Great Skincare Starts in the Kitchen: 10 Essential Foods for Skin Health

What we put into our body is just as important – and sometimes more so! – than what we put on it. Many of the vitamins and nutrients we eat each day are working hard behind the scenes to protect our skin from free radicals and keep it healthy and happy. Show your skin a little love by boosting your daily intake of these superstars! 

1. Carrots

These crunchy orange VIPs get their signature color from a pigment called beta carotene, which is thought to provide protection against sun radiation and free radicals that can lead to skin aging. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which is thought to play a role in boosting collagen production. Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, some studies have found that it’s best absorbed when paired with a fat. Try roasting your carrots in olive or avocado oil for maximum skin benefits!

2. Blueberries

You’ve probably heard the hype about blueberries – they’ve been dubbed a ‘superfood,’ and with good reason! With few calories, lots of fiber and a quarter of your recommended vitamin C intake in just one cup, these little berries pack a punch. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports the body in creating collagen, plus it’s an active antioxidant that fights against the free radicals out to damage your skin.

Photo by Joanna Kosinka

3. Sweet Potatoes

Like other orange-colored goodies, sweet potatoes bring high levels of the antioxidant beta carotene, a natural anti-inflammatory that might also act as a natural sunblock. But don’t stop before you get to the skins! Sweet potato peels are full of fiber, which can aid gut health and lead to lots of surface-level benefits. 

4. Fatty Fish

Certain fish, especially salmon, mackerel, and herring, are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help to keep inflammation down and skin moisture high. Omega-3s strengthen the cell membrane, which can help the skin appear softer, more supple and wrinkle-free. One of the three types, EPA, may also help balance oil production and reduce the risk of acne.

Salmon | Photo by Agto Nugroho

5. Red Bell Peppers

Another good food for your skin is the red bell pepper. Beyond being another major source of powerful beta carotene, they’re also brimming with vitamin C. As mentioned above, Vitamin C helps support the body in its production of collagen, the most abundant protein in your body – and the main source of structure for your skin. Packing your diet with plenty of Vitamin C is necessary to keep your collagen happy! 

6. Edamame

Steamed soybeans contain a class of flavonoids called isoflavones, which can help improve skin elasticity. A small study of middle-aged women showed that soy isoflavones helped to smooth and strengthen skin, particularly around the eye area. Soy might also help to protect the skin from UV radiation, a major factor in preventing premature aging. 

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Simple to sprinkle on yogurt or add to a trail mix, pumpkin seeds are a quick and tasty way to add zinc to your diet. Zinc is a mineral and antioxidant that’s believed to aid in wound healing. It helps to regulate oil glands and has anti-inflammatory properties – two key factors that might make pumpkin seeds a powerful weapon to fight certain kinds of acne.

8. Green Tea

Polyphenols are hard-hitting antioxidants that have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties – and they just happen to be found in droves in green tea. Research has shown that polyphenols can help reduce sebum production, which can majorly improve the look of acne and oily skin. The coolest part? Both topical and ingested polyphenols seem to have an effect – meaning you can sip a cup while laying tea bags on your skin for a double dose of antioxidants.

Photo by Jia Ye

9. Tomatoes

These sweet and savory treats are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that’s a real game-changer when it comes to UV damage. Your body uses lycopene to eliminate free radicals the sun sends your way, protecting against skin aging caused by rays. The benefits are even stronger when the tomatoes are cooked, so use that as an excuse to add more pasta sauce to your weekly menu!

10. Pomegranates

One of the healthiest fruits for our skin is pomegranates, as they are packed with antioxidants that protect the skin from overexposure to UV rays and pollution. Beyond that, pomegranate juice is like a tall drink of water for dull, dry skin. Pair a handful of tasty seeds with a topical application – pomegranate sterols have been shown to help tired skin regenerate and regain its glow. You can find these super pomegranate sterols  in our Skin Therapy moisturizer.

LimeLife by Alcone’s Skin Therapy

If any of these foods sparked your interest, add them to your grocery list and give your next meal a skin-loving boost! The ultimate goal is to find a way to incorporate these superfoods in a way that tastes great to you. Not a big salad fan? Try a chicken stir fry tossed with fresh red peppers and edamame, or cut your sweet potatoes into oven-roasted fries. Need something quick and easy? Whiz a handful of blueberries into your breakfast smoothie and pack some baby carrots for a mid-morning snack.   

How does your diet match up with your beauty routine? We’d love to hear your tips, tricks and recipes!

3 thoughts on “Great Skincare Starts in the Kitchen: 10 Essential Foods for Skin Health

  1. It’s great to see just how many foods can be used to promote skincare. Edamame might be the most surprising, at least to me. It’s something that’s served in a number of restaurants, as an appetizer, so it’s never regarded as a food that can help keep the skin clear, full, and healthy. Good to know!

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