20 Foods Scientifically Proven to Clear Up Your Skin (2022)

20 Foods Scientifically Proven to Clear Up Your Skin (1)

There's definitely something to the notion that beauty begins on the inside. If you're not eating right, your skin will show it. If you want a clear, radiant complexion, shiny hair, and strong nails, you have to start with what you're putting into your body.

While there are many approaches to eating healthy, certain foods are guaranteed to up your beauty game. More and more people are examining the link between what we eat and how it manifests in our appearance. Consequently, attention has shifted away from superficial fixes in favor of more sustainable strategies that focus on starting within. So if you want a makeover, you first have to makeover your diet. To give you a head start on practicing the very first step of skincare, we rounded up the top things you should be eating to promote clearer skin.

Keep reading to see the 20 foods scientifically proven to clear up your skin, as well as the reasons for their beautifying effects.

Meet the Expert

  • Whitney Bowe, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and author. She specializes in skin rejuvenation, laser dermatology, and the link between nutrition and skincare.
  • Rachel Maiman, MD, is a board-certified cosmetic and general dermatologist at Marmur Medical.
  • Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the founder ofLauren MinchenNutrition.
  • Amy Shapiro, MS,RD,CDN, is the founder and director of Real Nutrition.

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"Not having enough probiotics in your diet, eating the wrong types of foods—unfortunately, that slows down digestion and creates a shift in the type of bacterial environment in your gut," says Dr. Whitney Bowe. "I always simplify it and say an inflamed gut means inflamed skin. If you heal your gut, that’s the first step in healing your skin." To incorporate more probiotics into your diet, Bowe suggests reaching for kombucha, sauerkraut, anything pickled, yogurt with live active cultures, kefir, and miso.

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Another way to support a healthy gut (and as a result, clear, healthy skin) is with the inclusion of prebiotics in your regular diet: "It’s almost like fertilizer for your good bugs or your good bacteria," Bowe says. "Garlic, leeks, dandelion greens, asparagus—those are great sources of prebiotic fiber in the diet. They help to feed the healthy flora and restore your gut microbiome to a much more healthy state."

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Low-Glycemic Index Foods

Bowe says high-glycemic foods (like refined carbs, white pasta, white bread, pretzels, bagels, cookies—any kind of refined, processed foods) have been linked with inflammation and acne in particular. "There are randomized controlled trials that show if you swap out some of those high glycemic index foods for low glycemic index foods, including any kinds of protein sources, chicken, pasteurized eggs, vegetables, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice—you actually can clear up acne," Bowe explains.


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Non-Dairy Milk

Non-dairy milk options might not actively work to clear up your skin, but switching from dairy milk to an alternative option could make all the difference in your acne breakouts. Although Bowe says there are studies linking skim milk and dairy milk with acne (likely due to the whey and casein found in dairy), she adds that you don't have to give up dairy completely in the name ofclear skin.

"The studies show that there’s an association between milk and ice cream and acne, but there’s not an association with yogurt and cheese with acne," she explains. "We think that’s because of the prebiotic benefit that’s found in the cheese and yogurt, so that sort of negates the negative effects of the dairy." In other words, stick with the yogurt, but pass on the skim milk.

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Blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries—not to mention the all-powerful goji berry—are high in antioxidants and packed with nutrients. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatories that aid the body to heal itself while also protecting against further free-radical damage—doing wonders for your skin. "Berries are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin A and vitamin C," Dr. Maiman says. "Ellagic acid, however, appears to be the antioxidant prevalent in this food group that is also responsible for some of its skin-related benefits," Dr. Maiman says.

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Leafy Greens

"Leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts pack a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins that provide a multitude of skin benefits," Dr. Maiman says. They provide the body with vitamin A, which works against dry, flaky skin; vitamin C, which undoes the sun's damage to collagen and elastin; and vitamin E, which helps fight against inflammation. Furthermore, leafy greens contain folate, a nutrient necessary for DNA repair.

