I'm a firm believer in the idea that beauty comes from the inside, and this includes knowing what foods will make your skin clear. But are juice cleanses the only option? Will chocolate wreck you? Fortunately, there's a plethora of deliciousness out there to keep your skin healthy and radiant, and, yes, chocolate is included.
I'm one of those food instagrammers and share my usually plant-based noms on my account @RoseEatsPlants #SorryNotSorry. I've always loved cooking and baking, but wanted to see what eating mostly vegan would do for my skin. To my surprise, stubborn acne issues I've dealt with since middle school dramatically reduced once I upped my fruit and veggie consumption like, ten-fold. Plant-based eating means going for "whole" foods that are organic when possible, and dodging all processed chemical junk. In short, it's just the trendy IG way to say I eat real food.
By no means am I the first one to discover the magic of foods that will clear skin. One of my favorite books on the subject is Feed Your Face by Jessica Wu. A board-certified dermatologist, Wu told Prevention, "There’s a growing body of research showing that diet really does affect your complexion. What you eat can affect your hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation, which is associated with skin aging." Bam.
Ready for clear, bright skin? Time to chow down.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is packed full of MuFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids). These little fatty acids keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Heck slather olive oil on your face and your salad for the ultimate skin-clearing combo.
True story y'all: I often eat so many carrots my palms and heels turn orange. Yep. Thanks, carotene. Women's Health reassured me this isn't a bad habit, as Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine explained carrots are packed with vitamin A which, "helps prevent the overproduction of cells in the skin's outer layer." In short, carrots prevent clogged pores! Woot woot.
3. Dark Berries
So many skin-clearing antioxidants it hurts. Why wash your face for pimple-free skin when you could just eat a smoothie? I'm definitely kidding, please wash your face.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dermatologist David Banks, MD told Fitness, "Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple." The only caveat? Hershey's kisses don't count. Reach for 70% cacao content or higher in your chocolate bar to get that cocoa glow.
5. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a holy grail food in the world of vegan baking. Beyond being able to magically fake the texture of eggs, flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep skin supple and moisturized from the inside out.
These big juicy orbs are full of vitamin C and lycopene. The vitamin C promotes collagen production, while lycopene is great for fighting free radicals and sun damage. Wu told Forbes, "The antioxidant is most easily absorbed when the tomatoes have been cooked, which releases it from the plant cells." I'm using this as an excuse to eat pasta all day errrryday.
Hands down the most important secret to clear skin is drinking enough water every day! Water flushes out pimple-causing toxins and hydrates your ever-thirsty skin. Try drinking a glass as soon as you wake up to get a head start on eight cups a day.
Image Credit: Author's Own