Sure, lifestyle habits (like smoking and tanning), and genetics can certainly influence and predispose your skin to pesky conditions, but that doesn’t mean the quest for a glowing complexion is a lost cause. And while there are plenty of cosmetics that dub themselves as “skin food,” the truth is that the key to maintaining a healthy complexion doesn’t come from a bottle. While it’s true these cleansers and lotions offer a topical fix—a beauty band-aid, if you will—gorgeous, hydrated skin starts from within. And that all depends on whether our best foods for glowing skin are on your plate.
Whether you need to treat acne, ward off premature aging, reduce the appearance wrinkles, or fight back against another pesky skin condition, the right diet can be a valuable aid.
Researchers have found that fitting certain healthy foods into your daily routine can help fight back against your complexion woes by turning off inflammatory genes and providing your body with the proper tools to strengthen and build healthy tissues.
1. Cooked Tomatoes
Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps boosts collagen strength—a protein that gives skin its taut, youthful structure—and fights off the oxidizing effect of UV rays by eliminating skin-aging free radicals. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found participants who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste daily showed 33 percent more protection against sunburn than a control group. Why is tomato paste one of our best foods for skin? It’s because cooking tomatoes ups their lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, gazpacho, and even ketchup pack on the protection.
Think of carrots as your very own wonder wands—good for the eyes and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A, an antioxidant which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer flaky dead cells that otherwise could combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, vitamin A plays an essential role in reducing the development of skin-cancer cells. It’s a win-win with this best food for skin.