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Turmeric does wonders for soothing inflammation and has also been shown to improve your immune system and support proper brain function. Consume it with warm water to balance your skin's natural flora and protect your skin cells against free radicals.

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There's a reason egg cream is a Korean beauty trend. Egg yolk is meant to nourish and soothe the skin while also providing vitamin A for skin repair.

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Brazil Nuts

Selenium, found in Brazil nuts, is another powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radicals. Not only that, but studies have shown selenium can help to clear skin, reducing the risk of breakouts and decreasing acne.

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Citrus Fruits

"Citrus fruits are a naturally rich source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that speeds cellular turnover, fights free radical damage and inflammation, and assists in the production of collagen and elastin," Dr. Maiman says. It also encourages your body to metabolize faster and can help you feel less bloated.

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Green Tea

Consumption of green tea is part of some East Asian cultures, and Japanese women in particular have been aware of its skincare benefits for centuries.Some of its many benefits include helping to slow DNA damage, stopping inflammation, and even protecting against sun damage and burns. There's a reason the superfood makes its way into so many cosmetics; Ingesting the real deal directly delivers its immediate soothing qualities while working toward lasting results.

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Fish boast a long list of benefits to your health, especially for your skin. "Fatty fish, specifically wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel provide essential protein and amino acids, which make up the building blocks of our skin and keep it strong," Minchen says.

Salmon, tuna, halibut, cod, snapper, and sardines all contain selenium. Cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s, which retain your skin's natural oil barrier, combatting dryness and uneven complexions.

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Good Oils

High-quality oils like cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and avocado oil are brimming with nutrients that may benefit your skin—including essential fatty acids and vitamin E. "The healthy monounsaturated fat [in olive oil] is so good for skin health, moisture, and elasticity," Smith says.

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Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are rich in plant-based Omega 3s, protein, and soluble fiber. "Omega 3s in chia seeds provide an anti-inflammatory effect and can protect the skin from inflammatory conditions, like eczema, hyperpigmentation, etc.," Minchen says. "Additionally, protein is at the foundation of healthy skin structure. And finally, soluble fiber can help keep the gut healthy, which may boost healthy probiotic balance in the gut and ultimately the skin. Chia seeds are also very hydrating, helping keep the skin plump."

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Sweet Potato

Shapiro and Minchen both recommend consuming sweet potatoes. The vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, and antioxidants. "Beta carotene (a vitamin A precursor) and vitamin A itself fight discoloration and early signs of aging in the skin by supporting healthy skin renewal," Minchen says. "Vitamin E supports collagen in the skin, and antioxidants fight inflammation-related skin damage."

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Cucumbers are rich in water, vitamin C, and folic acid. "Cucumber promotes skin health both from the inside and the outside," Shapiro says."Eat it to keep your skin hydrated and for the antioxidants to prevent skin damage long term. Put it on your face to decrease inflammation, reduce swelling, and promote healing from sun damage. Cucumber is soothing, hydrating, and contains silica which will hydrate and strengthen your skin."

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Edamame isthe most wholesome form of soy. "It contains isoflavone, which has been shown to prevent wrinkles and promote skin health," Shapiro explains. "It can also promote collagen production, keeping the skin more elastic and therefore results in fewer wrinkles."

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"Tomatoes contain lutein and lycopene—two powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients that may be skin protective," Smith says. "Also, tomatoes have a good amount of water volume so they are hydrating as well, which is always helpful."

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Walnuts contain nutrients beneficial for our skin and bodies. "Walnuts are richer than most other nuts in both omega-3 fatty acids," Dr. Maiman says. "For example, one ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains 8% of the daily recommended value for zinc, an essential mineral required by the skin to function properly as a protective barrier. It’s also integral in the process of wound healing and optimizing immune system function to combat both bacteria and inflammation. Although not its primary skin benefit, walnuts also provide small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium."

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Avocados contain high levels of healthy oils and vitamin E. "Both of which provide the building blocks for healthy skin cell function as well as help improve barrier function and hydration," Dr. Maiman says.

