ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Fashion and Beauty»
  • Skin Care

Foods that are Good for Skin and Foods Bad for Skin

Updated on November 15, 2016
janderson99 profile image

Dr. John uses skills in Biochemistry, Physiology (PhD) to review topics on mental health, depression, sleep, stress, setting positive goals

Your skin is what you eat.

Good food and diet promotes healthy clear skin.

Poor diet is a major cause of bad skin, including acne.

Your heredity, your hormones, lifestyle and environmental factors such as wind and sun, also are major contributors to skin health.

Well hydrated and moist skin is essential, and having enough fluid in the diet and drinking plenty of water also helps.

Some foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including oily fish such as salmon, other seafood, walnuts, safflower and flax-seed oil are known to be beneficial for the skin.

Certain vitamins such as B-2, B-6, B-12, C, A and E can help maintain healthy, clear skin. Other nutrients in food such as antioxidants and minerals also help maintain good skin condition.

So what are the best foods to eat for a good skin diet?

What are the worst foods for skin? Why are they bad?

What nutrients are linked with healthy, clear skin?

Discover the answers in this comprehensive article.

Lovely clear skin
Lovely clear skin | Source
Teenager with acne
Teenager with acne | Source
Fruit and Vegetables are Good for Skin
Fruit and Vegetables are Good for Skin | Source
Fatty Foods and Bad for Skin
Fatty Foods and Bad for Skin | Source

Diet and Acne

In simple terms, acne is cause by an impaired turnover of skin cells, a process referred to as keratinization. This causes skin cells to be retained and they block the oil glands and pores.

Protein and your skin’s oil, called sebum get trapped and become food for a bacteria, P. acnes, that cause acne.

The food you eat contributes to the process of cell turnover. Vitamins and nutrients from food help to support the repair and rebuilding of the skin.

Food and diet probably contribute about 25% to acne. The rest is linked with hormones, sleep levels, stress, your lifestyle and the environment where you live. There are really no ‘super foods’ for acne prevention, but good diet helps to support other control strategies.

For acne-prone skin, people should eat low-fat, whole (not processed) foods, including lots of fruit and vegetables.

Hormone-laden foods, and fatty foods such as dairy products, meats, milk chocolate, French fries, hamburgers and other junk foods should be avoided.

Nutrients that are Good for Controlling Acne and Reducing Inflammation

  • Vitamin A helps regulate the skin cycle. Foods rich in vitamin A include fish oil, carrots, salmon, spinach, and broccoli. But avoid too much vitamin A.
  • Zinc has been shown to calm skin, and reduce inflammation. Foods rich in zinc include almonds, Brazil nuts, other nuts, wheat germ and whole grains.
  • Vitamins E and C are know to be good for the skin. The best sources of vitamin C are lemons, grapefruit, oranges, papaya, and tomatoes. The best sources of vitamin E are nuts, olive oil, sweet potatoes, avocados, broccoli, sunflower seeds and most leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
  • Selenium has antioxidant properties that is good for the skin. This has been shown by a series of research studies. Food rich in selenium include salmon, garlic, wheat germ, tuna, Brazil nuts, brown rice and eggs.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to control inflammation and help maintain skin turnover. The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish such as such as sardines and salmon, almonds, flaxseed oil, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
  • Water - Drink adequate water- just plain water, not sugary drinks
  • Avoid eating foods that contain sulphur can help to keep skin smooth - garlic and onions are ideal.
  • Make sure you get enough iron in your diet. Red meats are rich in iron, but so are apricots, sesame seeds and many other vegetables and fruit.
  • B Group vitamins are good for your skin. Best sources include cheese, beef, eggs and liver.

Foods that are Good for Your Skin

Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries and Raspberries

Berries have more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable tested. Berries can be added to breakfast cereal, blended into fruit smoothies, and added to many baked goods such as pancake, pies and muffins. They make wonderful desserts.

Vegetables and Beans

These foods, like fish and olive oil, have the right type of fats for maintaining healthy skin. The secret lies in the combination of monounsaturated fats, a range of powerful antioxidants, and high protein appear to be beneficial for the skin.


Almonds and many other nuts are a super food for skin health because they are packed with moisturizing vitamin E and good oils. They can be eaten in a variety of ways.


Avocados are a great source of vitamin E, C and B-complex vitamins that are all good for the skin. Though high in fat, avocados have the healthy types of fats. Avocados are also used for face masks.


