Nutrition and Your Skin: Top 10 Tips

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
09/18/18  11:07 AM PST
nutrition and your skin

What you eat and drink affects the health of your skin. A healthy diet can protect your skin and help prevent disease, such as skin cancer. Follow these top 10 tips for nutrition and your skin.

1. Soak Up Some Vitamin D. UVB rays penetrate your skin to help your body make vitamin D, which plays a role in wound healing and helps prevent inflammation. Expose your arms and legs to midday sun for 5 to 30 minutes (less time if you burn easily) twice a week. 1

2. Dine on D Foods. If you don’t get enough solar time, be sure to get vitamin D from foods like salmon, tuna, milk and fortified orange juice. 2

3. Go Orange. Orange-hued fruits and veggies contain beta carotene and vitamin C-two antioxidants that fight skin cancer. Try orange bell peppers, carrots and yellow squash. 3

4. Make Friends with Fish. Omega-3 fats may protect your skin from sun damage and reduce the signs of aging. Enjoy fatty fish, like salmon, twice a week or ask your doctor if you should take a fish oil supplement. 4

5. Eat a Plant-based Diet. High meat and fat intake has been shown to increase risk of skin cancer in some people. Replace some animal protein with plant sources, such as beans, soy and vegetables. 5

6. Pack on the Polyphenols. Beneficial compounds in plants protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer. Enjoy citrus fruits, cherries, nuts, soy, green tea and other plant-based foods. 6

7. Like Lycopene. This antioxidant may reduce the inflammation associated with sunburn. Tomato paste, grapefruit and watermelon are good sources. 7

8. Down with Sugar.  Too many high-glycemic foods may contribute to acne. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, instead of refined grains like white bread. 8

9. Watch Your Weight. Obesity may affect your skin’s ability to retain water and act as a barrier. Balance calorie intake with physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. 5

10. Drink Up. Staying hydrated helps maintain skin thickness and density. Shoot for 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. 9


nutrition and your skin


Click here for PDF: Top 10 Nutrition and Skin Tips

Click here for PDF:  Top 5 Nutrients and Recipes for Wound Healing 


More Articles Related to Nutrition and Your Skin:


  1. Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin D and Skin Health
  2. Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D
  3. Skin Cancer Foundation: Can Your Diet Help Prevent Skin Cancer?
  4. Linus Pauling Institute: Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health
  5. Dermato-Endocrinology: Nutrition and Nutritional Supplementation: Impact on Skin Health and Beauty
  6. Archives of Dermatological Research: Skin Photoprotection by Natural Polyphenols: Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Oxidant and DNA Repair Mechanisms
  7. American Academy of Dermatology: Tretinoin, Tea and Tomato Paste
  8. American Academy of Dermatology: Growing Evidence Suggests Possible Link between Diet and Acne
  9. International Journal of Cosmetic Science: Effect of Fluid Intake on Skin Physiology: Distinct Differences between Drinking Mineral Water and Tap Water 

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