How to Eat Your Way to Amazing Skin—According to a Dermatologist

Updated 04/27/19
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diet for clear skin: salmon salad
Stocksy/Cameron Whitman

I’m now a strong believer in the idea that what you eat shows up on your face—but I wasn’t always. When I was a kid, my dad used to say that chocolate gave him spots, but being prepubescent and a big fan of Kinder, I just ignored him. Funny, then, that fast-forward 20 years and food (skimmed milk to be precise) turned out to be the cause of my hormonal acne. Dads know best, apparently.

The thing is that besides avoiding skimmed milk like the plague—yes, I’ve been known to yell over the counter in coffee shops, manically pointing, “the blue bottle, the full-fat milk!” to bemused looking baristas—I live pretty free and loose with my diet. I try to eat good fats and lean protein where I can, but I also love sugar (I know, I know) and eating out at restaurants where “low” and “fat” are dirty words.

I know that what I eat is literally staring me in the face each day; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley gave up dairy, gluten and alcohol on Nigma Talib’s recommendation after she identified different skin complaints linked to those food groups. It was recently that I was chatting with another expert Rachel Eckel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the principal trainer for ZO Skin Health, who believes the same as Talib. “Diet is a huge factor when it comes to good skin,” Eckel told me.

But does she practice what she preaches? I asked, and she answered: “When it comes to my diet, I’m real good, so much so what when I go on trips, I plan my meals.” Keep scrolling to find out the two skin-damaging foods Eckel never eats. But before we get to that, I also chatted food for skin with Kiehl's consultant dermatologist Alexis Granite, MD. Watch the video to find out what she has to say on the subject.

Mike Dolce

There is this guy called Mike Dolce, and he is Ronda Rousey’s nutritionist. I follow him and got this recipe, which I’ve tweaked slightly.

2 tbsp. oat bran With oat bran you get the maximum benefit of oats, without the additional carbs that you don’t need.

1 tbsp. chia seeds, for omega-3

1 tbsp. hemp seeds, for protein

30 g almonds

75 g blueberries and 50 g strawberries—these are low-GI fruits

The secret ingredient is 5 g of psyllium husk. It is fibre from a plant, but when you add water to it, it makes the breakfast bowl gooey like porridge.

Water, add gradually and stir until you reach the consistency you like.

Graze

Morning Snack

A piece of low-GI fruit—a pear or apple—with a small handful of almonds or walnuts.

Lunch

Everfresh Sprouted Wheat Bread $5
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This is usually egg-based—I have two hard-boiled eggs and Ezekiel bread, which is made from whole grains which have been sprouted. I’ll sometimes add avocado.

Afternoon Snack

At around 3 p.m. I have another piece of low-GI fruit, plus another small handful of almonds. Or I’ll blend up some blueberries with coconut water to make a shake.

Be Well by Kelly

Dinner

I usually have plain salmon; I always cook with coconut oil or grapeseed oil on a medium heat. I’ll serve this with some steamed broccoli or asparagus.

Kiki Health Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil $14
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I usually have plain salmon; I always cook with coconut oil or grapeseed oil on a medium heat. I’ll serve this with some steamed broccoli or asparagus.

Nighttime Snack

Waitrose Greek Natural Strained Yoghurt $2
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Just before bed, I’ll have something small. I’m really into Greek yoghurt right now.

Ed. note: Try adding cinnamon to the yoghurt if you want some added flavour.

Supplement

Incite Nutrition Probiotics Food Supplement $30 $13
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I take a probiotic supplement every day. I have whatever I can find, but I make sure that it has a good number of cultures, around 10 billion. I used to take omega-3 because it's great for the skin, but I eat so much of it that I don't need to supplement.

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