As luxurious as a 12-step skincare routine sounds, it takes a lot of time out of your day to set up shop in front of the bathroom sink to pat on a series of serums and rinse off a double-whammy of cleanser. Trust me, you don't have to feel guilty about not spending 30 whole minutes on a lengthy skincare regimen every day. Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to help your skin feel and look its best, and that don't require any pricy products. In fact, I'm willing to bet some of the best foods for your skin are already tucked away in your refrigerator or one of your kitchen cabinets. If not, I promise they're super easy to add to meals and snacks you already love.
Think about the types of food you eat on a daily basis. Generally speaking, beautiful skin is going to be a natural result of eating a healthy and balanced diet. So, if you know you're notorious for snacking on processed foods all day long, and greasy French fries are a staple at your dinner table more often than not, chances are, your skin's bound to suffer.
Have you ever heard of an "inner glow"? Well, according to Dr. Karin Hermoni, head of science and nutrition at Lycored, that glow comes, at least partially, from the foods that fuel your body. She tells Elite Daily that, in order to achieve glowing, beautiful skin, the first step is "to do it from the inside out." This means eating healthily, and eating a lot of different foods to cover all the essential nutritional bases. A solid foundation, she says, is to "eat the rainbow" by incorporating a ton of fruits, veggies, spices, etc. into everything you eat. Here are a few of the best foods for your skin to get you started.
Here are a few of the best foods for your skin to get you started.
- Coconut Oil Basically Does It All
I'm beginning to think coconut oil is one of mother nature's absolute best cure-alls, because seriously, is there anything this stuff can't do? On top of being the perfect cooking oil, hair mask, and topical skin savior, apparently eating the stuff is excellent for skin health, too. How's that for overachieving?
According to Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutritionand DrAxe.com, coconut oil is great for your skin because it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and it's full of healthy fats and antioxidants, to boot.
"[Coconut oil can] boost your immune system and protect the health of your gut," he tells Elite Daily. "It can also help to fight infections and irritations."
- Leafy Greens Keep Things Clean From The Inside Out
If ever there were a reason to grin-and-bear eating leafy greens by the plateful, the state of your skin health is it. According to Dr. Daryl Gioffre, author of the book Get Off Your Acid, making sure you get some greens in your diet is crucial for your skin because — *surprise* — you really are what you eat. Or, at least, your skin is.
Dr. Gioffre tells Elite Daily that eating plenty of greens "keeps your digestive system running like the machine it should be," but I know what you're thinking: What does your tummy have to do with your complexion? The answer: everything.
Eating plenty of leafy greens, Dr. Gioffre says, "[cleans] out toxins and hormones that will otherwise build up on your scalp and skin." Basically, healthy insides make for healthy outsides, too.
- Fatty Fish Can Control All That Oil
Aside from being an excellent source of protein, fatty fish (like salmon) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which, Dr. Axe tells Elite Daily, are boss at fighting off inflammation.
"DHA and EPA, which are present in omega-3 fatty acids," he says, "benefit your skin by naturally slowing aging and managing oil product."
What's more, according to Dr. Axe, the omega-3s in these types of fish can also improve your sleep cycle — and when you feel rested, it's reflected in your complexion.
- Green Tea Flushes Out All The Bad Stuff
Staying hydrated is also really important for skin health (and, you know, health in general). Aside from the obvious necessity of drinking plenty of H2O every day, Lisa Samuels, R.D., founder of The Happie House, tells Elite Daily that sipping on a warm mug of green tea can work miracles for your complexion.
"Drinking plenty of these liquids helps to flush the body of toxins and reduce inflammation," she says, adding that green tea is great for this because — *bonus* — it "contains components called catechins, which help to deliver fresh blood and oxygen to the skin, keeping it supple and well-hydrated," Samuels explains.
- Honey Provides Sweet Relief For Your Skin — Literally
Another ingredient that nurses skin back to health from the inside out is none other than Winnie the Pooh's favorite pot o' honey.
Dr. Axe tells Elite Daily that the scoop on honey is this: It's a natural source of nutrients, like "vitamins and skin-boosting acids" that can help ward off "infections, rashes, and wounds." Drizzle a bit over a banana for snacking, add a tablespoon to smoothies or a cup of tea, or you can even use it topically, Dr. Axe adds, by applying it directly to skin, "leaving it on for 10 minutes and then rinsing."
- Plant-Based Protein Protects Your Skin At All Costs
By now, you've probably picked up on the fact that eating what's good for your body, is also going to be what's best for your skin. Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist based in New York City, tells Elite Daily this is the motto she lives by, but instead of looking to animal products to meet her protein intake, King is plant-based and primarily consumes beans and nuts to check off this macronutrient's box.
"Proteins are the building blocks for all of the structures in the body, including the skin, nails, and hair," she explains. Plus, in addition to protein, nuts provide healthy fats, which create a "a healthy lipid barrier for skin," to better protect your complexion from environmental stressors.
- Dark Chocolate Will Please Your Palate And Your Skin
Up until now, I've basically been rattling off a bunch of healthy foods to focus on in your diet, but let's pause for a second to talk desserts. That's right, friends: Dark chocolate is not only a decadent indulgence to end a low day on a high note, it also improves your skin health.
And no, this isn't me trying to justify my probably-excessive cocoa intake, here. Samuels tells Elite Daily the flavonoids (aka antioxidant compounds) in chocolate keep your skin hydrated, and a few squares a day can help smooth and moisturize your complexion. In other words, stock up on your favorite treat ASAP, girl. It's for your health!