The myriad products that line pharmacies and beauty stores are the only proof we need to confirm that we're all a little obsessed with having perfect skin. While I don't plan to admit to you the number of hours I've wasted searching for a great eye cream, I will say that eating a good diet can work so many wonders on your skin. (You might not even have to worry about finding that life-changing eye cream!) No matter what kind of skin you're after, these are the foods you should be filling your plate with.
For Glowing Skin
In our mind, glowing skin is soft, supple, hydrated, and puff-free. The secret to ensuring your skin looks like that all day long is to fill up on a diet that's packed with water-rich foods and good fats.
- Salmon and other fatty fish: Salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines are all full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep skin elastic and supple.
- Water: A no-brainer, but always worth mentioning! Drinking plenty of water every day ensures our skin stays hydrated and therefore plump and supple.
- Avocado: This crowd favorite is packed with good fats, which, just like the fats found in salmon, help keep skin hydrated.
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash: These vegetables all get their signature orange hue from beta-carotene, which can lend a warming pale yellow or orange tone to skin that gives the appearance of healthy skin.
- Olive oil: More good fats here! The high level of monounsaturated fats specifically found in olive oil helps skin's moisture. Olive oil is also full of antioxidants that can help maintain youthful-looking skin.
- Watermelon: All that water inside watermelon means you're getting a big dose of hydration for your skin.
- Dark chocolate: A great excuse to enjoy dark chocolate ! The antioxidants called flavanols found inside the sweet treat help keep skin thick and more hydrated.
For Clear, Acne-Free Skin
If you're someone who sufferers from acne, you may already know that certain foods may trigger blemishes. Loading up on antioxidant- and vitamin-rich foods can help counter this.
- Green tea: The antioxidants in green tea can help reduce inflammation in the skin and heal blemishes and scars.
- Non-dairy milk: For some people, dairy products can be highly inflammatory, which can aggravate the skin and therefore promote breakouts. If this is the case for you, it may be wise to try coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk instead.
- Kale and other leafy greens: Leafy greens like kale, collards, spinach, and Swiss chard are all rich sources of vitamin A, which is an active ingredient in some acne medications to clear up breakouts.
- Oysters: There is a crazy amount of zinc, which is known to help fight acne, in oysters (six provide over 500 percent of your daily need!). An easy way to get your fill at home without the fuss of shucking is to try smoked oysters. Add them to jambalaya to give it an umami-kick. Beyond oysters, chickpeas and cashews are also good sources of zinc.
- Broccoli: This veggie also contains a good amount of blemish-fighting vitamin A and zinc, along with vitamin K, which can help heal bruises and lessen dark spots.
For Wrinkle Prevention
There are countless products on the market that claim to fight the wrinkles you may already have and the wrinkles that could develop down the road. Eating a diet rich in protein and certain antioxidants and vitamins can mimic those pricey products.
- Tomatoes: There's a whole lot of lycopene found in tomatoes. This antioxidant can help protect skin against UV damage (it basically improves your skin's natural SPF), although you should definitely still wear sunscreen!
- Citrus, strawberries, and spinach: These items are rich sources of vitamin C. This vitamin can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles, so it's worth loading up on.
- Eggs: The amino acids that are found in protein-rich eggs help with collagen production — collagen gives structure and strength to skin and therefore helps with wrinkle prevention.
- Yellow and green bell peppers: Both colors of peppers are a rich source of carotenoids, which are antioxidants that can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Bone broth: Since bone broth is made with animal bones, it's a liquid that's chock-full of collagen, which, as mentioned above, helps to strength and firm skin.
- Greek yogurt: The high level of protein found in Greek yogurt, in comparison to regular yogurt, helps smooth the skin while its probiotics can help prevent wrinkles.
- Soy: A compound found in soy called isoflavones can help improve fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin's elasticity.