Growing evidence proves that consuming foods to eat for clear skin can do your complexion wonders. But with breakthrough treatments on the rise, such as the non-invasive Ultherapy to SMAS facelifts and at-home gadgets to serums, you might be wondering what to prioritize.
Certain topical and surgical treatments may provide some surface-level improvements when it comes to decreasing the signs of aging. However, feeding your skin from the inside out is the most nourishing, healthy way to see safe, long-lasting benefits.
Which is why we’re diving more than skin-deep with our list of face foods.
You might be surprised at just how much nutrition impacts your skin health. The old adage may just be true after all, “You are what you eat.”
So to help you figure out exactly what to eat, we’re breaking down:
- Scientist-approved foods to eat for clear skin
- The best anti-aging supplements
- Our recommended anti-aging routine
- A fabulous medical nutrition supplement to add to your routine.
Whether you have eczema, sun spots, or just want to have youthful glowing skin for life, it's time to start adding some anti-aging superfoods and supplements into your daily meal rotation.
8 Best foods to eat for clear skin
Indeed, what you put in your body can - and will - show on your face. So let’s start with a high-level view of what every well-rounded, anti-aging diet should have in abundance:
- Probiotics (and prebiotics)
- Low-glycemic index foods
- Non-dairy milk
- Vitamins and minerals
- Healthy fats
Now, let’s get into more detail about what you should be stocking up on for optimal skin (and overall) health with a list of the most potent examples of superfoods and scientist-approved ways to amp up your beauty regimen.
If you’re looking to prevent wrinkles (and other signs of aging caused by sun exposure), berries might just be your best friend. They’re a powerhouse of antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and ellagic acid, which may help boost your skin’s health due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Foods that fight chronic inflammation are essential for helping your body heal from surgery, wounds, and other injuries. They can also boost your body’s natural defenses from free radicals and stressors (both show themselves on your face and skin in the forms of acne and wrinkles).
Berries high in antioxidants include: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and goji berries. Add them to your morning smoothie, protein shake or post-dinner fruit bowl a few times a week.
2. Leafy greens
Veggies like spinach and kale have recently garnered huge followings in the wellness community - for good reason. These superfoods have a plethora of nutritional benefits which may help promote radiant skin.
In addition to these leafy greens, adding collard greens, brussels sprouts and broccoli can do wonders to your anti-aging diet.
They provide your body with ample amounts of:
- Vitamin A: which may promote better skin hydration
- Vitamin C: which may promote collagen production
- Vitamin E: which may provide great anti-inflammatory benefits to your body
- Folate: which may aid in healthy DNA repair
Need more reason to eat more greens - outside of the potential skincare benefits? Leafy greens are also rich in fiber and polyphenols, which have been linked to better gut health.
It doesn’t stop there, either. Studies show that, when your gut is healthy, so is your skin.
3. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C and plant compounds that may help with cellular repair as well as collagen and elastin production.
Collagen is known to help your skin stay plump, while elastin does what the name suggests - it helps keep your skin’s elasticity! Together, the anti-aging properties of this power-duo are linked to improved skin density and reduced wrinkles.
So, if you see supplements that contain either of these important ingredients, you may want to consider adding them to your diet as well.
4. Green tea
Known for being chock-full of antioxidants, green tea is slowly coining a new nickname in skincare: oral sunblock. Of course, we’d never recommend that you skip the real thing.
However, an extra dose of protection from the catechins (plant compounds) found in green tea may help reduce the harmful effects of sun exposure - and may help reverse some of the existing damage.
Promising studies suggest the plant compounds in green may help protect your skin from photoaging and may even improve moisture and skin elasticity.
Pro tip: Avoid adding milk to your tea as it may weaken the effects of the antioxidants.
5. Sweet potatoes
Packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and E, sweet potatoes may help fight signs of skin aging (such as wrinkles), may boost skin renewal, and may prevent discoloration from sun spots.
They’re also loaded with fiber, beneficial plant compounds and minerals, making them a truly nutritious staple to include in your anti-aging diet. Enjoy them boiled, baked, steamed or fried as a casserole, soup, fries, or a simple and delicious baked potato.
Needless to say, sweet potatoes make another fabulous and filling option as one of the best foods for clear skin.
6. Nuts and seeds
Did you know that nuts and seeds may promote brain-boosting benefits such as improved cognition and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease?
Aside from that, they may also be linked to reducing inflammation and promoting cell regeneration.
This means a great deal of nourishment for your skin’s health! So, the next time you enjoy a fresh salad or a breakfast bowl, consider sprinkling on some almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins that may help repair existing skin damage and irregularities, may protect it from future sun damage, and may promote hydration from within. They’re filling, delicious, and highly nutritious, making them one of the best foods that make your skin clear.
