Clean Eating Equals Clear Skin

Smiling young woman eating healthy salad while texting on the phone

Lately, there have been a lot of new improbable food combinations out there that mix the savory with the sweet.  Donut burgers, chocolate coated potato chips, pretzels and ice cream; sometimes it can seem hard to resist.  However, in nutritionist lingo, savory and sweet translates into grease and sugar, and that can be a nightmare for your skin.  If you want to clear up your skin, you need to start by cleaning up your diet. Here are some tips for doing both:

Diet and Your Skin

According to Dr. Jessica Wu, dermatologist and author of “Feed Your Face,” What you put in your mouth is just as important as what you apply to your skin. She explains, “Foods get digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that your body can use to build healthy skin. If you crash diet or eat highly processed foods, your skin won’t be as strong and supple as it could be. For example, if you don’t eat enough protein, you are depriving your skin of the amino acids that go into making collagen and elastic tissue.”

Avoiding Sugar

Nutrition expert Alex Caspero recommends a low glycemic diet for acne prone skin and tells his clients to reduce sugar as much as possible. He says, “I replace refined sugary foods with nutrient dense foods, like fruit, vegetables and healthy sources of Omega-3.”What should you avoid specifically?  Protein bars, according to Dr. Wu.

She considers them glorified candy bars warning that, “The sugar will quickly get into your bloodstream, making your insulin levels spike, which can aggravate acne, wrinkles, and rashes.”  The fix?  Dr. Wu suggests a handful of almonds and a piece of whole fruit eaten after a workout, saying, “You’ll be eating better for your skin and you’ll feel more satisfied.”


So what’s the deal with dairy?  Although the link between dairy and acne has not been definitively proven, Caspero doesn’t recommend dairy, saying, “Just like sugar, I see great results when I remove dairy from the diet,” and adds that, “If people must have milk or yogurt, I recommend non-dairy alternatives, or goat’s milk.”

Healthy Skin Diet

So now that you know what you shouldn’t eat, let’s talk about what you should. Celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas says that, “The best skin diet is one that involves eating vegetables of different colors for every meal and a green juice every day.” Her top pick? Avocados. Vargas advises throwing these green berries into your smoothie as a source of phytonutrients and healthy fats.Dr. Wu says that when it comes to picking vegetables, red, yellow, and green are the most skin friendly.

According to Wu, “Tomatoes are good for helping reduce sun damage,” adding that, “they’re high in the antioxidant lycopene, (which) is more easily absorbed when the tomatoes have been cooked.” She also advises clients to use the color of vegetables as an indicator of antioxidant levels. “In general,” she explains, “the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it has,” and similarly, when it comes to green and yellow veggies, “The darker and brighter the color, the more the nutrients.”


As for Caspero, he cites omega-3 rich foods, like sardines, flaxseed, and chia seeds, and foods with vitamins A, C, and E for luminous skin, however, he adds some revealing information.  “Most of us think of fruits and vegetables as antioxidant sources, but, surprisingly, herbs and spices pack the most punch.  Turmeric, a spice often found in Indian cuisine, is one of the best.”
So, what are you doing to clean up your diet and clear up your skin?  Let us know.  We love to hear from you.

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