Skip to main content

Foods That Keep Your Skin Looking and Feeling Healthy

min read

By Catherine Roberts

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jenny Liu, MD

For many people, an obsession with skin begins at a young age and lasts throughout their lives. Just think: how many people do you know, including yourself, that has struggled with acne, dry skin, wrinkles or some other kind of skin issue at some point in their lives?

The good news is that there are a number of skin and face treatments that can help with these issues. The bad news is that some of these treatments can be very expensive, placing them out of reach of many Americans. But are there foods that can help make and keep skin looking and feeling healthy?

Keep in mind these foods work mostly by keeping the body healthy and giving your skin the building blocks it needs to repair itself. Ingredients in food do not get preferentially taken up by your skin, so eating them in excessive does not give more benefit than topical ingredients.

Foods with Vitamin C

Most of us are familiar with foods that contain vitamin C—they include berries like currants, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, as well as fruits like oranges, papaya, kiwi, and guava. Many people know that these foods can help boost our immune systems. But do you know that they can also help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy?

It’s true; foods high in vitamin C promote the development of healthy skin and can help our skin heal after it’s been damaged—by cuts, burns, or dryness. These foods can also help build collagen, which can contribute to improving capillaries and keeping the skin looking and feeling healthy.

Foods with Zinc

Foods that are high in zinc can help make skin look and feel healthier because it assists in the functionality of the sebaceous glands, which according to the International Dermal Institute, can be found in the skin and play a vital role in the production of oil. This oil helps repair skin problems and keep it feeling soft and smooth.

If you’re wondering what foods contain a lot of zinc, look to protein, including poultry, fish, and lean red meat. You can also find zinc in nuts, seeds, and wholegrain foods.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are chock full of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that can help improve the functionality of the immune system. Not only will this help you avoid getting sick and recover from an illness, but it can help protect you against mild, modest and serious skin conditions, from sunburn to age spots and even skin cancer.

Tomatoes are not the only foods containing selenium. Brazil nuts are also high in selenium—so high, in fact, that eating just four of these nuts will get you your daily recommended amount. Other foods high in selenium include fish, eggs, and broccoli.

Water

Many people know it’s important to drink lots of water over the course of an average day, but do you know exactly why it’s so important? One reason: it can significantly reduce dehydration and improve the moisture of your skin, making it feel and look healthy.

That’s why it’s important to have water around you at all times, whether you work in an office or out on a construction site. Herbal and caffeine-free types of tea can also help with this. To avoid drawing water away from your skin, limit your consumption of alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration and make your skin feel and look older.

Foods with Beta-Carotene

Betacarotene, which can be found in fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes, can play an important role in keeping skin feeling young and healthy. That’s because beta-carotene, which is loaded with vitamin A, can assist in healthy skin development.

Foods with Healthy Fats

It’s wise to avoid foods with trans fats and lots of saturated fats, liked baked goods and processed snacks like potato chips. But there are some fats that you shouldn’t avoid, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in avocados, fish, nuts, and seeds.

These special types of fats provide your body with essential fatty acids that play an important role in keeping your skin feeling moist and supple. As if that’s not enough, these fats have also been linked to improved heart and brain health.

MD, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Dr. Jenny Liu is a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant professor in the Twin Cities. Her academic interests are complex medical dermatology, ethnic dermatology and medical education. She uses her blog and Instagram (@derm.talk) to educate others on all things dermatology and share her own tips and tricks regarding skin care.

Diet and Nutrition News & Advice

Explore

Dietary Fibre Affects More Than Your Colon: How the Immune System, Brain and Overall Health Benefit Too
By Mark Wulczynski Diet and Nutrition News & Advice

Dietary Fibre Affects More Than Your Colon: How the Immune System, Brain and Overall Health Benefit Too

There’s no shortage of advice about what to eat, including hype about the latest superfoods that will help you live to 100, or about the newest restrictive diets that claim to help you lose weight and look beautiful. As a researcher from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, I’m well aware that there is […]

Read More about Dietary Fibre Affects More Than Your Colon: How the Immune System, Brain and Overall Health Benefit Too

4 min read

What’s the Best Diet for Healthy Sleep? A Nutritional Epidemiologist Explains What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Z’s
By Erica Jansen Diet and Nutrition News & Advice

What’s the Best Diet for Healthy Sleep? A Nutritional Epidemiologist Explains What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Z’s

You probably already know that how you eat before bed affects your sleep. Maybe you’ve found yourself still lying awake at 2 a.m. after enjoying a cup of coffee with dessert. But did you know that your eating choices throughout the day may also affect your sleep at night? In fact, more and more evidence […]

Read More about What’s the Best Diet for Healthy Sleep? A Nutritional Epidemiologist Explains What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Z’s

5 min read

Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away? A Nutritionist Explains the Science Behind ‘Functional’ Foods
By Janet Colson Diet and Nutrition News & Advice

Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away? A Nutritionist Explains the Science Behind ‘Functional’ Foods

We’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but how true is that? Apples are not high in vitamin A, nor are they beneficial for vision like carrots. They are not a great source of vitamin C and therefore don’t fight off colds as oranges do. However, apples contain various bioactive […]

Read More about Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away? A Nutritionist Explains the Science Behind ‘Functional’ Foods

6 min read