Studies have even shown that avocado oil may have soothing effects for skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Meanwhile, a 2001 study found that avocado oil with vitamin B12 may help ease the symptoms of psoriasis more than vitamin D3 treatment alone. Researchers concluded that the combination of avocado oil and vitamin B12 can be used as a long-term, effective treatment for psoriasis.
While eating avocados will help your entire body reap the benefits of this superfood, you can use avocados to make a cleansing DIY face mask or use avocado oil as a natural, full-body moisturizer to treat the skin conditions listed here.
Just make sure to do a patch test on your skin first, consulting with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning any new skincare routine.
This golden-yellow spice has long been used in India as a medicinal herb. And for good reason. Curcumin, the main active ingredient, has been found to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists have linked the following skin benefits to turmeric:
- It may help reduce acne
- It may brighten dark circles
- It may prevent breakouts
- It may fight eczema and psoriasis
- It may help improve skin radiance
Enjoy it as tea, with milk (golden milk), or season your meals with it to reap these many benefits. Any of your favorite veggies quickly become great foods to eat for clear skin with a teaspoon of turmeric on top!
The best anti-aging supplements to go with your healthy diet
We’ve covered some of the best superfoods to eat for clear skin and optimal health. Now let’s look at some skin-loving supplements that can help boost your intake and fill in some nutritional gaps.
Again, it’s always best to consult with your doctor or medical nutritionist before adding any of these supplements into your diet.
Probiotics (and prebiotics)
Did you know that 70% of our immune system is found in our gut?
Also known as “the second brain”, your gut impacts your body more than you might think. It communicates with your brain through your nervous system, immune system and hormones.
Your gut also influences crucial aspects of your health such as your sleep, mood, and (as we just mentioned) your hormones, all of these which greatly affect your skin’s health.
A hormonal imbalance and lack of sleep can cause both short and long-term skin concerns such as dryness, wrinkles, dark circles, and acne. Lack of quality sleep can hinder your skin’s repair and renewal process while certain hormones affect your skin’s oiliness, elasticity, and plumpness.
Meanwhile, probiotics and prebiotics help offset these issues and promote full-body balance that starts with your gut.
- Probiotics: These include live bacteria and yeasts that can help improve or restore your gut flora to a healthy state. You can take probiotics as supplements and by eating certain fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha.
- Prebiotics: This is a type of dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Some examples would be fruits, veggies, and whole grains like apples, bananas, berries, and barley.
In short, a healthy gut means better health and great skin, which is why probiotics top our list of supplements and foods for clear skin.
This vitamin has already made an appearance in the above foods to eat for clear skin. But it’s that important for skin health.
Vitamin A may help prevent breakouts, as well as promote healing and hydrating properties for your skin’s vibrant and healthy glow. It also may maintain the health of the top two layers of your skin, the dermis and epidermis.
Vitamin C helps boost your skin’s collagen production which may help reduce sagging and wrinkles over time.
It may also protect your skin from damaging UV exposure, help lighten age spots, hyperpigmentation and treat uneven skin tone making it wonderful for smooth, supple and radiant skin.
Even if you are eating an anti-aging diet high in fruits and vegetables that contain this vitamin. We recommend taking vitamin C with collagen supplements in order to see the best results.
Premature aging may be prevented (or slowed down) with daily vitamin D supplements.
This essential vitamin enhances your skin’s immunity and helps destroy free radicals. Calcitriol, its active form, may aid in skin cell repair, growth, and metabolism which also makes it a key nutrient for effective skin rejuvenation.
Best taken with your vitamin C and collagen supplement for optimal results, this antioxidant may help prevent wrinkles, sagging, and may protect you from damaging UV light.
Krill oil (or any other pure fish oil with smaller fish)
Fish oil provides a myriad of anti-aging benefits to your health.
However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. To ensure you’re getting quality fish oil, select brands that use either krill oil or smaller fish such as anchovies. Smaller fish are less likely to contain contaminants such as heavy metals and toxins.
For instance, krill oil is extracted from krill, a small, shrimp-like crustacean found in the fresh waters of Antarctica. Because of their size and environment, they’re usually free from surrounding pollutants and are the least likely to contain heavy metals and toxins.
They also carry high levels of astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that may promote improved skin texture, moisture content and reduced wrinkles. It also contains both forms of omega-3s (in triglyceride and phospholipid form) that can be better absorbed by your body when compared to other types of fish oil.
Krill and fish oil may also help soothe skin irritations, rough skin and may help skin concerns such as dermatitis and psoriasis. In addition to reducing visible aging, fish oil may also support hormone balance, brain health, decrease symptoms of chronic diseases, and improve your mood.
For skin that looks rested and recharged, zinc is another supplement you’ll want in your anti-aging skincare routine.
Apart from combating inflammation, it may help your skin recover from an injury, prevent acne-causing bacteria in people of all ages, and reduce the appearance of sunspots and fine lines.
