10 Foods That Heal Your Skin From The Inside Out

Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver. But what you eat also affects another organ — your skin. As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.

Why your skin health matters

Skin health can be an early indicator of serious disease. So if you’re concerned about your skin, knowing what your diet is can be a great starting point for making changes for a healthier, younger-looking skin. Here are 10 foods that support your skin and help keep it healthier. 1. Garlic According to science, garlic can keep your skin healthy and free of damage. It’s likely an antioxidant that can protect the skin from sun damage and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness. Eating 1 large clove a day for 30 days in a study of over 1,000 people appears to protect against signs of aging, including wrinkles. 2. Salmon Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that can support skin health.



Carbohydrates are used to produce energy and fats help build cells, skin, and fat. You must eat some carbohydrates each day for them to be absorbed properly, so they must be available in the right amounts. In fact, if you don’t eat a daily diet that includes at least 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates, your body won’t be able to produce insulin, the hormone that works to process glucose and release it into the blood stream. Without insulin, your cells will break down and release glucose into the blood, which can lead to diabetes or other complications. After three days without carbohydrates, your body will start turning to stored fat for energy. Foods that are high in carbohydrates include potatoes, pasta, cereal, bread, and grains, such as corn and rice.



Foods that are high in protein are vital for a healthy lifestyle, and skin health is no exception. “When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you’re getting your protein requirements,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic. Protein is important for a number of reasons. It helps keep you full, which helps control weight. It’s also great for muscle development, because it’s broken down into amino acids. This happens through the digestive system and can be easily interrupted by a poor diet, obesity, or the wrong exercise and sleep habits. “Food can affect the metabolism of skin as well,” Schlessinger says. Dietary sugars Sugars in foods, such as fruit juices, are also very important for skin health.


Omega-6 fatty acids

Fatty acids are essential for proper development and function of the skin. But Omega-6s, which are found in corn, palm, and sunflower oils, can negatively affect the health of the skin by changing the skin’s microbiome. The skin’s natural microbiome protects it from the environment’s harsh chemicals, which can cause wrinkles, creases and spots. Research suggests a link between Omega-6 consumption and acne, as well as some cases of eczema. Furthermore, one recent study found that more frequent fish consumption was associated with a lower risk of several types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Protein Your skin needs protein to keep your skin healthy.


Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, or “good” fats, are those found in fish, eggs, and walnuts, among other foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antimicrobial, and research has shown that they can reduce eczema symptoms and improve joint pain. They can also reduce the occurrence of acne. Healthy fats also support the production of healthy skin cells, which in turn keeps your skin healthy. In addition to omega-3s, eggs contain protein, which is an excellent source of the coenzyme q10, a skin-healing vitamin. Walnuts contain unsaturated fats that help skin achieve a natural barrier, which blocks out excess heat and moisture.


Vitamin A

This vitamin is often known as retinol, the active ingredient in many products that can help treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It’s found in a variety of foods including egg yolks, kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes. And what you eat can influence your skin’s aging effects. An Asian study found that those with the lowest vitamin A intake were twice as likely to have signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and spots, compared to those with the highest intake. Antioxidants Those with good skin have plenty of antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and green tea. Antioxidants help prevent skin damage, by slowing down cell aging and reducing skin cell turnover, which is the body’s way of changing cells and clearing out old ones.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in leafy green vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, spinach, collards, and kale. It also helps produce collagen, which provides the support and structure for your skin’s cells. Vitamin C is what keeps your skin looking young and radiant. It’s also an important part of your skin’s immune system. Too much vitamin C in your diet can be harmful. Too much vitamin C can damage the immune system and make your skin vulnerable to infection. (That said, too much vitamin C is not the problem — it’s how much you eat that counts.) Certain foods naturally contain vitamin C. They include: avocados pineapple red bell peppers kale cantaloupe broccoli What’s more, antioxidants in these foods can help your skin.



Zinc is an essential mineral for strong and healthy nails, hair, and skin. It’s found in such foods as oysters, almonds, cashews, spinach, potatoes, and peanut butter. Vitamin C Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, the strong connective tissue in skin that protects it from UV rays and helps produce redness. As you age, your skin becomes less dense, which also makes it more prone to sunburns. A good antioxidant is essential to keeping collagen strong. Melatonin Melatonin is a hormone released naturally in the brain that affects sleep, mental clarity, muscle control, and reproductive health. Scientists believe that melatonin affects the cells that produce collagen, reducing the risk of wrinkles and losing collagen.


B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for sustaining healthy skin as you age. While aging is associated with loss of skin elasticity and collagen production, vitamin deficiencies in the diet can add to this deterioration. Vitamin B12 is one vitamin that is vital to skin health. B12, also known as cobalamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a major role in energy metabolism and absorption of fat in your tissues. People who are deficient in B12 may suffer from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and short-term memory problems. You may feel tired all the time, and develop red blotches or spots on your skin. If these symptoms occur, you should see your doctor.



When you have any type of autoimmune condition, you’re more prone to breakouts and other types of skin issues. Certain foods, such as nuts, can be good for people with a particular type of eczema, but no healthy skin regimen is perfect. By making wise food choices, you can help to ensure that your skin remains healthy and clear.


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