Top Foods That Promote Healthy, Glowing Skin

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healthy foods, healthy skin

Art Credit: Clare Owen

This article is brought to you by one of our publishing partners, Lookbooker. They're a cool NYC-based startup that lets you book salon appointments online—kind of like OpenTable for haircuts (and highlights, facials, and everything else you like to do to feel pretty). Check them out at lookbooker.co.

Winter weather is upon us, which means that your skin is likely feeling more lifeless, dry, and tired than its usual self. Luckily we don't have to rely only on high-tech chemicals to battle the elements—nature has provided solutions in some of our favorite super foods.

With the help of some of the top aestheticians in New York City, we’ve rounded up six easy bites that can help your skin glow from within.

01. Almonds

Almonds are one of the healthiest and tastiest snack foods, and they’re also one of the best for your skin. It’s no wonder the global cosmetics industry has used natural almond oils in products for decades. Almonds contain antioxidants like Vitamin E that help to prevent skin cell damage, including damage caused by the sun. Almonds also have essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, which help maintain healthy-looking skin as supple as it feels.

If that weren’t enough, eating nuts every day may even prolong life, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Other studies link nut consumption to a lower risk of heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, as well as reduced body fat. One handful of nuts daily is all you need to reap the benefits.

02. Carrots

Most of us know carrots can improve your vision, but you may not have known these orange veggies can also clear breakouts. One serving of carrots contain 210 percent of your daily vitamin A required for good skin, eye, and immune health. Research shows vitamin A can help clear breakouts too, which is why it’s a key ingredient in many acne remedies, such as retinoids.

If you’re looking to turbo-charge the positive effects of carrots before the new year, check out the facial treatments at La' Alegria in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood. Their anti-aging moisturizer contains carrot oil. Inna, the mastermind behind the team of aestheticians at the spa, swears by carrots and has seen the difference in clients who snack on half a cup of baby carrots a day. Get nibbling!

 03. Dark Chocolate

Forget everything you’ve been told about chocolate. Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate contains flavanols, which work hard to reduce roughness in the skin and protect against damage. According to the European Journal of Nutrition, just a few ounces a day will reduce moisture loss (great news for dry skin sufferers!), provide strong resistance to UV rays, and improve skin hydration and thickness, which all combines to improve the youthful look of skin.

Ever wondered why you might feel better after reaching for your Hershey’s dark chocolate bar in trying moments? Turns out cocoa can actually reduce stress hormones and stress hormones lead to collagen breakdown in the skin and more wrinkles.

Convinced? Swap out the sugary stuff for the pure form—you’ll need at least 70 percent cocoa content to see the benefits.

04. Green tea

If you’re not on the green tea bandwagon yet, then jump on board. A brewed pot of green tea can help fight the causes of acne, which include inflammation and sebum production. Green tea contains lots of polyphenols, including the catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG—a major inflammation fighter. According to the Journal of Nutrition, women who drank green tea for 12 weeks saw better skin elasticity, moisture content, and less roughness. A study by the University of Leeds found that tea brewed for a minute exhibits similar antioxidant activity of fresh fruit. When you have a breakout, your skin becomes more inflamed than usual and the powerful antioxidants in green tea can help to get this under control.

Green tea can also help with the reversal of sun damage on your skin—excellent news for those of us trying to slow down the aging of skin—and prevent non-melanoma skin cancer. This might sound a little crazy but the team at LookBooker has been known to freeze freshly brewed green tea as ice cubes to use as toner which is not only a great insider tip but also friendly to your wallet this season!

05. Grapes

One of the best snacks for your skin, grapes contain nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins to keep your skin glowing. Snacking on grapes provides vitamins E and C, antioxidants that protect the skin from sun damage and help improve elasticity, according to the Journal of Medicinal Food. The skin and seeds of red grapes also contain resveratrol—an antioxidant that helps slow the aging process and maintain the skin’s health.

One of the world’s most famed skincare lines, Caudalie, has historical roots in Founder Mathilde Thomas’ family vineyard in Bordeaux. The scientific team behind the renowned line tells us that Vineferine (grapevine sap) boosts the skin’s radiance and fights dark spots. Did you hear that? Science says it’s good for you to embrace that extra glass of evening Malbec!

06. Salmon

Salmon is truly a superfood for overall health and should be part of your regular diet for healthier looking and feeling skin. Salmon contains essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, needed to improve the health of cell membranes that act as barriers to harmful pollutants and increase cells’ ability to hold moisture. Think of salmon as a food that truly makes your skin glow from the inside out and can help to slow the effects of aging. This omega-3-rich fish tastes great in a salad, as part of a pasta dish, or even with eggs for breakfast.