Eat These 12 Foods for Healthy Skin

Eating healthy is about much more than just weight loss. It’s about protecting and nurturing the organs that keep your body functioning. And we’re not just talking about organs like the heart, brain and kidneys. 

Your skin is another important organ that is impacted by the foods you eat. The wrong diet choices may cause or worsen a variety of skin diseases like acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and even skin cancer.  

It’s safe to say the dietary choices you make now will have a profound impact on your skin health now and later. 

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Best foods for healthy skin

A person slicing an avocado with a knife

Getty Images/Alexander Spatari

The best foods for the skin also happen to be good for your body in other ways. And the best part is that they taste good and are easy to add to daily meals. Here are our top picks for foods for healthy skin. 

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Avocados are little powerhouses of skin health nutrients. They contain vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and monounsaturated fat, which all contribute to a glowing complexion. The fat in avocados helps the body to better absorb other skin-healthy vitamins like A, D, E and K. 

In a recent study conducted at UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, eating avocados was shown to significantly increase skin elasticity and firmness and increase cancer-fighting carotenoids in the body.  


Yogurt is commonly known as a gut-health food because of the probiotics most yogurt contains. But what many yogurt lovers may not realize is that it is also a food for healthy skin. There is a link between gut health and inflammation and a link between inflammation and certain skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. 

Look for yogurt with no added sugar, as sugar is an inflammatory and may offset the anti-inflammatory effects of the probiotics. 


Kiwis are high in vitamin C, an essential molecule for skin health. It limits damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure, regulates the synthesis of collagen in the body, limits free radicals and helps keep the skin moist. 

One serving of kiwi contains most of your recommended daily vitamin C. Adding in even one kiwi a day in a salad or even as a dessert is a step toward supple skin.

Fatty fish

Cold water fish like herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Both of those play an essential role in skin health by maintaining homeostasis.  

Omega-3’s improve the skin barrier, reduce UV inflammation, reduce dry skin and prevent cancer. CoQ10 fights against free radicals, which reduce the signs of aging and the chances of skin cancer. 

Olive oil 

Another delicious inflammation fighter, olive oil contains antioxidants and vitamins, like vitamin E and vitamin K. Vitamin E helps protect the skin from free radicals and so reduces damage and chances of skin cancer. Vitamin K is a coagulant (assists with blood clotting) and helps to regulate calcium levels. For the skin, that means a reduction of dark under-eye circles and overall better healing. 

Olive oil is also packed full of beneficial fatty acids, primarily omega-9 oleic acid, which helps to maintain the skin’s moisture and elasticity, reduces inflammation and helps the body absorb the vitamin E. 


Nuts, like walnuts, peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts, are another great source of vitamin E. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as a “perfect source” of vitamin E. Sharing similar benefits as olive oil, nuts are a versatile food that can be added to various recipes, eaten as a snack or even used as a meat substitute. 


A rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants (polyphenols), strawberries are another food to add to your skin food regimen. These juicy little bites help to promote collagen production, fight free radicals, reduce dry skin and reduce the signs of aging. 

It doesn’t hurt that strawberries are delicious, affordable and easy to grow or buy at any grocery store or farmers market when in season. Add them to cereal, smoothies and salads or just eat them as a treat. 


Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, but lycopene sets them apart. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to prevent skin damage from sun exposure. Some studies show that lycopene also reduces sunburns. 

Tomatoes are another highly versatile food that can be eaten raw or cooked and added to meals in various ways like tomato paste, ketchup, tomato soup and more. 


Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a phytochemical called lignans. Omega-3s offer a variety of anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin, but so do lignans which are known to stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation. 

To see maximum benefits from flaxseed, experts recommend ground seed over whole seed because the ground seed is more quickly digested. Add ground flaxseed to cereal, sauces or even to yogurt, another food for healthy skin.

Bell peppers

You may be noticing a trend that many of the best foods for skin health contain vitamin C. Bell peppers are no exception. Whether red, green or yellow, they are a plentiful source of vitamin C. But they also contain beta carotene or vitamin A, which stimulates collagen production. Adding bell peppers to your diet may help to reduce signs of aging and result in a smoother and more supple complexion. 

Dark chocolate

This may be the best news you hear all day, but dark chocolate is a powerhouse skin health food. It’s full of antioxidants called flavanols that protect against and reduce sun damage. Flavanols also improve blood flow to the skin, which can protect against aging. 

To reduce inflammation that may be caused by sugar consumption, go for dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. 


Hydration is key to healthy skin, and it just so happens that watermelon is 92{d589daddaa72454dba3eae1d85571f5c49413c31a8b21559e51d970df050cb0e} water. But it’s also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A and lycopene. Combine all that, and you’ve got a delectable treat that reduces aging, stimulates collagen production, reduces inflammation and delivers mega doses of hydration to your skin. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.