues that seem to never end, consider changing up your diet. Don’t forget to include other nutrient-rich foods such as nuts for extra vitamin E, sardines for omega-3, berries, and avocados. Try adding all of the foods on this list to your daily meal plan. Remember, you won’t see changes overnight, so give it some time and try not to get frustrated if you don’t see results right away.
You might actually be surprised at how much food truly does play a role in your skin, health, and overall well-being.
Understanding the Burden of Adult Female Acne | NCBI
Emerging Issues in Adult Female Acne | NCBI
Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments | NCBI
The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health - Nutrients | NCBI