5 Best Foods To Eat For Healthy Skin

From skincare products to superfoods, many people want to have flawless skin. 

While the definition of beautiful skin is subjective, it is possible to define healthy skin. 

Skin health is often correlated with one’s overall health and well-being. 

It is easier to assess skin health than other organs like the lungs, kidneys, and gut. 

Many people think that healthy skin should be completely free of pores, but that is physically impossible because normal, healthy skin should have pores to carry out its functions.

One of the ways to keep your skin healthy is by consuming a healthy diet. 

Consuming adequate nutrients in your diet can promote skin health. 

Generally, antioxidants, vitamins such as A, C, E, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium can improve your skin structure and function. The structural and functional changes in your skin also affect how they look. 

Read on to find out more about the best foods for skin health.

Is my skin healthy?

There are a few ways to tell if your skin is healthy or not. Here are some signs and symptoms of healthy skin:

  • Flesh-toned (there is no best color for flesh)
  • No rashes or redness
  • No abnormal moles, lumps, or bumps
  • Not painful or tender to touch
  • Not itchy or burning

In short, your skin should feel comfortable, and it should be able to carry out its intended functions. The skin is a part of the integumentary system and is the largest organ in the body. 

The skin is responsible for the following:

Protecting us against the environment

The skin is the first layer of defense against physical and chemical hazards from the environment, such as bacteria, corrosive chemical substances, and other forms of injuries, including sunburns, cuts, and infections. 

The subcutaneous fats in the skin also cushion us from injuries and protect us from extreme temperatures.

Providing sensation

The skin is full of nerve endings that provide sensations such as pain, touch, pressure, heat, and cold. 

By being able to sense, we can respond to these stimuli and possibly avoid certain dangers.

Regulating temperature

The skin helps to regulate body temperature through the sweat glands, which give moisture and cools the body down.

Making Vitamin D

When the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, it activates vitamin D, which is crucial for maintaining skin health and increasing the absorption of calcium in the gut.

Get Your FREE Sleep Guide

  • Learn how to naturally improve your sleep
  • Dietary recommendations, supplements, and lifestyle changes
  • Developed exclusively by our medical doctor

By clicking “Download Now”, I agree to Ben's Natural Health Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Role of nutrients for skin health

Your diet should consist of macronutrients and micronutrients. They work together to repair and maintain cellular functions so that your body is healthy. 

As with skin, certain macronutrients and micronutrients have been proven to boost skin health. When there is a deficiency in these nutrients, the skin may not be able to function properly, and the overall aesthetics of the skin may be impaired. 

Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E are great in preventing skin disorders, maintaining smooth skin, promoting skin healing, and reducing skin thinning and wrinkles. 

Linoleic acid or polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids reduce age-related skin dryness or xerosis. Drinking enough water daily can help to hydrate your skin and body. This is why when you are dehydrated, your skin appears rough, dull, and dry. 

The table below shows how certain nutrients and dietary intake affect the skin.

NutrientsEffect on Skin
WaterPromotes blood circulation to the skin, which maintains an even skin tone.
ProteinsRenews and repairs skin tissue and prevents skin aging
CopperPromotes and stabilizes skin tissue and increases blood circulation to the skin
Zinc, iron, and seleniumRepairs the outer layer of the skin and helps the antioxidant enzymes in the skin
Vitamin APrevents skin aging especially due aging due to sun exposure
Vitamin B (B3 and B12)Prevents skin aging and reduces skin inflammation and pigmentation
Vitamin CServes as an antioxidant to increase collagen synthesis and prevents skin aging
Vitamin DProtects the skin by reducing damage and inflammation caused by UV rays
Vitamin EPrevents skin aging
Other compounds such as collagen, polyphenols, omega-3-fatty acids, carotenoids and sulforaphaneWork together with vitamins to increase their efficiency in prevent skin aging

Top 5 best foods for skin

1) Vegetables

Some of the best vegetables to consider for skin health are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. 

Studies have shown that a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables is associated with reduced wrinkles. 

Vegetables such as spinach contain carotene, which can prevent skin aging. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage contain zinc, and vitamins A and C, among many other nutrients. 

Cruciferous vegetables are also a source of sulforaphane which has been shown to prevent skin aging and protect against sun-related damage. 

When preparing vegetables, make sure to clean them thoroughly before eating, cutting, or cooking. Steaming vegetables is the best way to retain as many nutrients as possible.

2) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene. 

Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in your body, which is useful in preventing sun-related damage and aging. Beta carotene can prevent sunburn and prevent dry skin. 

One way to implement sweet potatoes into your diet is by swapping regular potatoes or other carbohydrates with sweet potatoes. 

Sweet potatoes also make good desserts like sweet potato cakes and even soup. If sweet potatoes are not right for you, you can try to get these nutrients from other sources like oranges, bell peppers, carrots, and spinach.

sweet potato diabetes

3) Salmon

Salmon is rich in protein, vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are great boosters of skin health.

Due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can reduce skin inflammation, such as acne. 

The high-quality protein, vitamin E, and zinc derived from salmon also contribute to overall skin health and improve skin repair. 

If salmon is not suitable to be included in your diet, you can consider other types of fatty fish, such as herring or mackerel. 

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can also opt for foods that are rich in healthy fats, such as avocados. They contain healthy fats and vitamins C and E, which are good for skin health. 

These nutrients act as antioxidants in the skin and protect against skin damage and slow down skin aging. 

In a study conducted among Japanese women, healthy fats are associated with decreased facial wrinkling through the maintenance of collagen and elastic fibers in the skin.

4) Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are packed with vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant in the skin. 

It can help to regenerate new skin cells, thus keeping your skin healthy and soft. Citrus fruits are a good source of other antioxidants, such as polyphenols and carotenoids, thereby preventing skin aging. 

You can incorporate citrus fruits such as lemons into your diet by eating them raw or drinking lemon-infused water

Other fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C are plums, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

how to reduce sugar level home remedies

5) Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in protein, vitamins B and E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and selenium. Walnuts help to reduce skin aging and wrinkles. 

There are several ways you can add walnuts into your diet, such as swapping sugary snacks with this nutty snack or by adding them to your salad or cereals. 

Another healthy nut to consider is almonds, as they are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and protein.

Foods to avoid to improve skin health

Generally, foods that are high in fats, sugars, and carbohydrates have been shown to be harmful to skin health and can lead to accelerated skin aging. 

The method of preparation of the food, such as grilling and frying, also affects skin health negatively. 

Here are some foods to avoid to improve skin health:

1) Dairy and butter

Studies have shown that high dairy and butter consumption can be bad for skin health. This is likely due to the way dairy affects certain hormones in your body. 

Dairy products contain casein and whey protein which may increase the levels of insulin-like growth factor-1, or IGF-1. 

IGF-1 has been linked to increased sebum secretion, the oily substance which may cause acne breakouts in some people.

2) Sugary snacks such as doughnuts and ice cream

A diet high in sugar is linked to skin inflammation and oxidative damage, and skin problems. To address this issue, there are several things you can do to keep your blood sugar in check

You can choose low glycemic index (GI) foods such as grains, wholewheat bread, apples, peaches, and berries which can cause a gradual change in your blood sugar rather than sugar spikes. 

You can also avoid sugary snacks or desserts such as doughnuts, cookies, candies, and ice cream.

3)  Trans fats containing food such as fast food and commercially baked products

Depending on the types of fats, consuming a high-fat diet can lead to skin inflammation and reduced skin healing. 

A high-fat diet is closely related to various diseases, including obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and skin aging. 

Studies have shown that A 17-g increase in fat and a 50-g increase in carbohydrate intake increased wrinkles and skin atrophy. 

While fats are an important part of the diet, you can moderate your fat consumption by using less oil in your cooking, switching from frying to steaming and choosing healthier fats instead of trans fats. 

Studies have also shown that high-salt foods are also linked to poorer skin health. Some foods that are high in trans fats are cookies, doughnuts, pies, microwave popcorn, fries, and fried chicken.

4) Alcohol

Studies have shown that alcohol is linked to increased incidences of cancer. The byproducts of alcohol metabolism in the body can increase the risk of cancer when they interact with UV rays. 

Alcohol can increase the skin’s permeability and damage its barrier function. Alcohol also impacts the metabolism of fats and cholesterol in the skin, thereby affecting its health. 

supplements for immune system

Other factors influencing skin health

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health as well as overall health. However, several other factors can complement a good diet in improving skin health.

  • Timely sun protection with adequate sun protection factor (SPF) lotions can reduce UV-related aging and skin damage.
  • Adequate exercise can regulate your body’s metabolism and protects you from age-associated physical deterioration and disease.
  • Keeping your face and body hygienic by washing your face in the morning and before bed and showering daily with soap or cleanser can help to improve skin health.
  • Reducing or avoiding tobacco usage like smoking can improve skin health as well as prevent premature skin aging and other diseases. Tobacco use is also related to accelerated skin pigmentation, aging, and skin necrosis or tissue death.
  • Stress management helps to regulate hormones and prevent acne breakouts. Sometimes, stress can also cause you to pick your skin or bite your lips, leading to a risk of skin infections and injuries.


Though some foods could be described as superfoods, it is important to understand that there is no single food that holds the key to perfect skin or acne elimination

Healthy skin not only carries out its functions well but can also make you feel confident and comfortable. 

Skin health is influenced by a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats. Therefore, implementing a balanced and diverse diet packed with healthy food is essential to maintaining skin health. 

Other factors like sun protection, skincare routine, and exercise also contribute to improved skin health.

Explore More

best anti aging skincare routine

Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine.


  1. Purba, M.b., et al., Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference? Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2001. 20(1): p. 71-80.
  2. Wipke‐Tevis, D.D. and D.A. Williams, Effect of oral hydration on skin microcirculation in healthy young and midlife and older adults. Wound repair and regeneration, 2007. 15(2): p. 174-185.
  3. Cosgrove, M.C., et al., Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2007. 86(4): p. 1225-1231.
  4. Cao, C., et al., Diet and Skin Aging—From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients, 2020. 12(3): p. 870.
  5. Nagata, C., et al., Association of dietary fat, vegetables and antioxidant micronutrients with skin aging in Japanese women. British Journal of Nutrition, 2010. 103(10): p. 1493-1498.
  6. Sikdar, S., M. Papadopoulou, and J. Dubois, What do we know about sulforaphane protection against photoaging? Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2016. 15(1): p. 72-77.
  7. Fabbri, A.D. and G.A. Crosby, A review of the impact of preparation and cooking on the nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, 2016. 3: p. 2-11.
  8. Addi, M., et al., An Overview of Bioactive Flavonoids from Citrus Fruits. Applied Sciences, 2022. 12(1): p. 29.
  9. Saladi, R.N., T. Nektalova, and J.L. Fox, Induction of skin carcinogenicity by alcohol and ultraviolet light. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 2010. 35(1): p. 7-11.

Top Products

Total Health


Glucose Control