I think it’s safe to say (at least when it comes to me) that in our everlasting fight to achieve the beautiful, clear, and radiant skin of our wildest dreams, we may often forget the power of our local grocery store! Having the right foods, or eating by what I like to refer to as the “clear skin diet”, can have tremendous benefits on your skin!
I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that the majority of my time spent fussing over how to clear up my occasionally problematic skin is split between perusing the Sephora App or simply googling what skin care products work best for my specific concerns. In fact, it wasn’t until a recent trip to my dermatologist when I was asked “So…how’s your diet?” that I started to reconsider my plan of attack.
You see, I had been ranting about how it seemed like my skincare wasn’t working miracles everyday (dramatic, I know) and my dermatologist laughed a little and explained to me that skincare alone shouldn’t be relied upon to achieve and maintain amazing skin. And sure, I knew that a healthy diet does indeed help beautify skin, but I had been thinking my occasional kale salad or piece of fruit in the morning before running out the door was sufficient.
As it turns out, my dermatologist (and others alike, believe me I’ve done my homework) believe that the way our skin looks and ages is based off 20% genetics and 80% lifestyle factors such as diet and sun exposure. Learning this was exciting for me because it made me realize we have most of the power when it comes to controlling the way our skin looks and ages.
Needless to say, this information lead me to immediately scour the internet in search of the absolute best foods for skin, for which I’ve compiled a list below.
Related: Healthy Hair Diet
Particularly orange and yellow variations, bell pepper is rich in the vitamin known as Beta Carotene which converts into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is amazing for clearing up skin because it is antioxidant rich and helps ensure that your sebaceous glands aren’t producing too much oil.
It also protects against free radicals (think damaged cells through things such as exposure to pollution and UVA & UVB radiation) and has anti inflammatory properties.
Besides being extremely rich in Vitamins A and C, kale also contains magnesium. Magnesium helps to regulate acne causing hormones such as insulin, and also helps to regulate your sleep schedule which is important since our skin goes into major repair mode while we sleep at night.
Really any kind of berry is good for the skin, but I’m primarily endorsing blueberries and raspberries because of their high Vitamin C content and accessibility in most grocery stores year round, be it fresh or frozen. Vitamin C is crucial for the skin for several reasons.
First, it helps to undue free radical damage. Second, it ensures your immune system targets the bacteria which causes acne AND not healthy skin causing inflammation. And third, Vitamin C helps to produce collagen and elastin which help with your healing acne scars and also preventing new ones from forming.
Avocados are a must eat for anyone abiding by the clear skin diet for so many reasons! For starters, avocados contain Vitamin E which fights both the bacteria that can cause acne and free radicals! Also, avocados contain a lot of fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels and keep hormones in check.
This fruit also helps make skin smooth and supple, which will help to minimize the texture that acne and acne scars give. And lastly, it is believed that those who consume avocados on a regular basis tend to have less oily skin because of the way they food regulates your sebum (oil) production.
These fruits are full of essential vitamins, but perhaps most importantly, contain an antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene has many benefits for our skin, such as it’s natural defense against UVA and UVB radiation.
Lycopene also helps with creating and repairing skin cells through collagen production, a necessary feat to diminish the appearance of scars and acne.
Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C, magnesium, and also manganese. Manganese can play a vital role in keeping skin clear and youthful because it promotes the production of collagen, regenerates vitamins after they’ve been used up, AND is an essential cofactor for the absorption of Vitamin E.
Another great addition to the clear skin diet is salmon because it contains some of the highest concentration of Omega 3 Fatty Acids you can find! These fatty acids help produce collagen and also reduce inflammation.
If you’re a vegetarian or simply don’t like fish, try walnuts as they too have a high Omega 3 Fatty Acid content.
These nuts are rich in both selenium and zinc which are powerful minerals when it comes to treating and preventing acne. Selenium specifically is antioxidant rich and works alongside Vitamin E in reducing inflammation, but also hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of scars.
Zinc on the other hand, promotes a strong immune system that helps to heal and repair damaged skin cells and also produce healthy new skin cells.
Brown rice is a great alternative to white breads and white rice because it is chock full of dietary fiber and as a result is digested slower. This slower digestion process helps to avoid the sudden spikes in blood pressure which in turn lead to higher insulin production and the sebaceous glands producing more oil.
A powerful antiseptic and anti inflammatory, fennel is comprised of the compounds myrcene, limonene, and anethole that keep acne at bay by killing off the bacteria that causes breakouts.
So there you have it! These are some of the many foods that are apart of the the clear skin diet. I hope you find these foods easy to incorporate into your daily diet as they should be stocked on the shelves of your local grocer.