Like many of the vitamins and supplements we’ve included here, zinc is in many of the best foods to eat for clear skin.
We recommend working with your doctor to see if you’d benefit from an additional daily zinc supplement and/or doing a blood test to check your current levels, as it is possible to get too much zinc.
Adding collagen to your diet and beauty regimen
We’ve mentioned collagen a few times in this article - and you may have already seen beauty products containing topical collagen or collagen supplements (including our own powder and liquid options) promoting the benefits of collagen.
That’s because taking a daily collagen supplement is a safe, efficient way to promote healthier skin - offering a multitude of other anti-aging and overall health benefits for all ages.
Here’s just a shortlist of collagen benefits for women:
- Collagen may promote better gut health
- Collagen may accelerate weight loss or help with healthy weight maintenance
- Collagen protein has been linked to healthy hormone levels
- Collagen protein may provide essential bone and joint support
- Collagen may improve your mood and long-term memory
Collagen benefits for skin
One of the reasons why collagen protein is linked to so many benefits is because it is a naturally occurring protein in your body. In fact, it’s the most abundant protein in the entire human body!
However, even though our bodies naturally produce it, our body’s natural collagen production can begin to decrease at age 26. And, depending on your own unique diet and exercise habits, you may not be getting enough absorbable collagen from the foods you eat - even if they are foods for clear skin.
Which is why collagen’s most significant - or at least widely-known - health claims has to do with its anti-aging skin benefits.
When it comes to your skin, collagen is responsible for much of its elasticity. And skin elasticity is crucial in preventing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging as you age. It gives your skin that youthful and plump shape.
Ensuring your body gets a good amount of collagen supply may help your skin stay younger, longer. Here at ProT Gold, we recommend a few servings of high-protein foods per day, aiming for at least one of those to be 10-15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen protein.
Does topical collagen work?
Yes - and no. Applying topical collagen nourishes your skin at the surface level. But it seldom goes deeper than the very top layer.
Given that your body is constantly shedding old skin cells, this is unlikely to create the long-lasting effects you want. Not only that, but many collagen beauty products include other lesser known, sometimes unproven ingredients, coming with a high price tag.
A better, more economical way to reap the anti-aging benefits of collagen is to consume it - as a daily collagen supplement and in the foods you eat. This is the only way to ensure that the collagen can impact the deeper layers of your skin, as it will be absorbed by your body from the inside out.
We’ve mentioned that your gut is often called your body’s second brain. Well, it’s smart enough to know exactly how and where in your body to distribute the collagen you’ve consumed - as opposed to topical collagen that is only applied to concentrated areas.
How to get collagen into your diet
Knowing how to get collagen into your diet isn’t something you naturally know how to do and many foods high in collagen aren’t a normal part of an American diet. But there are some, such as bone broth, egg whites, fish, chicken, and gelatin.
If you follow a vegan diet, it’s important to note that there is not a single vegan or vegetarian source of collagen protein. It is strictly an animal protein. But you can opt for collagen-boosting foods like some of the items we listed above like leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, etc.
Remember that as we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen. To get the best, most visible results, you may want to consider real liquid collagen from ProT Gold, which comes in highly-concentrated, flavored packets that are easy to eat and even easier for your body to digest.
We hydrolyze our collagen protein, breaking it down into its smallest, most digestible form. That means it’s unlikely to cause an upset stomach - even if it’s been years since you’ve had any animal-derived products.
Anti-aging habits for youthful skin and better health
In conclusion, trying some (or all!) of these foods for clear skin could do wonders for your complexion and overall nutrition. Pair them up with collagen supplements and high-quality vitamins - and the results might just amaze you.
But before we go, we want to leave you with one final reminder:
While there are proven supplements and foods to improve skin health, practicing healthy habits and lifestyle choices are vital when it comes to ensuring a truly holistic approach and the best long-term effects.
To aid your diet and supplementation, here are other easy habits you can include in your anti-aging routine:
- Wear sunscreen: Choose one that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays on days you’ll be out in the sun (and even on days you’re exposed to indirect sunlight through large windows).
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: When your body is hydrated, your skin is hydrated.
- Stop smoking: It advances short- and long-term aging.
- Reduce your alcohol intake: It decreases your collagen production and may dehydrate your body, promoting more wrinkles and premature aging.
- Workout or accumulate a good amount of steps daily: It helps improve blood circulation and may slow down skin aging.
- Practice good sleep hygiene: This means incorporating healthy habits to ensure you get quality (not just adequate) sleep, consistently.
Finally, ask your doctor about ProT Gold's hydrolyzed liquid collagen. It's a proven medical nutrition supplement trusted by doctors and hospitals all over the US. It’s been shown to promote clear skin, as well as a host of other benefits for weight maintenance, joint health, reduced hair loss, and more.