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Article Sources

Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Cao C, Xiao Z, Wu Y, Ge C. Diet and Skin Aging-From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 24;12(3):870. doi: 10.3390/nu12030870

  2. Bhat A, Mahalakshmi AM, Ray B, et al. Benefits of curcumin in brain disorders.Biofactors. 2019;45(5):666-689. doi:10.1002/biof.1533

    (Video) The 6 Secrets to Looking Younger

  3. Kucharska A, Szmurło A, Sińska B. Significance of diet in treated and untreated Acne vulgaris.Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016;33(2):81-86. doi:10.5114/ada.2016.59146

  4. Sadka A, Shlizerman L, Kamara I, Blumwald E. Primary Metabolism in Citrus Fruit as Affected by Its Unique Structure. Front Plant Sci. 2019 Sep 26;10:1167. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01167

  5. Zink A, Traidl-Hoffmann C. Green tea in dermatology--myths and facts. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015 Aug;13(8):768-75. doi: 10.1111/ddg.12737


What foods clear your skin fast? ›

Some skin-friendly food choices include:
  • yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, and sweet potatoes.
  • spinach and other dark green and leafy vegetables.
  • tomatoes.
  • blueberries.
  • whole-wheat bread.
  • brown rice.
  • quinoa.
  • turkey.

What foods help clear crystal skin? ›

Many healthy dietary choices can contribute to clear, glowing skin, including: Low-glycemic foods like lettuce, cucumbers, and lentils. Probiotics like those in yogurt and kefir. Omega-3-rich foods like salmon, oysters, and flax seeds.
  1. Greens and vegetables.
  2. Quinoa.
  3. Beans and lentils.
  4. Oats.
  5. Chia seeds.

What fruit keeps your skin clear? ›

Top 8 Fruits For Glowing Skin You Need To Include In Your Diet RN!
  • Oranges.
  • Apples.
  • Watermelons.
  • Lemons.
  • Mangoes.
  • Strawberry.
  • Cucumbers.
  • Pomegranate.
15 Dec 2020

What drinks help clear skin? ›

Best Acne Detox Beverages
  • Green Tea. Green tea is one of the most popular morning drinks and one of the most effective beverages for fighting acne. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Coconut Water. ...
  • Lemon Water And Honey. ...
  • Kale Green Juice. ...
  • Pomegranate Juice. ...
  • Turmeric Milk. ...
  • Aloe Vera Juice.

Which fruit is good for skin? ›

We need vitamin C to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

Which juice is good for skin? ›

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate purifies blood and makes skin glow. It also has anti-aging properties that help in cell renewal, giving you a youthful appearance. Spinach juice is rich in Iron and Vit K - essential for flawless skin. It also contains Vit C, E and Manganese that protect your skin from free radicals.

What food makes pretty? ›

10 foods to make you beautiful
  • Whole eggs. Whole eggs help to combat hair fall and brittle nails (Shutterstock) ...
  • Wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is a perfect detoxifier, cleanser and healer (Shutterstock) ...
  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera hydrates dry skin, heals acne and speeds up wound healing (Shutterstock) ...
  • Triphala. ...
  • Yogurt. ...
  • Saffron.
21 Oct 2018

Which vitamin is best for skin? ›

Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin, along with vitamins C, E, and K. Making sure you get enough vitamins can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. This could translate to a reduction in: dark spots.

How can I get glass skin in 3 days? ›

Step 1: In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of Turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice and 1 drop of Honey. Step 2: Directly apply this paste on skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Step 3: Wash off with lukewarm water and layer it with a hydrating moisturizer.

How can I clear my face in 2 days? ›

People may wish to try these general tips for getting clear skin fast.
  1. Avoid popping pimples. A pimple indicates trapped oil, sebum, and bacteria. ...
  2. Wash twice daily, and again after sweating. ...
  3. Avoid touching the face. ...
  4. Moisturize. ...
  5. Always wear sunscreen. ...
  6. Focus on gentle products. ...
  7. Avoid hot water. ...
  8. Use gentle cleansing devices.