Carrots contain unique beta-carotene pigments which have antioxidant properties and give the skin a healthy glow. They also are a rich source of vitamin A.


This lovely vine fruit is rich in vitamin A and it is an excellent source of antioxidants and water.

Dark Chocolate

While milk chocolate and white chocolate are bad for your skin, dark chocolate is a major exception, it is good for you. The flavanoids and zinc contained in dark chocolate are good for your skin. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

Oily Fish

Fish is a winner as a source of lean protein and omega-3 oils, which is one of the reasons that the famous Mediterranean Diet works so well. The best fish are the oily ones such as sardines, mackerel, tuna, trout and wild Alaskan salmon. Fish contains several antioxidants that are food for the skin. The high protein and ‘good’ type of fats contrasts with the ‘bad’ fats in fatty red meats.

Flax seed Oil

Flaxseed is packed phyto-nutrients, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 oils and has more protein than other oils


Grapes, like many vegetables are a good source of antioxidants such as polyphenols and they are packed with water which helps keep the body hydrated. Red wine has many of the benefits of the raw grapes

Green Tea

Green tea is with antioxidants and it has diuretic properties that help detox the body.


Mangoes are Vitamin A and they are a good way to keep hydrated. They contain a variety of antioxidants.

Molluscs and Shellfish

Shellfish are an excellent source of zinc that helps maintain healthy skin.


Mushrooms are a good source of selenium and help to prevent dry, flaky skin.

Red Wine

One glass of red wine per helps, but too much wine can cause indigestion and poor health. per day. Red wine has resveratrol, which helps promote a youthful, mist and glowing skin.

Sweet Potatoes

Like carrots they are packed with beta-carotene and Vitamin A. They are also a rich source of vitamins B6 and C as well as the nutrients manganese and potassium which are good for overall skin health.

Safflower Oil

Safflower Oil is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids and research has suggested that it helps people with eczema.


Is and excellent source of folate and many other vitamins and minerals.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a major source of oleic acid, a fatty acid that is known to keep the skin supple. Olive oil also helps the body fight inflammation. It is rich source of vitamin E and polyphenol antioxidants


Garlic is a great source of polyphenols and other antioxidants.

Foods to Avoid, that are Bad for Skin

Coffee and Caffeine

While coffee has some surprising health benefits, too much caffeine makes skin appear lifeless and dry, because caffeine is a diuretic and tends to dehydrates the skin.

Fried Food and and Meats High in Trans-Fats

Fried foods and trans-fat soaked foods can damage your skin and make you generally unhealthy. They are known to cause clogged pores, poor circulation, greasy skin and in some cases dry skin. These are probably the worst food for skin.

Processed Carbohydrates - White Flour and White Rice

Foods rich in carbohydrates have a high glycemic index which is bad for the skin. Foods such white bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pies, muffins are known to be bad for acne and general skin health.

Processed Meats and Sausage

Processed meats such as ham. salami, hot dogs, luncheon meats, and sausages have very high sodium levels which dehydrates the skin. They are also packed with saturated fats and preservative such as nitrates and sulphur compounds which damages the skin.


Salt is a common cause of swelling and water retention in the face, causing puffiness. MSG or too much soy sauce, which has very high level of salt also cause these problems. Salt is also a contributor to high blood pressure and stroke.

White Bread

White bread and other processed grain products such as pasta and rice can cause carbohydrate overload and dramatic spikes in blood sugar levels and hormone imbalances. This can worsen skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne. Flattening out the insulin levels and avoiding spikes in blood sugar can improve the skin tone.

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Lots of good information here. It's amazing what eating healthy fresh food can do for oneself. I can tell if I go thru a spurt of eating the processed foods for convenience that I don't have as much energy and my eyes get puffy from the high salt intake.

    This hub is motivating me to make my new live dark green salad this weekend, with olive oil and vinegar for the dressing. Thanks for sharing, voted up, useful, awesome.

  • europewalker profile image

    europewalker 4 years ago

    Very detailed hub, well done. You are so right about salt. Anytime I have too much salt, my face and fingers get very puffy and I can't even wear my rings. Voted up.

  • younghopes profile image

    Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

    found hub to be quite useful with really some good inputs to it, it is true what you eat has a direct effect on your skin too. voted up!