You've probably been told countless times by your wiser elders that beauty begins on the inside. And as much as we love our skincare products and corrective cosmetics, we have to admit these words of wisdom are completely true. If you're not eating right, your skin is the first to 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 research is examining the link between what we eat and how it manifests itself 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 to make over your exterior, you first have to make over 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 10 foods scientifically proven to clear up your skin, as well as the reasons for their beautifying effects.
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.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are also a terrific way to get some extra antioxidants for healthy skin cells. They provide the body with vitamins A, which works against dry, flaky skin; C, which undoes the sun's damage to collagen and elastin; and E, which helps fight against inflammation. Furthermore, leafy greens contain folate, a nutrient necessary for DNA repair.
Doctors have long pointed to probiotics to address internal ailments, and when it comes to skin, they're still a great solution. "Beyond countering the growth of bad bacteria and improving digestion, they've been shown to curb inflammation, strengthen immunity, and neutralize free radicals that contribute to aging," Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Sugar Detox, tells Health.com. New York City dermatologist Dr. Robyn Gmyrek also tells the site that "there's an irrefutable connection between our gastrointestinal tract and our skin, and internal inflammation can absolutely manifest outwardly." Kombucha is a popular way to get probiotics as well as vitamins and minerals.
Turmeric does wonders for inflammation and has also been shown to support proper brain function and better your immune system. Consume it with warm water to balance your skin's natural flora and protect your skin cells against free radicals.
There's a reason egg cream is the latest Korean beauty trend. Egg yolk nourishes and soothes the skin while also providing vitamin A for skin repair.
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.
Citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruit are packed with vitamin C, which helps skin's firmness with collagen support. It also encourages your body to metabolize faster and can help you feel less bloated.
Japanese women believe green tea to be a source of clear, beautiful skin. Some of its many benefits are helping to slow DNA damage, stopping inflammation, and even protect 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.
Fish boast a long list of benefits to your health, especially for your skin. 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 aid your skin's natural oil barrier, combatting dryness and uneven complexions for that glowing boost.
High-quality oils like cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil are brimming with nutrients that benefit your skin—including essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
What's your favorite food for ensuring a clear complexion? Let us know your go-tos in the comments!