Which fruit glow your face? ›

Mangoes are one of the best fruits for your skin if you're looking for a radiant glow. It comes packed with vitamins C, E, and A, which are amazing for healthy skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively reduce acne marks and fine lines.

Which nuts are best for skin? ›

Reach for walnuts if you're struggling with dull skin

Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids and are energy dense nuts which make for a good snack. “The high levels of Vitamin B complex moisturises the skin and reduces the look of fine lines," says Dr Sule.

Which fruit is best for face glow? ›

5 Fruits To Get A Glowing Skin
  • Orange. This fruit that high source of vitamin C can provide you with many benefits such as preventing oxidative damage and photodamage. ...
  • Papaya. Papaya is an excellent source of Vitamin A, B, and C. ...
  • Cucumber. Cucumber is rich in vitamins C and K and also has dietary fibers. ...
  • Gooseberry. ...
  • Tomato.
16 Feb 2022

Which tea is best for clear skin? ›

Green tea is especially rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol that research has shown can improve acne and oily skin.

What should I drink for glowing skin at night? ›

Here they are:
  • Pineapple juice. A glass of pineapple juice can treat acne, fight sun damage, and evens out skin tones, to give an even and glowing complexion. ...
  • Peach drink. ...
  • Mango kiwi smoothie. ...
  • Mint lemonade recipe. ...
  • Orange, carrot and ginger juice.
30 Jun 2021

What foods trigger acne? ›

A low-glycemic diet may lead to fewer pimples

These foods and beverages raise your blood sugar quickly. Examples include white bread, corn flakes, puffed rice, potato chips, white potatoes or fries, doughnuts or other pastries, sugary drinks such as milkshakes, and white rice.

Which vegetables make skin glow? ›

Carrots are indeed a skin superfood as they help in keeping the skin safe from free radicles and prevent the skin from ageing. Carrots also have high water content, which flushes out the toxins and brings out the natural glow on the face.

Which vegetable is good for skin? ›

Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are all high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which help to maintain healthy skin. These veggies help with collagen production and keep skin looking elastic.

What foods should I avoid to get clear skin? ›

Avoid These 10 Foods If You Want Clear Skin
  1. Milk and Dairy Products. Milk and dairy products are often cited as public enemy number one when it comes to acne. ...
  2. Alcoholic Beverages. ...
  3. Refined Carbohydrates. ...
  4. High-Glycemic Foods. ...
  5. Fatty Foods. ...
  6. Whey Protein Powder. ...
  7. Highly Processed Convenience Foods. ...
  8. Chocolate.

What juice is good for wrinkles? ›

Apple juice is, without any doubt, the number one juice for aging skin. It contains antioxidants that do not only beat wrinkles and fine lines, but also make your skin soft and give it a healthy glow. Another great source of antioxidants is grape juice.

What food make you look younger? ›

  • Extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils on earth. ...
  • Green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in the body. ...
  • Fatty Fish. ...
  • Dark chocolate or cocoa. ...
  • Vegetables. ...
  • Flax seeds. ...
  • Pomegranates. ...
  • Avocados.

Which fruit makes you look beautiful? ›

Avocado. Because of containing oleic, fatty acid, this fruit besides being scrumptious, offers a lot of cosmetic benefits. It has the ability to reinvigorate your skin to the next level. The nutrients in it keep the skin hydrated.

What foods change your appearance? ›

“Certain food groups appear to be particularly damaging: gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Each taxes the body in specific ways, contributing to a cluster of ageing symptoms such as spots, puffiness, changes in skin tone, premature fine lines and wrinkles or sagging.”

Does drinking water help skin? ›

If the outermost layer of the epidermis doesn't contain enough water, skin will lose elasticity and feel rough. Despite this connection, however, there's a lack of research showing that drinking extra water has any impact on skin hydration or appearance.

Which medicine is best for glowing skin? ›

Vitamin E For Hydration

This should be you go-to if you have dry skin. This super star helps the skin retain natural moisture and neutralizes damaging free radicals.

