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When it comes to a clear complexion, there are all sorts of competing wisdom – from complex skincare routines to trendy products like facial massage stones and more. However, one thing that outlives all the trends is the importance of diet and skin health.

diet and skin health - avocado

If you want a clear complexion, what you eat matters.

Fortunately, you don’t need to figure out what that means alone. 

In this blog, our team will break down the link between diet and skin health and discuss what you should eat to get that clear complexion you crave.

Let’s dive in.

Diet and Skin Health 101: 8 Foods to Eat for a Clear Complexion

No matter how old you are or what your skin concerns may be, these eight foods can help you get a clear complexion and healthier skin:

1. Fatty fish

High-fat fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and anchovies, are all excellent foods for anyone who wants a clear, glowing complexion.

The reason is simple: these foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for maintaining the tone and texture of the skin. 

When you consume enough of them, omega-3 fatty acids help the skin stay moisturized, supple, and thick. Overall, omega-3s are an excellent defense against fine lines, redness, and inflammation.

2. Avocado

Like fish, avocado is a great source of healthy fat. 

According to a growing body of research, avocados contain compounds that help protect the skin from sun damage and environmental wear and tear. 

Avocados are also a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from oxidative damage. 

3. Nuts (especially walnuts)

All nuts and walnuts, mainly, are excellent food for people who want healthy skin. 

Walnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids and are richer than other nuts in omega-3 and omega-fatty acids. 

Walnuts also contain nutrients like zinc, which your skin needs to stay healthy.

4. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, which functions as a provitamin A. 

What makes beta carotene so powerful is that it’s easy for the body to turn into Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin. 

Sweet potatoes also contain carotenoids, which serve as a natural sunblock and help the skin stay healthy despite environmental factors.

5. Bell peppers

Red and yellow bell peppers are high in beta-carotene, which the body converts easily into Vitamin A. 

Just one cup of chopped bell pepper contains about 156% of the recommended amount of Vitamin A. 

These veggies also contain lots of Vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin and a clear complexion. These vitamins include zinc, Vitamin C, and vitamin A. Broccoli also contains a compound known as sulforaphane, which has been shown to have anti-cancer effects on some types of skin cancer. 

7. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, carotenoids, and lycopene, all of which protect the skin from sun damage and may even delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

8. Soy

Soy is rich in isoflavones, compounds that mimic or block estrogen in the body. These compounds are actually very beneficial for several body systems, including the skin. 

According to one small study, women who ate soy isoflavones daily for 8-12 weeks saw better skin elasticity and fewer fine lines. 

Want a Clear Complexion? AVOID These Foods

Just like there are foods you should eat for clear skin, there are also foods you should avoid when possible. 

They include the following:

1. Milk and dairy products

For some people, milk and dairy products contribute to skin conditions like acne, redness, and inflammation. 

Here’s why:

There’s a link between the amino acid leucine and the production of sebum in skin cells

The more dairy you consume, the more sebum your skin cells will produce. In some people with certain skin types, this can lead to breakouts, redness, and acne. 

2. High GI foods

Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) may contribute to the formation of acne. 

Foods with high GI levels raise blood sugar and insulin levels and stimulate your body to produce androgen hormones. 

These foods also boost the skin’s production of sebum. This can lead to acne, redness, and other skin concerns for some people. 

3. Alcohol

Alcohol is an inflammatory beverage that makes all skin conditions worse. If you already have acne, breakouts, or other skin concerns, drinking will only exacerbate them. 

Because alcoholic drinks are also full of sugar, they can be a double-whammy for sensitive or inflammation-prone skin. 

As if that weren’t enough, alcohol causes dehydration, which forces the body to produce more oils, creating breakouts. 

4. Coffee

Coffee lovers, beware! For some people, coffee can cause skin concerns, especially if you add lots of sugar and dairy. 

Because consuming coffee boosts the levels of stress hormones in our bodies, it creates ideal conditions for ramped-up oil production and acne breakouts. 

Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to avoid coffee. Just follow it with plenty of water and be mindful of how much sugar you add.

Our Top Skincare Tips

In addition to paying attention to the link between diet and skin health, follow these tips for a clear complexion:

  • Curate a skincare routine that includes a gentle cleanser, nourishing moisturizers, and serums to address specific concerns, like dullness and fine lines.
  • Stay out of the sun and apply SPF every day – even when it’s cloudy out.
  • Avoid touching the skin or picking at or popping blemishes.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and supple.
  • See your dermatologist regularly and have yourself screened for skin cancer at least once a year.
  • Invest in cosmetic dermatology treatments that can reduce or reverse the signs of aging and keep your skin healthy, supple, and glowing.

Dermatology Associates: Your Source for Award-Winning Skincare in the Flathead Valley

Whether you’re dealing with acne, dry skin, or visible signs of aging, improving your diet is a great way to get that clear, glowing complexion you crave. 

Here at Dermatology Associates, we’ll work with you to create a customized skin care plan that helps you look and feel your best.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or our team!