Healthy skin is a reflection of internal health. There are so many lotions and potions to apply to your skin topically but there are also lots of things you can do to nurture and nourish your skin to better health from the inside.
Your skin needs many nutrients: water, essential fats, vitamins and amino acids. Here are five foods, drinks and lifestyle tips that I highly recommend if your goal is healthier-looking skin. As a bonus, I have included a short list of some key foods to consider avoiding as well as some recommended lab testing for the most stubborn cases of eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis!
Let’s dive in.
Skin Food #1 - Water
No doubt hydration is key for healthy-looking skin! Water and other hydrating fluids are great to help your skin stay moist and supple.
For a bit of an extra anti-inflammatory hydrating boost, try boosting your water with anti-inflammatory green tea as the anti-oxidants help to nourish your skin from the inside out.
Add these to your water for extra detoxification and to alkalinize your body:
- Lemon or lime
- Apple cider vinegar
Skin Food #2 – Cold Water Fish
Fish contains many nutrients important for skin health - omega-3s, and vitamins A and D to name a few.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory to help cool the flames of inflammation. Vitamin A can help with blemishes and dryness, while vitamin D helps with skin tone.
Here are the safest and healthiest fish to consume:
- Wild Salmon
- Atlantic Mackerel
- Rainbow trout
Aim for 2-3 servings per week.
Skin Food #3 - Bell peppers, citrus, and broccoli
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. It is also known to help our skin stay firm and supple.
Vitamin C is necessary for your body to make collagen. Foods rich in vitamin C are great for your skin such as bell peppers, citrus and broccoli.
INTERSTING FACT: Overcooking vitamin C-rich foods can destroy some of the skin-supporting vitamins. Try having these lightly steamed or raw for maximum vitamin C levels.
Aim for a daily serving of these foods.
Skin Food #4 - Bone broth
Homemade bone broth contains a lot of the amino acid glycine. Glycine is another essential component of the skin protein collagen.
Glycine helps speed the healing of the skin and the gut.
Aim for 1 cup per day of bone broth.
Skin “Food” #5 - Sleep more & stress less
I know these are not exactly foods but they are an important part of naturally great skin. When we do not sleep enough or stress is too high inflammation can build in the body and negatively affect the skin!
Stress hormones are incredibly toxic to the body and the skin. Adequate sleep is healing and necessary for healthy skin.
Watch out for these foods
Some foods are allergenic or inflammatory. These can cause all sorts of issues in your body, including affecting your skin.
Each person is biochemically unique but there are a few common allergens that are often beneficial for skin health to eliminate from your diet.
The top 3 skin culprits include:
- Processed foods loaded with sugar are bad for everyone as they can affect your health in so many ways, including how your skin looks and feels. Try ditching pre-packaged, fast foods and processed sugar in favor of whole foods as much as possible, not just for your skin but also for your whole body and mind.
- Gluten - While only a small number of people have serious reactions to gluten (i.e., celiac disease), many more people are intolerant to it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and a few other grains. Many people have had several health concerns, including skin issues, clear up after eliminating gluten from their diets.
- Dairy - not only does dairy create a negative insulin response which triggers the excess release of testosterone (a culprit in acne) but it is also one of the top allergens and create hormonal havoc in the body and skin!
Honorable mentions for creating skin issues include eggs and soy.
Skin health is not just about what you put on your skin but also what your skin gets from the inside as well. There are several important nutrients and therapeutic foods to help support healthy skin. This also means that there are plenty of foods that can affect your skin in negative ways that can be eliminated to solve many skin issues.
Hydrating, eating nutrient dense whole foods and avoiding common allergenic and inflammatory foods might make all the difference for you.
In stubborn cases of acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis (as well as other skin conditions), the following lab tests are recommended to discover the root cause of your skin condition:
Food Sensitivity Testing (this one is especially helpful in teenage acne!)
Comprehensive Hormone Testing
Dr Cobi’s Top Skin Clearing Supplements: