Forget the filter! According to a board-certified dermatologist, you can eat your way to a clear complexion. And we’re here for it.

Now that it’s officially springtime, all we want to do is live and breathe that fresh-faced, I-just-crawled-out-of-hibernation-radiating-joie-de-vie vibe. We’re dusting off our white sneakers, finessing our fitness routines, and organizing our closets and homes to our heart’s content. But spring cleaning can apply to your beauty and food routines, too. You know that saying, “glow from within”? It’s a real thing.

“It is important to have a balanced diet that contains antioxidants, proteins, and healthy fats, says Sejal K. Shah, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City. “Avoiding too many high-glycemic foods is also beneficial for the skin.”

Here’s a list of family-friendly foods to incorporate into your meals for healthy, radiant skin. Because we heard you are what you eat.


As if we needed one more reason to worship avocados. They’re filled with vitamins A, D, and E, and are a super source of healthy monounsaturated fats and phytonutrients. Makes sense when you think about all those fun DIY face masks that contain avocado as a main ingredient.

Green Tea

A special compound in green tea leaves called catechins can improve the health of our skin in several ways. First, they act as antioxidants, protecting from sun damage and inflammation. Catechins have also been shown to improve skin’s natural elasticity and moisture. Our favorite type of green tea is matcha—you can even bake with it.


We give orange juice and other citrus fruits all the credit for containing vitamin C, but this cruciferous veggie is a great way way to get it, too. Vitamin C helps promote collagen production in our skin, which works to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Broccoli also contains zinc, vitamin A, and lutein (a carotenoid that helps protect skin from oxidative damage).

Olive Oil

There are so many reasons the Mediterranean diet is great for you. It’s been linked to lowered levels of cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes, and it promotes bone density and muscle mass in women. And those benefits are in big part due to olive oil. It’s high in monounsaturated fats, which help keep skin nourished and hydrated.

Dark Chocolate

Best. Day. Ever. Everyone’s favorite sweet treat can also be great for your skin: Cocoa contains lots of antioxidants called flavenols that have been shown to improve skin’s texture and hydration and even increase blood circulation. Just be sure to choose chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa to maximize these beauty-boosting benefits.


Salmon’s a solid source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are key players in a healthy skincare regime. According to a study conducted by Oregon State, these two types of fatty acids help keep our skin hydrated, fight inflammation, and help keep our skin protected from pollution. If you need some tasty salmon recipes, we’ve got you covered.

Bell Peppers

Peppers pack a serious vitamin C punch. Again, this is great for boosting your body’s collagen levels, which helps keep your skin firm and strong. Bell peppers (especially red and yellow) are also filled with beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, another important antioxidant.


We love tomatoes for skincare. Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps protect our skin from free-radicals that we’re exposed to from the sun. You’ll get an extra boost when your tomatoes have been heated, which is a very sound reason to go for that pizza or pasta marinara.

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