Feed Your Face: 5 Foods for Clear Skin

Looks like our moms were right when they warned us not to eat all those greasy fries. Scientists now know that what you eat really does show up on your skin—in the form of acne and eczema, or maybe dry, flaky skin. So if your skin is suffering, check your fridge. Even if you’re eating healthy, you might be skipping some of these key skin-calming foods.

5 foods for better skin

Wild salmon. Omega-3 fats—plentiful in cold-water fish—work wonders for your skin. They soothe inflammation (like acne and excema) and hold moisture in your skin, keeping it plump and hydrated. If your skin flares up or flakes off in the cold, dry winter air, try eating more omega-3s. Here’s a recipe for Lettuce Wraps with Smoked Salmon

More good bets: sardines, trout, walnuts, and flax seeds.

Carrots. There’s a reason why prescription skin creams for acne and wrinkles are loaded with vitamin A (you’ll see it on the label as adapalene, tazarotene, or tretinoin). These vitamin A derivatives speed cell turnover to unclog pores and boost collagen to smooth fine wrinkles. Vitamin A-rich foods, like carrots, work the same magic—from the inside. Meanwhile, they’re packed with fiber to stabilize your blood sugar (blood sugar swings contribute to acne, studies show).

More good bets: squash, cantaloupe, and mangos.

Avocados are loaded with vitamin E—a first-line defense for healthy skin. This potent antioxidant calms inflammation in the skin. People who eat more vitamin E and vitamin A foods have less acne and eczema, according to multiple studies. Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, too, which moisturizes skin from within and helps prevent sun damage.

More good bets: eggs, almonds, and pine nuts.

Oysters contain way, way more zinc than any other food (just one or two oysters cover your whole zinc requirement for the day). Zinc helps keep breakout-happy hormones under control and helps you absorb skin-clearing vitamin A.

More good bets: lobster, beef, and chickpeas.

Cashews pack a bunch of skin-friendly stuff into one tasty package. They’re crammed with monounsaturated fats and zinc, plus two more minerals—selenium and magnesium—that are proven acne-fighters.

More good bets: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chickpeas.