Is Your Diet Affecting Your Skin’s Appearance?

You’re probably familiar with the saying that you are what you eat, and when it comes to the health and beauty of your skin, this is absolutely true. This can work both ways, though, so it’s important to understand which foods can boost your complexion, as well as those that can be detrimental to your skin. Here is an overview of some of the best beauty foods for your skin and a few to avoid to help maintain a smooth, healthy-looking tone and texture.

Foods to Pile on Your Plate for Great Skin

As a general rule, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure that your body and skin are getting the nutrients they need to optimally function. Just some of the most beneficial foods for your skin include:

  • Broccoli: This vegetable is packed full of skin-healthy vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A, which is the active ingredient in retinol creams, can help to reduce wrinkles and balance the oil content of your skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can stimulate collagen production and help to brighten your skin’s appearance, and vitamin K may help to improve dark under eye circles (Dermascope).
  • Carrots: Carrots get their orange color from beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, making this veggie an anti-aging superfood for your skin.
  • Almonds: Rich in vitamin E, almonds make excellent healthy snacks. Not only does vitamin E possess strong antioxidant properties to keep your skin protected against harmful free radicals, but it may also help to keep your skin moisturized when ingested.
  • Wild salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, lock moisture in, and keep toxins and pollutants out. Whenever possible, choose wild salmon over farm-raised, as farm salmon have been shown to contain a significantly higher concentration of toxins than their wild counterparts (Indiana University).
  • Berries: Including all sorts of different berries in your diet can help to arm your skin with free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Pomegranates, blueberries, and blackberries are great ingredients for your skin.
  • Dark Chocolate: If you have a sweet tooth, try swapping out milk chocolate for dark chocolate. Cacao contains a specific type of antioxidant polyphenol, which comes along with a number of skin benefits. The higher the concentration of cacao in your chocolate, the better. Milk chocolate contains much less cacao and much higher amounts of sugar.

Foods to Avoid to Help Improve Your Complexion

While there is certainly a connection between what you eat and what your skin looks and feels like, to some extent, everyone’s personal list of foods to avoid can vary. Obviously, if you have an allergy to a particular food, consuming it could result in a rash or more serious health problems. Other people may have food sensitivities to things like gluten or dairy, which can also have a negative impact on their skin.

Generally speaking, though, everyone’s skin can benefit from avoiding over-consumption of these three biggies:

  • Refined sugar: A high-sugar diet can spell disaster for your skin. Sugar is involved in the chemical process of glycation, in which sugar molecules bind to and destroy or damage proteins like the collagen and elastin in your skin. This can lead to all sorts of unwanted effects, including premature lines and wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
  • Processed foods: It’s nearly impossible to avoid processed foods altogether, but try to keep them to a minimum. If you’re not sure what counts as a processed food, a good rule of thumb is that if it comes ready to eat packaged in a box, it’s probably processed. Think of junk foods like potato chips, microwave meals, candy, and soda.
  • Alcohol: While indulging in a glass of red wine every now and again may actually be good for your skin, don’t overdo it. Drinking excess alcohol can dehydrate your entire body, including your skin. If you’ve ever woken up after a night of having a few too many and noticed wrinkles and dull-looking skin, this is why.

The Bottom Line

It may come as no surprise that the foods and drinks you’re putting in your body can have a significant impact on your skin’s health and appearance, but many of our diets could still be doing better work for our complexions. By making just a few simple changes, like swapping out milk chocolate for dark chocolate, for example, you should be able to notice a positive difference in the look and feel of your skin.

Just as it’s important to watch what we’re putting in our bodies, it’s equally important to put the right ingredients on our skin. If you feel like you’re doing everything right in terms of nourishing your skin from the inside but are still not seeing the clear complexion you want, it could be that you’re using the wrong topical skincare ingredients.

If this sounds like you, head over to to learn how you can find your unique Baumann Skin Type and custom-tailor your skincare products to perfectly fit your skin’s needs.


Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through

March 24, 2017 Skincare