We spend countless hours slathering on serums, moisturizers, peels and masks, all in the hopes that our skin will appreciate our efforts and reward us by staying clear and spot-free. But what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it. We got the inside scoop from Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mt. Sinai Hospital — who shared the foods we should be eating and avoiding for beautiful skin. These foods work from the inside out to promote a healthy, plump epidermis — helping you stress less and live more.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which serve as building blocks for healthy skin cells, says Zeichner.
Ever heard of selenium? It’s a mineral that helps promote skin elastin (which leads to better skin elasticity) and tuna is full of it.
Reach for a fresh yogurt next time you’re craving a snack — according to Zeichner, it’s full of probiotics that help reduce skin inflammation. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy cell turnover, helps acne and prevents wrinkles.
This yummy fruit is full of monounsaturated fats that are used by your body to make strong skin cells, says Zeichner.
Get sipping — green tea contains antioxidants that prevent UV-induced oxidative damage to your skin.
Lycopene is the potent antioxidant that gives tomatoes their pretty red color. Studies show that this carotenoid may also protect against sunburn and sun-induced skin aging.
Blueberries are full of resveratrol, another powerful antioxidant that promotes a number of healthy heart benefits and takes your skin health to a whole new level: It fights free radicals, protects against UV damage and maintains collagen and moisture levels.
Foods to Avoid: Sugary/Starchy Foods
When it comes to foods that have a negative effect on your skin, Zeichner cites foods high in sugar and starch at the top of the list. “These foods are associated with acne breakouts,” he warns. “Plus, an increase in blood sugar can ultimately lead to glycation of collagen — this is when sugar molecules attach to collagen, leading to collagen stiffening, loss of elasticity and skin wrinkles.” We’ll stick to our fresh fruits and veggies, thanks.