When it comes to clear skin, our diet can make a big difference. We all know there are some foods to avoid if you’re acne-prone (hint: it’s all the good ones), but dullness, texture, and lacklustre skin can also be exacerbated by poor eating.
The good news is there are loads of healthy and delicious foods (and drinks) that have skin-loving properties and are super easy to incorporate into your daily routine. But there’s also a bit of debate surrounding some of the ‘bad’ ones.
To help separate the facts, researchers at Vice Reversa have revealed some of the most commonly Googled food and drinks for good skin, and whether or not they’re legit. Here’s what to avoid and what to stock up on…
5 of the best foods for clear skin
The most obvious and the most important is, of course, water. “Drinking water is great for keeping your skin healthy and [to] improve its condition,” says nutritionist Sian Baker. “As it hydrates your skin, you’ll find a reduction in itchiness, puffiness, and wrinkles. Water also helps your body’s detoxification processes, as well as helping you to heal quicker and slows ageing!”
So just how much do we need to be drinking? healthdirect.gov.au recommends eight glasses per day for women and 10 glasses per day for men. In Australia, one cup is equivalent to 250ml, which equates to 2 litres for women and 2.5 litres for men.
When it comes to the best foods for clear skin, fish always makes the list. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are especially great for keeping your skin healthy. “As fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids it can help regulate the skin’s oil production, help soften tough, dry skin, and have a soothing effect on irritated skin,” says Sian.
#3 Olive Oil
If you’ve always wondered which oil you should be using for your everyday cooking, olive is the one that’ll care for your skin. It’s rich in vitamin E which is known for its moisturising and anti-ageing effects. Plus, it can improve skin health by treating inflammation too.
Why not combine the powers of lemon and water by starting your day with them both in a glass? Lemon contains high levels of vitamin C, the antioxidant benefits of which can help to reduce skin damage and other signs of premature ageing.
If you’ve tried a tumeric face mask before, you might already be clued up on its skin care benefits. The fragrant and bitter spice has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which can help heal wounds, prevent breakouts, reduce acne scarring and also bring out your natural glow. The best part? You can use it in all sorts of dishes, and drinks too!
And the ones with bad reps…
Turns out we’re all a bit concerned about the effect coffee has on our skin. But Sian says the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Whether it’s good or bad for your skin depends on how you take it.
If you are only sticking to one to two cups of black coffee a day you shouldn’t see any bad effects. However, if you add dairy and sugar, this may result in acne becoming worse due to the properties in the accompaniments.
Dairy has a bad rep, it’s true. And it has been strongly linked to exacerbating a fair few skin issues. But there are also studies that have shown fat-free and low-fat milk increased the likelihood of acne development, whereas full-fat milk and cheese didn’t have the same strength of effect. So if you suspect dairy might be at the root of your skin issues, we highly recommend speaking to a professional.
There’s no debate about this one, alcohol simply isn’t good for the skin. As a diuretic, it actively draws water away from the body leading to dehydration, which can increase the appearance of wrinkles and dryness. Dehydration can also dilate your pores leading to an increase of blackheads and whiteheads.
*This article has been updated since its original publication.
Do you eat any of these foods? Have you heard of other foods for clear skin?