Eating tips for Healthy Skin

Caring for your skin can involve different regimes, one key way to get healthy skin is by eating the right foods. Here is our simple guide to some of the most beneficial foods and drinks for great looking skin.

changes you make will take time to show up in your skin

Having clear, glowing skin can make you look and feel amazing. It is often seen as the outer indicator of health and changes in your lifestyle will soon show up your complexion.

The food we eat can help increase the quality and look of our skin, making it glow from the inside out. There are some nutrients which literally ‘feed’ the skin and when consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet will support the skin structure so that it functions efficiently and looks its best.

Lotions and potions can help make the most of the skin externally but a healthy lifestyle will reap the best rewards. If you smoke, drink alcohol, sit in the sun and survive on junk food no cosmetic creation or ‘miracle’ cream is going to transform your skin.

The following tips will help you achieve great looking skin:

Eat a Rainbow

Eat a varied and colourful diet. Yes, it’s likely you have heard this many times before but there is a reason for that, it does work!

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which help protect the skin from cell damage.

Eat a rainbow of foods everyday. Many of the benefits can be found in the actual colour pigments.

Eat the Right Fats

All fats are not made equal, especially when it comes to promoting great skin. The right fats form a barrier to prevent harmful invaders penetrating the skin. The stronger this barrier the more moisture can be held by our skin cells thereby keeping them nice and plump!

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will promote healthy skin membranes.

Good sources of omega 3 are oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon. Omega 6 can be found in sunflower and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and sunflower oils or corn oil. All in small quantities of course!

Vitamin E

Foods rich in vitamin E can help protect the skin from the ageing process.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, can help prevent the appearance of age spots and helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process

Rich sources include almonds, avocado, nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils, brown rice and dark green leafy vegetables.


Including zinc rich foods can help the skin heal as it is needed to synthesise collagen, the component of skin which holds the skin cells together.

Zinc can help with conditions of the skin such as cold sores and can act as a natural sun-screen by blocking out the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Zinc can be found in eggs, fish, meat, pulses, fish and wholegrain foods

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can manifest in dry skin conditions. The ready made version of vitamin A can be found in fish and animal products such as cod liver oil and liver.

Beta carotene, which can be found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, kale and spinach, can be converted by the liver into vitamin A. Low fat dairy foods such as milk and yoghurt are also good sources of this amazing vitamin.

Be warned, however, that excessively large quantities of vitamin A can be toxic to the human body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, alongside vitamins A and E, work to disarm harmful molecules known as ‘free radicals’ which can speed up the ageing process by making skin less supple.

The vitamin is needed in the formation of collagen, the ‘glue’ that binds the skin cells together. These free radicals can be produced by smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive sun exposure and as a by product of the bodies’ metabolic processes.

Good sources of vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, green peppers and kiwi fruits.


To look nice and plump the skin needs plenty of moisture. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to help your kidneys flush out toxins from the body.

The build up of toxins in the body can cause skin problems like acne. Proper hydration can also help to eliminate sunken eyes and circles under the eyes too.

Even minor dehydration can notably affect skin quality.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants which can protect cell membranes and prevent inflammation in the body.

The tea is high in polyphenols, compounds which neutralise harmful free radicals and protect the skin from UV light which in excess is a cause of skin cancer.

Green tea also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals all valuable to the body and skin.


Eating wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread, Brazil nuts, walnuts, turkey, chicken, oysters and tuna will give your skin a Selenium boost.

Rich sources of Selenium skin experts claim is key to healthy skin cells. High levels of the mineral may even protect the skin from sun damage, skin inflammation problems and dry skin related problems such as Eczema and Psoriasis.

Any dietary changes you make will take time to show up in your skin. Your skin is also a reflection of other lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, stress, physical activity levels and air conditioning. An overall lifestyle change is the best way to make your skin bloom whilst safeguarding your health.

If you have a persistent skin condition you may need medical attention so consult your doctor for the best course of action.

Gulshinder is a UK Senior Registered Dietitian interested in South Asian diets and weight management. Passionate about the plethora of health information available, she endorses only the most impartial and reliable. Her motto, "Time to alleviate our dietary myths."