The Best Healthy Foods For Clear, Glowing Skin

In addition to genetic factors, it’s important to know that your lifestyle plays an important role in determining how healthy your skin is.

foods to eat for good skin
Photo Credit: Ksu & Eli Studio

Prevention is key when it comes to your healthiest skin. In addition to genetic factors, it’s important to know that your lifestyle plays an important role in determining how healthy your skin is. One of these factors is the often-neglected diet.

[SEE ALSO: Debunking 5 Common Skincare Myths That Harm Women of Color]

Bad food choices lead to essential nutrient deficiency and can affect skin health, which ultimately results in textured, irritated, and dull skin. So, we’ve rounded up the best healthy foods for clear, glowing skin, and why they work.

Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Skin

Fruits and vegetables are skin-friendly powerhouses full of bioactive compounds like carotenoids, vitamins, and polyphenols. These compounds work by boosting the skin’s defenses against oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage induced by ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Also, Vitamin C, abundant in many fruits and vegetables, aids with collagen synthesis and acts as a potent antioxidant. 

Below are fruits and veggies that have been proven to help maintain healthy skin.


They have a high content of Vitamin C and beta carotene. A study found that consuming about half a cup of mangos four times a week for 16 weeks reduced deep facial wrinkles in women aged 50 to 70. However, keep in mind that excessive consumption of mangos is not recommended due their sugar content.


They are rich in lycopene, another excellent antioxidant. A study found that for women aged 26 to 67, the daily consumption of about a quarter to half cup of tomato alleviates UVR-induced erythema and enhances skin health.


They are rich in anthocyanins (of course an antioxidant!) and studies have shown that daily intake of pomegranate juice or its extract for 12 weeks made the skin more resistant to UVR in women aged 30 to 40.

Nuts and Legumes Can Lead to Healthier Skin

Nuts and legumes have a high content of healthy fats and are a good source of plant-based protein too. Here are two that have been proven to improve skin health.


These are rich in alpha-tocopherol (the most abundant form of vitamin E in human tissues) and polyphenols which are antioxidant compounds. Studies have shown that women who include almonds in their diets have higher levels of antioxidants circulating in the body which improves overall health, prevents wrinkle formation, and reduces hyperpigmentation for a clearer, more youthful look.


They have isoflavones which are molecules with structures similar to women’s hormones such as estrogen and may interact with this hormone’s receptors. A study showed that women who consumed soybean extract for 12 weeks improved overall skin health by increasing hydration, and elasticity and preventing wrinkle formation.

Drinking Antioxidant-rich Beverages for Healthier Skin

Some widely consumed beverages have a high content of polyphenols, an excellent antioxidant.  Coffee, green tea, and cocoa have a proven effect on skin health.


Daily consumption of a cocoa beverage for 24 weeks improved elasticity, skin roughness, and reduced loss of water in the skin of women aged 18 to 65.


Studies have shown that daily consumption of chlorogenic acid (which is found both in caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee) can help reduce hyperpigmentation and improve skin barrier function by decreasing dryness in women with dry, itchy, and cracked skin.

Green Tea

Some studies report that daily consumption of green tea is beneficial for skin health because it increases elasticity, improves skin resistance to UV radiation, has anti-allergic properties, and reduces roughness and water loss.

Are any of these foods in your daily diet? Let us know in the comments below.