Eat your way to healthy skin

Nutrition can provide several benefits such as aiding in weight loss, preventing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, providing pain relief, and much more – including improving skin tone, texture, evenness, and clarity. Many people are unaware that what they eat can affect their skin. In fact, there are certain nutrients that when ingested can give skin a healthier, more youthful appearance.

nutrition pyramid
Image Credits

If you want to improve the look of your skin, try to increase your ingestion of the following nutrients that are known to promote skin health before purchasing high-cost topical creams and lotions or expensive skin care treatments:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that keep the body’s cell membranes healthy by not only blocking harmful substances to enter cells but also by allowing nutrients to a better pathway to enter. According to a 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may shield cell walls from damage caused by ultra violet (UV) rays, avert inflammation, and prevent cancerous cells from growing. Oily fish (i.e. salmon) and nuts (i.e. walnuts and flax seeds) are great sources of these essential fats.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and when consumed can help protect against UV damage and boost collagen synthesis and production. A diet high in vitamin C was associated with less wrinkles and age-related dryness, according to a 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. Foods that have high values of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, and green vegetables.
  • Lycopene. A 2008 study published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics found that participants who had higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin. This is because lycopene can boost collagen production and thus help reduce wrinkles. What’s more, is that lycopene has been found to help the skin protect against sunburn, which can lead to damaged and wrinkled skin – and not to mention skin cancer. Cooked tomatoes and grapefruits are two excellent (and tasty) sources of lycopene.
  • Zinc. Zinc has been found to help the produce collagen and can help firm the skin and reduce sagging, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Cell Structure. Red meat, white kidney beans, yogurt, and oysters all contain high amounts of zinc.
  • Vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for the development and maintenance of skin cells, and a deficiency can cause dry, scaly skin or breakouts. Also, according to a 2012 Journal of Investigative Dermatology study, vitamin A could prevent against the development of skin cancer. Foods rich in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, milk, and egg yolks.
  • Isoflavones. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that when mice were fed isoflavones and then exposed to UV radiation, they had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin than mice that were not. This finding indicates that isoflavones may help prevent collagen breakdown. Tofu and edamame are two great foods that are full of isoflavones.
The skin, the body’s largest organ, is considered the outside indicator of a person’s inside health. Consuming the right foods can restore beautiful, youthful-looking skin without the high cost of expensive topical creams and cosmetics.

Author bio: Jeana is an aspiring lawyer whose interests in health, beauty, nutrition, and staying fit. She enjoys informing and engaging others on ways to exercise both the body and mind. In her spare time, when she is not training for marathons or leading her crossfit classes, she studies environmental law and policy with a life-long goal of working in the non-profit sector. She currently is an intern at an environmental law firm in Washington D.C., and has already recruited a few of her co-workers to join her running club. To read more of her articles, check out Modern Health Blog.

Related Posts That You May Like:


  1. Madhuri2:51 PM

    eat avocado add some iron, fruit and carrots into your diet, drink lots of water!

  2. Bindu2:54 PM

    Eating healthy is key. The fats that you eat make a big difference in skin, hair, and nails. The ones that promote beautiful skin are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and flax oil.

  3. Charu2:55 PM

    Studies have shown that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables like carrots and plums enhances skin colour. A survey was done and people preferred the natural colour which was the result of eating fruit and vegetables than spray tanning or tanning in the sun. Also, drink lots of water.

  4. Expert2:57 PM

    Poor diet is one of the main causes of skin disorders

  5. Expert2:59 PM

    Diet effects the body a lot. If you eat bad then your skin will show it. If you eat healthy your skin will show it.

  6. Fatima2:59 PM

    stop eating salty, sweet and processed food.

  7. Anonymous2:22 AM

    Great article! I think some people think eating right is only good for losing weight and staying healthy, when in fact it has SO many other benefits, just like healthier skin! I did not know about the lycopene though, that is amazing. Going to start eating more tomatoes asap!

  8. Good info. Don't forget that avocado is also a great source of omega-3's - and it's delicious!

  9. LChapin12:40 AM

    WOW! Great article regarding what foods I can cook to help preserve not only my skin, but the skin of my two little boys who are always finding a way to get dirty. If only I could figure out a way for them to eat anything that's green...

  10. Nice chart which can come in quite handy for reviewing one's daily diet. But I am surprised coconut and almonds are not mentioned anywhere. Almond is great for hair, eyes and skin. The same applies for coconut. Coconut water is great for the skin. The same applies to coconut oil too. Coconut oil gets absorbed in the skin quickly and easily and replenishes the lost moisturizers of the skin. One can use coconut oil or parachute advansed body lotion that contains coconut oil/milk extracts. It more or less works the same way.

  11. You can keep your body healthy with responsible hygiene. Hygiene is a set of healthful practices that help prevent disease. Hygiene includes good health habits, such as eating a variety of foods, exercising, getting enough rest, and keeping your body clean. You hygiene program should also include careful choices of grooming products. Many of them may have chemicals that can irritate the skin. Preventing and properly treating skin infections and disorders, as well as avoiding overexposure to the sun are important considerations.

  12. Cleanliness is also a must. Regular washing of the face with warm water and soap removes oil, sweat, dirt, skin scales, and bacteria. Dry skin may benefit from soap with a cream base. Sensitive skin may require the use of scent-free or non-allergenic soap. Plenty of water should be used to rinse away the soap.

  13. Sinchana4:00 PM

    Good health produces natural attractiveness. Cosmetics can help enhance a person's better features and minimize unattractive ones


Comments posted on this blog are moderated and approved only if they are relevant, on-topic and not abusive. Avoid using links to your site/blog in the body of your comment unless it is highly relevant to the post.