How do you get crystal clear skin? ›

This article will help answer those questions by providing 11 evidence-based tips on what you can do to get the glowing complexion you want.
  1. Wash your face twice a day. ...
  2. Use a mild cleanser. ...
  3. Apply an acne-fighting agent. ...
  4. Apply a moisturizer. ...
  5. Exfoliate. ...
  6. Get plenty of sleep. ...
  7. Choose makeup that won't clog your pores.
14 Aug 2019

What do Koreans eat for good skin? ›

Here are the top five foods that Seoulites swear by.
  • Kimchi. It's pungent, it's pickled and it'll do wonders for your skin while destroying your fridge. ...
  • Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) ...
  • Soybean Soup (Duenjang Jjigae) ...
  • Barley Tea (Bori cha) ...
  • Fermented Rice Wine (Makkeoli)

How is Korean skin so flawless? ›

Since ancient times, Koreans have only used natural, harsh-free ingredients for their skincare routines: green tea, “snail slime”, bamboo extracts, propolis, and honey are just some examples of the elements they used and have passed through generations.

How can I clear my skin in a week? ›

People may wish to try these general tips for getting clear skin fast.
  1. Avoid popping pimples. A pimple indicates trapped oil, sebum, and bacteria. ...
  2. Wash twice daily, and again after sweating. ...
  3. Avoid touching the face. ...
  4. Moisturize. ...
  5. Always wear sunscreen. ...
  6. Focus on gentle products. ...
  7. Avoid hot water. ...
  8. Use gentle cleansing devices.

What foods should I avoid to get clear skin? ›

Avoid These 10 Foods If You Want Clear Skin
  1. Milk and Dairy Products. Milk and dairy products are often cited as public enemy number one when it comes to acne. ...
  2. Alcoholic Beverages. ...
  3. Refined Carbohydrates. ...
  4. High-Glycemic Foods. ...
  5. Fatty Foods. ...
  6. Whey Protein Powder. ...
  7. Highly Processed Convenience Foods. ...
  8. Chocolate.

How can I get glass skin in 3 days? ›

Step 1: In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of Turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice and 1 drop of Honey. Step 2: Directly apply this paste on skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Step 3: Wash off with lukewarm water and layer it with a hydrating moisturizer.

Which drink is good for acne? ›

According to Agarwal, the combination of green tea and lemon is a potent blend to address acne. “Simply boil few green tea leaves in some water and add a teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Strain and drink it hot,” she recommends.

What is the secret of glowing skin? ›

Cleansing, toning and moisturizing—in that order—get rid of makeup, dirt, dead skin cells, oil, and other pollutants that build up on our skin throughout the day. CTM also rebalances the pH levels of your skin and rehydrates your cells, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple.

What should be applied on face before sleeping? ›

Here we give you five face packs to be applied right before you sleep and leave them on overnight for a taught and bright skin.
Face Packs For Daily Glow
  • Milk for beauty sleep: ...
  • Aloe Vera to cure pimples: ...
  • Honey for inner beauty: ...
  • Lemons to fight dullness: ...
  • Coconut oil to moisturize:
4 Sept 2017

What should I eat to get glowing skin in 3 days? ›

Give your skin a boost by including the following foods into your diet:
  1. Fatty fish. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids that help your skin to look supple and radiant. ...
  2. Avocados. ...
  3. Walnuts. ...
  4. Sunflower seeds. ...
  5. Carrots. ...
  6. Soybeans. ...
  7. Dark chocolate. ...
  8. Green tea.
30 Jun 2020

Will drinking water clear skin? ›

Drinking ample water balances the oil and water content on the skin of your face. This helps to prevent excess oil and sebum secretion, which means fewer clogged pores and acne. Adult acne is getting more common these days due to busy lifestyles and lack of hydration.


1. My Evidence-Based Skincare Routine
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(Wall Street Journal)
5. Food scientifically proven to clean up your skin#healthyfood #weightlossmotivation#shorts#viral#
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6. Transform Your Skin in 30 Days : Follow these 9 Habits (Diet Plan) for Young Glowing & Healthy Skin
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