How to Eat Your Way to Better Skin

Foods for Good Skin
Photo by @SeeDJan for Twenty20

We know eating loads of fried food, indulging in ice cream, and drinking alcohol aren’t exactly the ticket to beautiful skin. We’ve known for years that drinking more water is. But what else can you be doing to get your skin in ship shape? Is your skin too dry? A little washed out? Are you trying to battle environmental toxins? Looking for firmer skin? Keep scrolling for all the information you’ll need to eat your way to better skin.

Hydrate Dry Skin

The winter weather is finally relenting and you may be feeling like your skin needs a bit of a reboot. The cold, dry weather has wreaked havoc on our skin and it’s time to get things back in gear. If you’ve been suffering from dry skin, you should eat foods that are rich in healthy fats like chia seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Foods rich in vitamin C like kiwis and hearty, leafy greens have also been associated with reduced dryness. Last but not least: dark chocolate. Seriously. Dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa flavanols, which help increase levels of circulation in the blood and promote hydration.

Improve Your Skin Tone

Is your skin looking a little dull lately? That vibrant, lustrous look it had in your youth is not lost and gone forever. If you want your tone to take on a more lively appearance, look to colorful foods rich in vitamin A and betacarotene, including pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Foods rich in lutein can also improve your skin’s pigmentation, which will counteract the washed-out appearance many of us suffer from after the winter season. Look to green vegetables to increase your lutein intake: Try spinach, green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, and kale.

Battle Free Radicals

We all know about the dangers of free radicals that exist in our environment. Unless you’re living in a perfectly preserved biodome, only consuming organic food, and only using the cleanest, most non-toxic products available, these toxins are impossible to avoid. But just because you’re coming into contact with free radicals every day doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive in avoiding the harm they can cause to your body—including your skin cells. While the benefit of taking antioxidant supplements has been questioned again and again, eating antioxidant-rich foods are still beneficial and should be part of any balanced diet. So do your skin a favor and reach for foods rich in this substance, such as oranges, red peppers, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, papaya, pineapple, and cauliflower.

Firm and Tighten Skin

Eating excess dairy can wreak havoc on your skin and lead it to break out and appear puffy. This is because of the increased levels of hormones in much of the dairy products we consume that can activate the skin’s oil glands. And we all know oily skin leads to acne. But there are some exceptions to this rule and consuming healthier forms of dairy can help firm up skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. So while we don’t recommend you sink your teeth into the nearest wheel of cheese, think about incorporating more yogurt into your diet—particularly Greek yogurt. In addition, foods that promote alkalization in your body can inhibit the body’s ability to produce collagen and cause inflammation. Alkaline-encouraging foods include seaweed, leafy greens, and green vegetables.

What foods do you eat to maintain healthy skin? Tell us in the comments below!