Updated: May 12, 2020
When you think "skincare", you probably think of some 7-step, overpriced product line, promising you a more youthful complexion. I hate to break it to you, but you can’t smother on a bunch of face creams expecting them to do all the work!
As researchers learn more about the human body, it is becoming increasingly clear that what you eat impacts the health and aging of your skin. Turns out beauty really does come from the inside 😉
Here’s my top list of foods + supplements that will support your skin from the inside out (bonus- all of these foods support way more than just your skin- eat these regularly and I’m sure you’ll see amazing results throughout your entire body!)
1. Fatty Fish
I am talking wild-caught salmon (NOT king salmon), sardines, mackerel, and herring. Fatty fish are some of the most potent sources of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. The modern American diet is high in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids and low in Omega-3’s. I personally try to have a serving of fatty fish at least twice a week. Fish oil supplements are also helpful if you don’t like to eat fish, but I always recommend getting it straight from the source if possible.
2. Matcha (Green Tea)
Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays from the sun. Less UV ray damage = younger looking skin! Matcha is simply ground up green tea leaves, and I prefer to consume matcha because I’m consuming the entire leaf versus just soaking the tea leaves in water. I drink matcha every day- you’ve probably seen my matcha lattes on my Instagram!
3. Sweet Potatoes
Red and orange vegetables contain a compound called carotenoids. Carotenoids help your skin fight oxidation, aka, sun damage and aging. A study published in Evolution and Human Behavior showed that people who consumed more red and orange vegetables appeared to have a more radiant and sun-kissed complexion. Sweet potatoes have more than 200% of your daily recommended intake.
4. Looootts of H2O
OK, so water isn’t a food, but I had to include it on this list because this is such a game changer. Staying adequately hydrated will do WONDERS for your skin. Do not skip this crucial step! Aim for at LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water per day. I personally love to drink water infused with fruit like lemons, limes, apples, and cucumber- just make a big pitcher overnight and drink it throughout the day.
5. Chia Seeds
Another great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds promote healthy skin function and new collagen production, to keep your skin glowing and prevent signs of aging. I like to add chia seeds to my smoothies, or try making chia pudding for breakfast!
6. Dark, leafy greens
Eat your green vegetables! Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens are high in so many essential vitamins and nutrients. They are anti-inflammatory and help detoxify the liver, which in turn detoxifies the skin. Try to have something green on your plate at every meal, or consider supplementing with a high-quality green juice (more on that below under “supplements”).
Turmeric contains an active compound, curcumin, which gives it its orange color. Curcumin is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory. Acne and blotchy skin are often signs of inflammation, and regular consumption of turmeric has helped many people clear up breakouts. If you suffer from inflammation, taking a daily turmeric supplement may help. I really like this one from Truvani.
a. Besides being a great source of healthy fats, it’s also high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to prevent premature aging.
9. Bone Broth
Bone broth helps your skin build up its own collagen stores. It’s also high in hyaluronic acid, an ingredient found in many expensive anti-wrinkle creams. Bonus- the gelatin in bone broth helps improve digestion, which directly benefits your skin. Research has proven a link between the gut, brain, and skin (called the gut-brain-skin axis). Make it yourself at home, or purchase it pre-made!
a. Oranges get all the glory when it comes to Vitamin C, but kiwis actually have way more vitamin c than oranges do- just two kiwis give you more than your daily recommended intake! Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen, and also protects the skin from free radical damage. Kiwis are also high in Vitamin E, which aids in smoothing skins and wrinkle prevention.
In addition to foods that promote a healthy glow, I strategically take some supplements to boost these effects even more. Here's what I take. Just remember, you can't out-supplement a poor diet!
1. Collagen Peptides
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and your hair, skin, nails, bones, joint and ligaments are all made up of it! Your body gradually produces less collagen as you age, which is a contributing factor to dull and wrinkled skin. There are many foods that promote collagen production, but I like to supplement with collagen to get an extra boost of anti-aging nutrition! My favorite brand is Vital Proteins; I’ve been taking it for 3 years. My hair grows fast, my nails are strong and my skin glows! 😊 I like to add it to my morning coffee/tea (it dissolves best in warm liquids).
2. Green Juice
It’s hard to meet your daily requirement of green veggies, so I personally love to incorporate a high-quality, organic, powdered green drink into my routine. It’s easy and there’s no messy cleanup afterwards!
My personal favorite is from Organifi. Not only is it 100% USDA certified organic, but it’s also got 11 superfoods the detoxify the body (and skin!), it boosts energy, and most importantly- it tastes amazing! It’s got a ton of anti-inflammatory ingredients that promote glowing skin such as chlorella, spirulina, beets, turmeric, and coconut water. Bonus: Organifi is offering a 15% discount for my readers- use code HOLISTICINHOUSTON to get 15% of your purchase and try it yourself!
As mentioned above, there is research confirming the gut-brain-skin connection. Get your gut in check by eating foods that promote healthy digestion and take a high-quality probiotic daily. I really like this one.