Have you tried every skincare product under the sun but still aren’t getting the healthy, glowing skin you want? Try a different approach and take care of your skin from the inside out. Believe it or not, your diet plays a large role in the appearance of your skin. Eating a healthy diet is essential for not only looking your best but also feeling your best.
But what is a “healthy diet” when it comes to our skin? We spoke with Sophie Bertrand, a mom, author, and registered nutritionist, to help. “A healthy diet is important for many reasons and can also affect our skin,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were magical foods that could guarantee glowing skin? Whilst (unfortunately) there is no one superfood, there are certain nutrients that have been linked to supporting and maintaining healthy skin, something most of us are in search of!”
It’s important to note that our skin is also dependent on genetics, lifestyle factors, and how we look after it. Here, we’re sharing key vitamins for healthy skin along with Sophie’s recommended list of foods—plus some recipes to jumpstart your journey.
Vitamin Primer for Healthy Skin
According to Medical News Today, the best vitamins to help your skin glow are Vitamins A, C, D, and E. Here’s a little more about how each one helps your skin.
Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for glowing skin because it helps with new cell production. It also fights sun damage and acne while increasing collagen production and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Foods high in vitamin A include leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and eggs.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it can reverse signs of skin damage and aging. It also brightens your skin and reduces redness and under-eye circles (yes, please!). Its anti-aging properties boost collagen production, moisture, and smoothness. Adding more vitamin C to your diet could also help to decrease stress and strengthen your immune system. Reach for citrus fruits and vegetables to increase your vitamin C intake.
Your body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Because the sun has damaging effects on our skin, it’s still best to always wear sunscreen. But vitamin D itself does wonders for our skin: It slows signs of aging, and its anti-inflammatory properties make it great for acne or red, inflamed skin. Vitamin D deficiency is very common but easily fixed. You can find small amounts of vitamin D in milk, salmon, and tuna.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which helps the skin retain moisture and create a protective barrier against the sun and other elements. It also fights acne and dry skin and contributes to new cell growth, making skin healthier and firmer. Foods rich in vitamin E include spinach, nuts, and mango.
Foods for Healthy Skin
Oily fish, like trout, salmon, and sardines, are wonderful sources of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in supporting supple skin. In fact, some research suggests that omega-3 deficiency can cause dry skin. Fish is also a good source of vitamin E, zinc, and protein.
Recipe Idea: Easy One-Pan Baked Salmon With Veggies
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are extremely nutrient-rich. They contain essential fats, antioxidants, and zinc, which all help support the skin’s barrier.
Recipe Idea: Spinach and Berry Smoothie With Nut Butter
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis.
Recipe Idea: Spicy Tomato Halloumi Bake
Broccoli is rich in many different nutrients, such as vitamin C. It also contains lutein, which is a carotenoid that helps to protect skin from oxidative damage.
Recipe Idea: Stovetop Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
As well as containing all those important essential fats, there’s some evidence to suggest that avocados provide specific compounds that may help to protect our skin from UV damage.
Recipe Idea: Loaded Veggie Sandwich
Last but certainly not least, hydration is essential for maintaining good skin health, as it supports skin’s elasticity and aids in the absorption of nutrients. According to the Mayo Clinic, a non-breastfeeding woman should aim for 11.5 cups of water per day (taking into account that roughly 20 percent of that hydration comes from food). Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should increase their daily water intake.