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22 Best Foods to Eat for Clear Skin (The Definitive Guide)

By Nancy H, PharmD
March 24, 2023
6 minutes

Are you tired of struggling with acne, dry skin, and other skin issues? Believe it or not, what you eat can have a profound impact on the health and appearance of your skin[1], [2]. From reducing inflammation and boosting hydration to improving circulation and supporting the growth of healthy skin cells, the right foods can work wonders for your complexion. So, if you’re looking to achieve clear, glowing skin, it’s time to start paying closer attention to what’s on your plate. In this article, we’ll explore the best foods for promoting clear, healthy skin, along with the science behind their skin-loving benefits. Get ready to nourish your body from the inside out and unlock the radiant skin you deserve! Among the 6 categories of food shared with you below A total of 22 subcategories are included , let’s take a look together.

  1. Antioxidant-rich Foods:

Antioxidant-rich Foods

Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced by our bodies when we are exposed to environmental toxins such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and UV rays from the sun[3].

Antioxidant-rich foods can help to neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to our skin cells. Some of the best antioxidant-rich foods for clear skin include [9]:

● Berries: such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

● Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can protect our skin from sun damage [15].

● Leafy greens: Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are high in antioxidants.

● Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant [11].

● Green tea: Green tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that can protect our skin from UV damage [8].

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce on their own. These fats are important for our skin’s health because they help to keep our skin hydrated and reduce inflammation.

Inflammation can cause a wide range of skin problems, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. By incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into our diet, we can reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of our skin [13].

Some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids for clear skin include:

● Fatty fish: such as salmon, tuna, and sardines.

● Chia seeds

● Flaxseeds

● Walnuts

  1. Vitamin A:

Vitamin A Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin. This vitamin helps to regulate the production of skin cells, which can prevent clogged pores and acne.

Vitamin A is also important for the production of collagen, a protein that gives our skin its elasticity and helps to prevent wrinkles [12].

Some of the best sources of vitamin A for clear skin include:

● Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that our bodies convert into retinol.

● Carrots: Carrots are another great source of beta-carotene [16].

● Leafy greens: Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are high in vitamin A.

● Liver: Animal liver is one of the best sources of vitamin A, but it should be consumed in moderation because of its high vitamin A content.

  1. Zinc:

You probably haven’t heard this one before but zinc is an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin. This mineral helps regulate oil production, which can prevent clogged pores and acne.

Zinc is also important for wound healing, which can help to reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes on the skin [14].

Some of the best sources of zinc for clear skin include:

● Oysters: Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc, but they may not be the most accessible or affordable option for everyone.

● Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great plant-based source of zinc.

● Beef

● Lentils: Lentils are another great plant-based source of zinc.

  1. Vitamin C:

Vitamin C Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is commonly used in skin care products and can also be beneficial when ingested as well. This vitamin helps protect our skin from free radical damage and promotes collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C is also important for wound healing, which can help to reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes on the skin[10].

Some of the best sources of vitamin C for clear skin include:

● Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C.

● Kiwifruit

● Bell peppers

● Broccoli

  1. Water:

Truth is, no matter how committed you are to your skincare routine, your products can’t achieve much if you are not drinking enough water. H2O should be at the forefront of your skincare routine. The best news is you don’t have to spend 50 dollars on a bottle at MAC. Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Water helps to hydrate our skin from the inside out, which can prevent dryness and flakiness [4].


Dehydration can also cause our skin to produce more oil, which can lead to clogged pores and acne. By drinking enough water, we can help to keep our skin hydrated and prevent these problems [5], [6], [7].

It is recommended that adults drink at least eight glasses of water per day, but the amount needed can vary depending on factors such as activity level and climate.

If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of plain water, there are plenty of creative ways to spice it up and make it more enjoyable. Try infusing it with fruit by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries for a refreshing, flavorful twist. By getting creative with your water intake, you can stay hydrated while also enjoying the taste of what you’re drinking.

So next time you are enjoying a meal at home try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Remember to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your skin needs. The main ingredient for a to-die-for complexion starts with what you put on your plate [17].

It is important to note that diet is only one factor that can affect the health of your skin. Other factors such as genetics, stress, and a personalized skincare routine also play an important role in skin health.

If you are experiencing persistent skin problems or are concerned about the health of your skin, it is important to speak with a dermatologist or a healthcare provider for guidance and treatment options.


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  1. “Association of dietary factors with presence and severity of acne vulgaris,” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 4901
  2. “Nutrition and skin,” Clinics in Dermatology, 4901
  3. “Water, Hydration and Health,” Nutrition Reviews, 4901
  4. “Benefits of Hydration: 5 Reasons to Drink More Water,” Cleveland Clinic, 4901
  1. “Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics,” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 4901
  1. “The effects of dehydration on skin,” British Journal of Dermatology, 4901
  1. “Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris,”
  1. Antioxidants, 4901
  2. “Vitamin C in dermatology,” Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 4901
  3. “Vitamin E and Skin Health,” Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, 4901
  4. “The Roles of Vitamin A in the Skin,” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 4901
  5. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 4901
  6. “Zinc and Skin Health: Overview of Physiology and Pharmacology,” Dermatologic Surgery, 4901
  7. “Effect of tomato consumption on high-molecular-weight adiponectin, lipids, and inflammation in overweight or obese women: a randomized controlled trial,” Nutrition, 4901
  8. “Effect of Carotenoids on Human Immune Function,” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 4901
  1. “Effects of dietary and nutrient interventions on skin health and beauty,” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 4901
Nancy H, PharmD
I am Nancy a licensed pharmacist with extensive knowledge in the healthcare industry. I enjoy writing on a variety of topics including; disease management, dietary supplements, nutrition, fitness, functional medicine, and lifestyle changes for optimal health. Below is my Linkedin profile
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